Knowledge management and its critical factors in social economy organizations

Leonor Cardoso*, Andreia Meireles, Carlos Ferreira Peralta

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This research aims to present and empirically validate a conceptual model for social economy organizations that includes organizational commitment, knowledge-centered culture, and training as critical variables for the success of formal and informal knowledge management practices. Design/methodology/approach: The research is a cross-sectional study and involved collection of quantitative data. The sample is made up of Portuguese organizations belonging to the social economy sector. The survey consisted of 205 employees. Path analysis was applied, using maximum-likelihood estimation procedures. Findings: Path analysis results show that the proposed model has a good fit with the data. Training and knowledge management practices are a function of knowledge-centered culture and organizational commitment. Research limitations/implications: The research is focused on social economy organizations, therefore generalization of results to other sectors must be cautious. Although a comprehensible model is presented, it does not cover an exhaustive list of critical factors for knowledge management. Additionally, this research is of a cross-sectional nature, which does not capture dynamic changes. Practical implications: The research contributes to the existing literature about the critical factors of knowledge management. Social economy organizations that are developing knowledge management practices should attend to the predominant type of organizational commitment and should base their training policies on a knowledge-centered culture. Originality/value: Empirical evidence obtained in this study will be of use not only to social economy organizations wanting to become knowledge management ones, but also to researchers wanting to develop a more comprehensive framework of factors that influence (positively or negatively) knowledge management, specifically within social economy organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-284
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Knowledge management
  • Knowledge-centered culture
  • Organizational commitment
  • Organizations
  • Path analysis
  • Portugal
  • Social economy organizations
  • Training


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