The Critical Role of Knowledge Management in Achieving and Sustaining Organisational Competitive Advantage

Que Thi Nguyet Nguyen, Philip A. Neck, Thanh Hai Nguyen


The critical role of knowledge management in achieving and sustaining competitive advantage has been strongly emphasised in the extant literature. However, most previous studies were conceptually grounded and empirically examined in advanced, developed and newly industrialised countries. In addition, research to date has predominantly explored findings from a large company view while little attempt has been made to address the relative importance of different factors constituting the organisational KM capability in the context of Asian emerging, less developed countries such as Vietnam where a socialist market economy, a Confucian culture and a majority of small and medium sized enterprises currently exist. By adopting a resource-based theory of the firm with an extension of a knowledge-based perspective, this paper aims at developing and empirically validating a conceptual model of the relationships between KM capability components and their impacts on a firm’s competitive advantage in Vietnam. The results of 148 surveyed respondents in the construction industry reconfirmed a general agreement found in the literature that a combined social and technological approach is ideal to take advantage of their significant positive correlations in improving organisational competitive advantage. Moreover, in the Vietnamese-specific context, the study indicated that while culture is the most important issue affecting knowledge management, integration with information technology may assist to overcome cultural barriers and provide a stronger contribution to competitive advantage.

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International Business Research  ISSN 1913-9004 (Print), ISSN 1913-9012 (Online)

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