Use of knowledge management systems across nations : culture-free or culture-bound

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Use of knowledge management systems across nations : culture-free or culture-bound

 

Author: Lou, Lai Wah Miranda
Title: Use of knowledge management systems across nations : culture-free or culture-bound
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2009
Subject: Knowledge management.
Knowledge management -- Social aspects.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Graduate School of Business
Pages: x, 139 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2623482
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7037
Abstract: Organizations, especially multinational companies are increasingly adopting technologies of various capabilities in the form of knowledge management (KM) systems to support knowledge capture, storage, transfer and reuse within the organizations. Despite the heavy investment of organizations in KM systems, it does not necessarily mean that employees will use the KM systems as desired. This cross-cultural study sought for a better understanding of the factors that lead to acceptance or usage of KM systems in a cross-national context. The research model, that adapted technology acceptance model (Davis, 1989) as the theoretical framework, posited that the use of KM system is determined not only by the extrinsic motivation factors of perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, but also intrinsic motivation factor in the form of perceived enjoyment, as well as social factor of subjective norm. This study also investigated if national cultural values at the national level influence the relationship between the determinants and use of KM systems at the individual-level by adopting the 'nation-as-a-moderator' approach (Huang & Van de Vliert, 2003, 2004). Hofstede's (1980) cultural dimensions of individualism/collectivism, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance were used to operationalize national cultural values. Data collected from 1,415 employees in 30 countries of a multinational company who completed a questionnaire survey online was analyzed by employing multilevel modeling method.
Results showed that perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived enjoyment, and subjective norm are positively related to use of KM system, both in terms of use frequency and use time. Additionally, prior use experience and age have a positive effect on the use frequency and use time of KM system, while national wealth is also a marginally significant factor of use frequency of KM system. For the influence of national cultural values, results showed that cultural collectivism has a positive main effect on the use of KM system. Additionally, results showed that cultural individualism/collectivism and uncertainty avoidance at the national level have a significant moderating effect on the positive relationships between certain determinants and use of KM systems. In terms of use frequency, first, the positive relationship between perceived usefulness and the use frequency of KM system is stronger in countries with a more individualistic culture. Second, the positive relationship between subjective norm and the use frequency of KM system is stronger in countries with a lower uncertainty avoidance culture. Third, the positive relationship between perceived enjoyment and the use frequency of KM system is stronger in countries with a lower uncertainty avoidance culture. In terms of use time, the results of some interaction terms are marginally significant. First the positive relationship between perceived ease of use and the use time of KM system is marginally stronger in countries with a more collectivist culture. Second, the positive relationship between subjective norm and the use time of KM system is marginally stronger in countries with a lower uncertainty avoidance culture. Third, the positive relationship between perceived enjoyment and the use time of KM system is marginally stronger in countries with a lower uncertainty avoidance culture. The findings of this one of the few cross-cultural studies on the use of KM systems contribute to both theory development in information science (IS) and knowledge management research, as well as managerial practice for multinational companies that adopt technologies to support the knowledge management initiatives.

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