The Effect of Knowledge Management Context on Knowledge Management Practices: an Empirical Investigation


  • Brian Detlor
  • Umar Ruhi
  • Ofir Turel
  • Pierrette Bergeron
  • Chun Wei Choo
  • Lorna Heaton
  • Scott Paquette


Knowledge management behaviour, knowledge management practices, knowledge management context, knowledge management environment, knowledge sharing, corporate strategy


This paper presents recent research findings on the effects of organizational knowledge management (KM) context on KM practices. Data were collected at a large Canadian law firm via a Web‑based survey instrument from over 400 participants comprising professional and support staff working in various office locations. The purpose of the study was to gain insight on the antecedents of knowledge management behaviors in organizations. A theoretical model explicating the impact of an organization's KM environment on both organizational and individual KM behaviors was developed and tested using structural equation modeling techniques. The moderating effects of age, biological sex, job category, and years spent in the organization were also examined. Results indicate that an organization's knowledge management environment impacts on both organizational as well as personal knowledge management behaviors. Furthermore, we show that organizational KM behavior also influences personal KM behavior, thus acting as a mediator between the overarching organizational knowledge management policies and practices and the employees' individual practices. Based on this empirical evidence, recommendations are suggested for organizations wishing to institutionalize knowledge management initiatives in their firms.



1 Mar 2006