Organizing Competitive Knowledge in SMEs: Preliminary Evidence from the Italian Textile and Apparel Sector

By Daria Sarti.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The objective of this work is to give some points of reflection on a very open question which is: “Under what organizational circumstances knowledge dynamics lead to superior performance?”. The stimulus for studying both knowledge as an asset and the ways of organizing it, comes from the belief that both, but especially the latter, represent a source of competitive advantage for the firm. In fact many scholars from different academic disciplines, stress the importance of ‘managing knowledge’ and ‘managing learning processes’ in order to increase the value produced by and within the firm. Many papers and articles as well as books have devoted much concern in the topic of knowledge as a source of competitive advantage, but the amount of empirical evidences and case studies in this specific field seem still to be insufficient to support the construction of a new theory of competitive knowledge. The purpose of this paper is to present a partial insight representing a small building block in this wide, but still unexplored, field of research. The paper is divided in two sections: the theoretical and the findings section. In the first section a framework of reference is presented in order to introduce the reader to the theoretical perspective that has guided the present study. In the second section the empirical findings are presented.
This section presents, the findings of an exploratory research made on a theoretical sample of five SMEs in the clothing and textile sector conducted through a multi-case analysis, in order to gather data on organizational systems to manage reservoirs of knowledge.
In the conclusions of the paper evidence from the exploratory research will be presented, in order to give a contribution in terms of suggestions for competitive practices for managing knowledge in SMEs and for further research development.

Keywords: Competitive Knowledge, Organizational Learning, Knowledge Management in SMEs

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 6, Issue 11, pp.93-108. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.093MB).

Dr. Daria Sarti

Phd, Department of Management, University of Florence, Italy


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