Inderscience Publishers

The influence of knowledge management on continuous innovation

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This study of 1,011 employees in 54 small and medium-sized organisations from various industries examined the influence of five aspects of knowledge management on continuous innovation. Continuous innovation was divided into three composing elements: individual creativity; knowledge implementation and commercialisation; and organisational strategic flexibility. The results demonstrate that knowledge assets, strategic management of knowledge, knowledge codification, knowledge sharing and knowledge acquisition all function as enablers of continuous innovation. Furthermore, knowledge sharing practices among colleagues was found to be the most significant predictor of self-rated continuous innovation. Strategic management of knowledge predicted commercialisation success on the level of the whole organisation, while acquiring knowledge from external sources proved to be the key facilitator of organisational-level strategic flexibility. The paper extends understanding of the knowledge-based nature of continuous innovation by examining in detail the connections between various knowledge management activities and aspects of continuous innovation.

Keywords: knowledge management, innovation, creativity, commercialisation, strategic flexibility, survey

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