Knowledge Management from China Perspective: Theory and Practice
Purpose – Several years after being introduced from the west, the field of knowledge management (KM) in China is still at early stage. Current economic challenges, social and cultural factors as well as the conflicting definitions and terms of KM adapted from other research streams are three major reasons that KM in China has unique characters in theory and practice. Discussion of the various KM models from the west provides comparative approaches to identify the factors with China characters. The purpose of this paper is to explore KM with China characters in theory and practice that can provide guidance to researchers and practitioners in China related KM efforts.Design/methodology/approach – Comparative approach is applied by examining western KM models and China KM theory and practice. Qualitative methodology of this research includes three facets，i.e. a case study, Focus group and Elite actor interviews with Chinese KM researchers and practitioners that lead to further discussions. Findings – Whilst the technology side of KM has been upgraded to the people side of KM in the west, China KM theory and practice still has strong China characters. Organizational structure and invest of return on KM are two major focuses. Findings from this paper offer new aspects to understand why and how KM with China characters is different from the west. China KM is moving from coping west theories to adapting KM to Chinese business environments, in a unique process. Research limitations/implications –Current research is largely qualitative in service sector. Quantitative approach and research in manufacture sector can provide further evidences. Practical implications – The KM with China characters in theory and practice analysis presents guidance to KM researchers and practitioners in KM in China, and can be employed to understand China KM research and practice. Originality/value – In this paper, KM with China characters in theory and practice is identified through comparative approach, that provides guidance to understand how China KM of integrating technology and people factors and explains the reason why China KM is different.
Keywords: Knowledge Management, China, Technology
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Business & Management, University of Ulster