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Sustainability 2015, 7(8), 10210-10232; doi:10.3390/su70810210

The Spread of Knowledge Management in SMEs: A Scenario in Evolution

Department of Industrial Engineering—University of Naples Federico II, P.le Tecchio, 80, 80125 Naples, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 16 May 2015 / Revised: 8 July 2015 / Accepted: 28 July 2015 / Published: 31 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
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Abstract

This paper deals with knowledge management (KM) in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Through a literature review, three research questions have been identified concerning the barriers hindering the spread of KM practices in SMEs, the main knowledge management systems (KMSs) adopted by SMEs and the impact of the use of KM practices on SME performance. The research questions were subsequently addressed through a field analysis conducted on a sample of SMEs. The empirical evidence highlights that the scenario has changed in the space of but a few years. Although SMEs are generally characterized by poor financial and human resources, they are able to overcome the barriers preventing the spread of KM practices. The SMEs investigated perceive the strategic value of KM and consequently adopt a variety of KMSs. Nevertheless, such systems are generally outdated in comparison with cheaper, more recent, and user-friendly applications. Finally, the paper emphasizes that the use of KM practices can contribute to the overall growth of SMEs by simultaneously and significantly enhancing their performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: barriers; knowledge management systems; literature; performance barriers; knowledge management systems; literature; performance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cerchione, R.; Esposito, E.; Spadaro, M.R. The Spread of Knowledge Management in SMEs: A Scenario in Evolution. Sustainability 2015, 7, 10210-10232.

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