There has been substantial evidence gathered on the impact that internal processes have on organizational success in the corporate sector. Much of the research focuses on the ways in which organizations can use knowledge management processes to make evidence-informed decisions. Evidence shows that knowledge sharing is positively related to reductions in production costs, faster completion of new product development projects, and improved team performance, including sales growth and revenue from new products and services. While many organizations have invested considerable resources in knowledge management systems, at least $31.5 billion has been lost per year by Fortune 500 companies because of failure to effectively share knowledge. Studies indicate that one important reason for this failure is a lack of consideration for how organizational and interpersonal characteristics influence knowledge sharing. Among the factors that aid knowledge sharing, researchers emphasize trust; higher levels of trust among colleagues leads to higher levels of knowledge sharing. The literature reviewed also found a positive correlation between knowledge sharing and job satisfaction, indicating that knowledge sharing contributes to improved team performance by increasing job satisfaction.
In the development sector, a study of Nigerian civil servants found that the more complex a project, the more it benefits from staff having greater autonomy for decision-making. This echoes findings from the broader public management literature, which state that decentralized authority is associated with better performance. Higher levels of individual autonomy for decision-making are also associated with greater levels of organizational innovation and learning, particularly where contextual knowledge is critical.
Processes are an enabler in the following ways:
- Higher levels of trust on teams is linked with higher levels of knowledge sharing.
- Evidence-informed decision-making is more likely to occur when decision makers demand, define, and interpret evidence.
- Quality knowledge management processes have a significant impact on project performance.
- Processes are influenced by interpersonal characteristics and relationships: high levels of trust and emotional intelligence are linked with high levels of knowledge sharing.
To read the full summary of the literature on processes, see our CLA Literature Review. Scroll down to view articles and cases on processes.