Knowledge Management in Small and Medium-sized Enterprises: A New Zealand Focus

I-Ching Lin, The University of Auckland
Rainer Seidel, The University of Auckland
Mehdi Shahbazpour, The University of Auckland
David Howell, The University of Auckland

Abstract: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) represent a significant group of organisations that contributes to New Zealand’s economic growth. The performance of SMEs can be further improved by effective knowledge management (KM). However, KM is not an easy task for most SMEs. This study reviews relevant KM literature and presents a case study of New Zealand (NZ) SMEs with the objective of proposing how KM can be better implemented in them. The study outcome highlights that, although some of the SMEs’ characteristics support easy KM adoption, they are not inherently supportive of effective KM practices. This suggests that solutions designed for these organisations should adapt to their unique characteristics. Based on this finding, four guidelines that focus on solution practicality, user-friendliness, KM strategy differentiation, and flexibility with respect to SMEs’ KM are proposed for future KM solution design for NZ SMEs.