Evaluation of a strategy-oriented method to identify and prioritise knowledge management initiatives in SMEs

Juan Ignacio Igartua López, Jabier Retegi Albisua, Maria Ruiz, Maitane Mindegia


Purpose: This article presents the process followed for the definition, application and evaluation of a Strategy oriented method of identifying and prioritising Knowledge Management (KM) initiatives in small to medium enterprises.

Design/methodology/approach: To develop the method, the research team conducted a review of literature about existing business strategies and processes and models of maturity in KM. Based on that, a first version of a method was proposed. Subsequently, a contrast was made through a focus group composed of regional development centres, new company promotion agencies and industry representatives. Then, a four-step method, named KM-EZAGUTUZ, for the identification and prioritisation of KM initiatives in SMEs was proposed. Then, a field test was performed in five companies.

Findings: The conclusions obtained through the research show the validity of the method for SMEs to identify and prioritise KM initiatives.

Research limitations/implications: More field test should be done to confirm the validity of the method and improve it.

Practical implications: The method, developed and supported in a prototype tool, helps companies to determine and prioritise actions for a better KM in accordance with company strategies, in a short period of time. In addition, the method supports a common understanding of the strategic vision of the organisation among the participants in the process.

Social implications:  Management practices are usually designed for medium and large companies. The significant resources required make it difficult for SMEs to benefit from their implementation. Given that SMEs account for a large share of employment in countries and that they need to manage knowledge effectively, this research helps to address this important socio-economic need.

Originality/value: The method described in the article combines Strategy, Knowledge Management and a user friendly identification and prioritization tool adapted to SMEs.


Knowledge management, strategic management, management tools, SMEs

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.3277

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2023

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience