Knowledge Management Maturity: Development of Maturity Scales and Interaction between Key Areas
Purpose: The aim of this article is to analyze the interaction between key knowledge management (KM) maturity areas: Strategy, Culture, Technology and Knowledge Processes. Design/methodology/approach: Structural equations by the partial least squares method were used to test the research model with survey data from 14 business units of a multinational food company which has its headquarter in Colombia. Findings: The effect of the Strategy key area on culture is the highest in comparison with the rest of the relationships between key areas. There is also a positive and significant effect of strategy on technology but it is lower as compared to the effect on culture. By contrast, the direct effect of technology on knowledge processes is practically similar to culture. Practical implications: The KM maturity model proposed is a complete and reliable KM diagnostic tool, both for subsidiaries to deploy KM strategies as well as for those that have certain experience in the area, which helps to fix a clear baseline to start improvement actions conductive to the highest maturity level. Originality/value: The work breaks the tradition of proposing generic and generalist maturity models, by proposing a model that offers a detailed description of the maturity scale of each one of the variables making up the key areas, presenting also satisfactory reliability and validity indicators. Besides, it evidences that the Technology key area is as important as culture, contrary to what the literature suggests, which has always highlighted technology relevance in developed countries, which score low of the power distance dimension of the country’s culture, which is not a trait of Latin American countries where the multinational’s operation is concentrated.