Selection and prioritization of knowledge management strategies as proportionate with organizations’ level of maturity using fuzzy TOPSIS approach, case study. A research organization

Publication Date12 August 2019
Date12 August 2019
AuthorPeyman Akhavan,Maryam Philsoophian,Mohamad Hosein Karimi
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Knowledge management,Knowledge management systems
Selection and prioritization of
knowledge management
strategies as proportionate with
organizationslevel of maturity
using fuzzy TOPSIS approach,
case study
A research organization
Peyman Akhavan,Maryam Philsoophian and
Mohamad Hosein Karimi
Department of Management, Malek Ashtar University of Technology,
Tehran, Iran
Purpose Due to importance of knowledgemanagement (KM) strategies in successful implementation of
KM processes and saving time and expense, selection of suitable KM strategies has been changed to be a
major concern by many organizations. Therefore, this is necessary for organizations to move along KM
processes in selectionand establishment of their strategies at their rststep. An inuential factor in selection
of KM strategies is measurementand identication of an organizations condition of its knowledge maturity.
Accordingly, this paper aims to select and prioritize KM strategies as proportionate with an organizations
level of maturity.
Design/methodology/approach For that, the author-constructedquestionnaire was designatedbased
on the opinions made by expertsacquainted with KM and KM strategies. According toexpertsopinions, the
paradigm for suggestion of strategies was elucidated based on KMs level of maturity. Afterwards, the
standard questionnaireknowledge navigator model was used to evaluate the organizations level of maturity,
and KM strategies for the organizationwere proposed based on identied level of maturity. Finally,proposed
KM strategieswere ranked using the fuzzy TOPSIS technique.
Findings In this study, a paradigm for selection of suitable KM strategies was proposed based on
Hansen KM strategy as per maturity level of the organizations KM. Then, knowledge conditions of a
research organization were evaluated, and, after maturity level of that organizations KM was assessed,
different criteria of Hansen KM strategy were suggested for each level independently. Research results
are indicative of the fact that the intended organization is placed at the second level of KM maturity.
Therefore, personalization strategies are proposed for this organization based on the elucidated
paradigm. Moreover, development of work communities and development of face-to-face interactions
among staff through continuous meetings were chosen as the most signicant KM strategies in this
Originality/value This paper is one of the leading studies carried out in the purview of codication of
KM strategies according to different organizationslevel of maturity. Results of this study mightbe used as
guidelinesby different organizations, academicpeople and experts intending to codify KM strategies.
Keywords Knowledge management, Fuzzy TOPSIS, KM strategy,
Maturity of knowledge management
Paper type Research paper
Level of
maturity using
fuzzy TOPSIS
Received23 December 2018
Revised2 July 2019
Accepted28 July 2019
VINEJournal of Information and
KnowledgeManagement Systems
Vol.49 No. 3, 2019
pp. 397-419
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/VJIKMS-12-2018-0131
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Knowledge is one of the most important assets owned by any organization that can bring
about that organizations stability and protability. Knowledge management (KM)
strategies specify the manner by which knowledge resources and capabilities are employed
(Choi and Lee, 2002). Therefore, identication of KM strategies by different organizationsis
important for distinguishmentpurposes.
KM strategies are associated withan organizations purposes and strategies, with which
should be aligned. This is safe to claim that the rst pace for selection of a strategy is
systematic and precise determinationof the organizations current conditions (Akhavan and
Pezeshkan, 2013). Several factors, however, are inuential in selection of proper, systemic
KM strategies, important among which being consideration of KMs maturity level.
Identication of KMs maturity level allows for codication of different KM strategies. A
clear-cut conformity is witnessed among KM strategies and KMs maturity level (Akhavan
et al., 2017).
Limited and sporadic has been the research on selection of strategies for an
organization so far. Although some studies have addressed the factors considered for
selection of suitable strategies, even a single research to evaluate impact of KMs
maturity level on selection of KM strategies could not be found (Philsoophian et al.,
Despite multiplicity of studies wishing to develop KM evaluation criteria and methods,
assessment of KM is still one of the most demandingactivities in area of KM (Jamporazmey
and Mehrafrouz, 2012). Maturity modelspermit one to evaluate current conditions and plan
for improvement of KM maturitylevel in a stage-by-stage manner. Key elements of maturity
models include maturity levels, a summary of each levels specications, and activities
related to each aspectthereof (Fraser et al.,2002):
Regardless of whether an organization is just getting started, conducting the rst
implementations of KM pilot projects, or preparing to revitalize or leverage successful KM
approaches and tools to other areas in the enterprise, it should have a road map with milestones
and checkpoints to guide its eorts (Hubert and Lemons, 2010).
Different models for determination of KM maturity level have been created (Akhavan and
Philsoophian, 2017). In thisstudy, the knowledge navigator model (KNM) has been selected
after negotiations with several KM experts and academics who have had enough
experiences in KM developmentand will be discussed later:
KNM is positioned and designed as an easily understood self-evaluation instrument and delivers
a comprehensive framework with ve maturity levels for navigating KM. These maturity levels
are clearly described and provides an algorithm-based calculation framework to accurately
determine the KM maturity level (Hsieh et al., 2009), so KNM has drawn the attention of
academics, practitioners, and organizations.
On the other hand, Hansen KM strategy is focused in this study, since it is well known in
KM area, to which several references have been made, and it is easily comprehensible by
experts. It, in addition, includes a considerable classication of humanist views versus
system-oriented approaches as related to the discrimination between implicit knowledge
and explicit knowledge(Choi and Lee, 2003).
This research undertakesto provide replies for following question:
Q. How to select KM strategies regarding to KM maturity level of the organization
under study?

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