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Knowledge management in consultancy-involved process improvement projects: cases from Chinese SMEs

Hu, Qing, Williams, Sharon, Mason, Robert ORCID: and Found, Pauline ORCID: 2019. Knowledge management in consultancy-involved process improvement projects: cases from Chinese SMEs. Production Planning and Control 30 (10-12) , pp. 866-880. 10.1080/09537287.2019.1582095

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Knowledge management (KM) is considered as an effective strategy to improve organisational performance. In its application to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), resource constraints mean that exploitation of knowledge from external sources, such as management consultants, is often needed. Drawing on the knowledge management literature, in particular the theory associated with liminality, this study explores practical KM issues encountered by Chinese SMEs when working with management consultants to introduce new business improvement practices from a multi-level practice-based perspective. A comparative case study is conducted focusing on two consultancy-involved process improvement projects in Chinese manufacturing SMEs. The case results suggest a clear KM strategy is needed at the outset of the project and SME managers and employees need to play a proactive role in the learning and adoption of new knowledge. The research is novel in that it is the first study to explore knowledge management and the notion of liminality within the context of consultancy-involved Chinese SME improvement projects. The paper culminates with two research propositions that require further empirical study. Implications of this research are provided for SME owner/managers and management consultants.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0953-7287
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 April 2018
Date of Acceptance: 21 January 2018
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2022 20:07

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