Journal of Business Research 63 (2010) 763–771
Contents lists available at ScienceDirect
Journal of Business Research
Linking organizational culture, structure, strategy, and organizational effectiveness: Mediating role of knowledge management Wei Zheng a,⁎, Baiyin Yang b,1,2, Gary N. McLean c,3
Human Resource Development, Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education, Northern Illinois University, Gabel Hall 201E, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, United States Department of Human Resources and Organizational Behavior, Tsinghua University, Mailing Address: Haidian District, Beijing, 100087 China c Department of Work and Human Resource Education, Texas A&M University, United States b
a r t i c l e
i n f o
a b s t r a c t
Practices of knowledge management are context-speciﬁc and they can inﬂuence organizational effectiveness. This study examines the possible mediating role of knowledge management in the relationship between organizational culture, structure, strategy, and organizational effectiveness. A survey was conducted of 301 organizations. The results suggest that knowledge management fully mediates the impact of organizational culture on organizational effectiveness, and partially mediates the impact of organizational structure and strategy on organizational effectiveness. The ﬁndings carry theoretical implications for knowledge management literature as they extend the scope of research on knowledge management from examining a set of independent management practices to examining a system-wide mechanism that connects internal resources and competitive advantage. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Article history: Received 1 February 2008 Received in revised form 1 March 2009 Accepted 1 June 2009 Keywords: Knowledge management Organizational culture Organizational structure Organizational strategy Organizational effectiveness
The internal characteristics of the organization make up critical sources for success (Barney, 1991). Increasing attention has been paid to identifying what characteristics are vital to organizational success and how they exert their inﬂuence on organizational outcomes. Internal organizational context focuses on broad and relatively stable categories of organizational characteristics such as structure, culture, and power and political characteristics (Pettigrew, 1979). They constitute an environment where organizational activities take place. There has been a large volume of studies that examine how the ﬁt between organizational context and organizational strategy explains variances in organizational performance (Daft, 1995; Robbins, 1990). What is lacking in existing literature, though, is an understanding of the intervening mechanism that explains the paths of the inﬂuence from organizational context and strategy to organizational effectiveness. Knowledge management plays a potentially mediating role in connecting organizational context and strategy with organizational effectiveness. Successful knowledge management is believed to have the potential of enhancing an organization's competitive advantage, customer focus, employee relations and development, innovation, and
lower costs (Skyrme and Arnindon, 1997). In turn, knowledge management is context-speciﬁc, because context determines who participate and how they participate in the knowledge management process (Nonaka et al., 2000). Knowledge management could serve as one of the intervening mechanisms through which organizational context inﬂuences organizational effectiveness. However, the mediating role of knowledge management has not been adequately investigated. Exploration of its potential role as a mediating factor would provide better understanding of how to leverage it to achieve desirable organizational goals. This study sets out to do that. The purpose of this study is to examine the possible mediating effect of knowledge management on the relationship between organizational...
References: Argote L, Ingram P. Knowledge transfer: a basis for competitive advantage in ﬁrms. Org Behav Hum Decis 2000;82(1):150–69. Amstrong JS, Overton TS. Estimating nonresponse bias in mail surveys. Journal of Marketing Research 1977;14:396–402. Barney J. Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. J Manage 1991;17 (1):99-120. Bennett R, Gabriel H. Organizational factors and knowledge management within large marketing departments: an empirical study. J Knowl Manag 1999;3(3):212–25. Bergeron F, Raymond L, Rivard S. Idea patterns of strategic alignment and business performance. Information and Management 2004;41:1003–20. Brockman BK, Morgan RM. The role of existing knowledge in new product innovativeness and performance. Decis Sci 2003;34(2):385–419. Burns T, Stalker M. The management of innovation. London: Tavistock Publications; 1961. Caruana A, Morris MH, Vella AJ. The effect of centralization and formalization on entrepreneurship in export ﬁrms. J Small Bus Manage 1998;36(1):16–29. Conner KR, Prahalad CK. A resource-based theory of the ﬁrm: knowledge versus opportunism. Organ Sci 1996;7:477–501. Daft RL. Organizational theory and design. St. Paul: West Publishing; 1995. Damanpour F. Organizational innovation: a meta-analysis of effects of determinants and moderators. Acad Manage J 1991;34(3):555–90. Darr E, Argote L, Epple D. The acquisition, transfer and depreciation of knowledge in service organizations: productivity in franchises. Manag Sci 1995;41(11):1750–62. Davenport TH, Prusak L. Working knowledge: how organizations manage what they know. Boston: Harvard Business School Press; 1998. Deal TA, Kennedy AA. Corporate culture. