Malaysia is one of the leading countries in Asia that are at the forefront in the development of a knowledge-based economy (KBE). The Malaysian government has been making substantial investments in both physical and technological infrastructure to facilitate knowledge-intensive economic activities. Foreign and local firms in Malaysia are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities brought by the emerging KBE. However, little is known as to how firms in Malaysia respond to this new trajectory of economic development. In particular, there is paucity in the literature as to how Malaysian firms manage knowledge in their organizations as they strive to achieve sustainable competitive performance. Little is known as to how and why firms in Malaysia develop and manage their intangible and knowledge-based resources as they operate and respond to the modern knowledge-based competitive economic arena. This paper examines a type of organizational culture that supports and promotes knowledge management (KM) within firms in Malaysia. The paper argues that KM-oriented culture shapes the overall KM strategy of firms, which consequently shapes the organizational process required to manage the firm's knowledge-based resources. The study uses survey data from a sample of 153 firms from Malaysia. Structural equation modelling was used to develop and test the measurement model of KM-oriented culture, KM strategy and KM process of the sample firms, as well as the structural model of their hypothesized relationships. The results show that firms with high level of KM-oriented culture demonstrated well-defined KM strategies. Firms that implemented well-defined KM strategies also reported that they have better KM processes in place. Building a KM-oriented culture within the organization is a pre-requisite to the implementation of any KM systems in Malaysian firms. Successful implementation of KM strategies, processes and the supporting technological infrastructure depends on whether organizational members consider KM as a norm within the firm. The study's focus on the linkages between KM-oriented culture, strategy and process in the context of Malaysian firms contributes to a more nuanced understanding of KM among firms in the Asian context in general, and in the Malaysian context in particular.
Field of Research
150314 Small Business Management
Socio Economic Objective
970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
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