Knowledge management adoption in times of crisis

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Organizations are threatened by business crises that may be prevented or lessened if critical knowledge is identified in advance. The purpose of this paper is to enhance the understanding of the role knowledge management (KM) plays in affecting organizational performance during crises. Design-methodology-approach A case study of a business crisis was conducted to investigate how KM helped mitigate damage caused by the crisis. Findings First, KM plays an important role in crisis management. Second, organizations have different knowledge needs that require the application of different KM strategies at different phases of a business crisis to achieve the best results. Finally, the experience handling crises makes organizations consider their incompetence and thus leads to the generation of organization-wide learning initiatives which facilitate knowledge acquisition, sharing, and institutionalization. Practical implications The proposed knowledge-centered crisis management framework can be used by organizations as guidelines to develop their KM strategies based on their concerns during business crises. Originality-value Few prior studies have specifically addressed the role KM plays when encountering business crises. This study focuses on investigating how organizations can apply useful KM strategies based on their knowledge needs and thus achieve desirable crisis management outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-462
Number of pages18
JournalIndustrial Management & Data Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Apr 24

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Industrial relations
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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