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley; 1982. De Long DW, Fahey L. Diagnosing cultural barriers to knowledge management. Acad Manage Exec 2000;14(4):113–27. Demerest M. Understanding knowledge management. J Long Range Plan 1997;30 (3):374–84. Denison DR. Corporate culture and organizational effectiveness. New York: Wiley; 1990. Denison DR, Mishra AK. Toward a theory of organizational culture and effectiveness. Organ Sci 1995;6(2):204–23. Denison DR, Neale WS. Denison organizational culture survey. Ann Arbor: Aviat; 1996. Deshpande R, Farley U, Webster F. Corporate culture, customer orientation, and innovativeness in Japanese ﬁrms: a quadrad analysis. J Mark 1993;57(1):23–37. Dewar R, Werbel J. Universalistic and contingency predictions of employee satisfaction and conﬂict. Adm Sci Q 1979;24(3):426–48. Drew S. From knowledge to action: the impact of benchmarking on organizational performance. Long Range Plan 1997;30(3):427–41.
Epple D, Argote L, Murphy K. An empirical investigation of the micro structure of knowledge acquisition and transfer through learning by doing. Oper Res 1996;44:77–86. Fey CF, Denison DR. Organizational culture and effectiveness: can American theory be applied in Asia? Organ Sci 2003;14(6):686–706. Ferrell OC, Skinner SJ. Ethical behavior and bureaucratic structure in marketing research organizations. J Mark Res 1988;25:103–9. Floyd SW, Wooldridge B. Managing strategic consensus: the foundation of effective implementation. Acad Manage Exec 1992;6(4):27–39. Gilley JW, Maycunich A. Organizational learning performance and change — an introduction to strategic human resource development. MA: Perseus Publishing; 2000. Gold AH, Malhotra A, Segars AH. Knowledge management: an organizational capabilities perspective. J Manage Inf Syst 2001;18(1):185–214. Gordon GG, Di Tomaso N. Predicting corporate performance from organizational culture. J Manag Stud 1992;29:783–98. Govindarajan V, Fisher J. Strategy, control systems, and resource sharing: effects on business-unit performance. Acad Manage J 1990;33(2):259–85. Grant RM. Toward a knowledge-based theory of the ﬁrm. Strateg Manage J 1996;17:109–11. Grover V, Davenport TH. General perspectives on knowledge management: fostering a research agenda. J Manage Inf Syst 2001;18(1):5-21. Huber GP. Organizational learning: the contributing processes and the literatures. Organ Sci 1991;2(1):88-115. Jöreskog KG, Sörbom D. LISREL 7: a guide to the program applications. 2nd ed. Chicago: SPSS; 1989. Kennedy AM. The adoption and diffusion of new industrial products: a literature review. Eur J Mark 1983;17(3):31–88. Khandwalla PN. The design of organizations. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; 1977. Kogut B, Zander U. Knowledge of the ﬁrm, combinative capabilities, and the replication of technology. Organ Sci 1992;3(2):383–97. Konrad A, Linnehan F. Formalized HRM structures: coordinating equal employment opportunity or concealing organizational practices? Acad Manage J 1995;38: 787–820. Lee H, Choi B. Knowledge management enablers, process, and organizational performance: an integrative view and empirical examination. J Manage Inf Syst 2003;20(1):179–228. Manvondo FT. Environment and strategy as antecedents for marketing effectiveness and organizational performance. J Strat Mark 1999;7(4):237–50. McEvily S, Chakravarthy B. The persistence of knowledge-based advantage: an empirical test for product performance and technological knowledge. Strateg Manag J 2002;23:285–305. Miller R. Innovation, organization and environment: a study of sixteen American and West European steel ﬁrms. Sherbrooke: Institut de recherche et de perfectionnement en administration; 1971. Miller D, Friesen PH. Strategy-making and environment: the third link. Strateg Manag J 1983;4:221–35. Nonaka I. The knowledge-creating company. Harvard Bus Rev 1991:96-104 (Nov-Dec). Nonaka I, Toyama R, Konno N. Seci, ba, and leadership: a uniﬁed model of dynamic knowledge creation. Long Rang Plan 2000;33:5-34. O 'Reilly C. Corporations, culture, and commitment: motivation and social control in organizations. Calif Manage Rev 1989;18:9-25. Ouchi WG, Jaeger AM. Type Z organization: stability in the midst of mobility. Acad Manag Rev 1978;3(2):305–14. Pedler M, Burgoyne J, Boydell T. The learning company: a strategy for sustainable development. New York: McGraw-Hill; 1991. Penrose E. The theory of the growth of the ﬁrm. New York: Wiley; 1959. Peters T, Waterman R. In search of excellence. New York: Harper and Row; 1982. Pettigrew AM. On studying organizational cultures. Adm Sci Q 1979;24:570–81. Podsakoff P, Organ DW. Self-reports in organizational research: problems and prospects. J Manage 1986;12:531–44. Posner B, Kouzes J, Schmidt W. Shared values make a difference: an empirical test of corporate culture. Hum Resour Manag 1985;24:293–309.
