The creation of a global society with possibilities of knowledge sharing is among the contributions of the IT revolution and globalization. In the knowledge society, the value-creating strategies and long-term viability of a firm depend on sustaining its competitive advantage. The knowledge-based view of the firm draws upon the resourced-based view (Levitas & Ndofor, 2006; Williamson, 1957; Chandler 1962; Stigler, 1961) and considers knowledge as a distinctively unique resource that should be managed. Organizational knowledge can be characterized as explicit and tacit (Regan & O’Connor, 2002), and embedded (Bourdeau & Couillard, 1999). Knowledge management (KM) refers to the ability to create and manage a culture that encourages and facilitates the creation, appropriate use, and sharing of knowledge to improve organizational performance and effectiveness (Walczak, 2005).
Organizational KM includes the identification, acquisition, storing, and dissemination of tacit, explicit, and embedded knowledge. Conceptualizations of knowledge management (KM) as well as of intellectual and human capital in organizational design are usually guided by various perspectives such as information-processing theory (Tushman & Nader, 1978; Galbraith, 1973), organizational learning theory (Senge, 1990), knowledge creation (Kearns & Sabherwal, 2007), dynamic capabilities (Collis, 1991), and resource-based theory of the firm (Rugman & Verbeke, 2002; Wernerfelt, 1984; Penrose, 1959).
Good KM, as Charles (2005) noted, involves three elements: people, processes and technology. Organizational technologies that support KM initiatives and KWs are called knowledge management systems (KMS). KMS are IT-based tools developed to support corporate processes of knowledge management (Feng, Chen, & Liou, 2005). KMS are classified in terms of knowledge dimensions (tacit and explicit) and the extent of codifiability required (Becerra-Fernandez, 2000), codification versus personalization strategy (Hansen et al., 1999), KM processes that are supported (Alavi and Leidner, 2001; Tiwana and Ramesh, 2000). Benbya and Belbaly (2005) have provided a classification of KMS based on the tacit and explicit dimensions. Examples of such applications are knowledge bases, business intelligence services, corporate information portals, and customer relationship management services. Five indicators are used to measure their success (Benbya & Belbaly, 2005): 1) system quality, 2) knowledge quality, 3) use and user satisfaction, 4) perceived benefits, and 5) net impact.