W. Zheng et al. / Journal of Business Research 63 (2010) 763–771 Prahalad CK, Hamel G. The core competence of the corporation. Harvard Bus Rev 1990;68(3):79–91. Rapert MI, Lynch D, Suter T. Enhancing functional and organizational performance via strategic consensus and commitment. J Strat Mark 1996;4:193–205. Rapert M, Wren B. Reconsidering organizational structure: a dual perspective of frameworks and processes. J Manag Issue 1998;10(3):287–302. Rastogi PN. Knowledge management and intellectual capital — the new virtuous reality of competitiveness. Hum Syst Manage 2000;19(1):39–49. Robbins SP. Organization theory: structure, design, and application. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall; 1990. Rowley J. Knowledge management in pursuit of learning: the learning with knowledge cycle. J Inf Sci 2001;27(4):227–37. Ruekert RW, Walker OC, Roering KJ. The organization of marketing activities: a contingency theory of structure and performance. J Mark 1985;49:13–25. Schein EH. Organizational culture and leadership: a dynamic view. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; 1985. Schminke M, Ambrose ML, Cropanzano RS. The effect of organizational structure on perceptions of procedural fairness. J Appl Psych 2000;85:294–304. Senge PM. The ﬁfth discipline: the art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Random House; 1990. Shin M. A framework for evaluating economics of knowledge management systems. Inf Manage 2004;42:179–96. Simonin BL. The importance of collaborative know-how: an empirical test of the learning organization. Acad Manage J 1997;40(5):1150–74.
Skivington JE, Daft RL. A study of organizational framework and process modalities for the implementation of business-level strategic decisions. J Manag Stud 1991;28 (1):45–68. Skyrme D, Arnindon D. Creating the knowledge based business. London: Business Intelligence; 1997. Smith KG, Guthrie JP, Chen M. Miles and Snow 's typology of strategy, organizational size and organizational performance. Acad Manage Proc 1986:45–9. Soliman F, Spooner K. Strategies for implementing knowledge management: role of human resource management. J Knowl Manag 2000;4(4):337–45. Tiwana A. An empirical study of the effect of knowledge integration on software development performance. Inf Softw Technol 2004;46(13):899–906. Tsai W. Social structure of “cooperation” within a multiunit organization: coordination, competition, and intraorganizational knowledge sharing. Organ Sci 2002;13 (2):179–90. Venkatraman N. Strategic orientation of business enterprises: the construct, dimensionality, and measurement. Manage Sci 1989;35:942–62. Waterman RH. Adhocracy: the power to change. Memphis, TN: Whittle Direct Books; 1990. Watkins KE, Marsick VJ. In action: creating the learning organization. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development; 1996. Wilkins AL, Ouchi WG. Efﬁcient cultures: exploring the relationship between culture and organizational performance. Adm Sci Q 1983;28:468–81. Young G, Sapienza H, Baumer D. The inﬂuence of ﬂexibility in buyer–seller relationships on the productivity of knowledge. J Bus Res 1999;56(6):443–51.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document