A Study on Individual Factors and Knowledge Management

Jader Zelaya-Zamora, Dai Senoo


A literature review reveals that despite the wide recognition that knowledge is essentially created by individuals, the impact of individual factors on knowledge creation has been poorly analyzed. It is argued that human resource management and knowledge management are intimately related: as organizational knowledge is created primarily by individuals in interaction, it is necessary to develop special human resource management strategies to boost knowledge creation processes in organizations. Two neglected human factors were analyzed: organizational commitment and trust. Based on the theoretical background, the hypotheses developed were further tested using empirical data collected from 125 research and development organizations in Japan. It was found that commitment and trust are strongly associated with knowledge management in organizations. In particular, the theory and empirical data suggest that individuals with a high level of affective commitment tend to contribute more to the knowledge management process. Although the most

important kind of commitment for knowledge creation is affective, its influence is significantly moderated by the level of cooperation and trust among organizational members. The paper concludes with a brief discussion about the implication of these findings for leadership and human resource management.


Individual Factors, Knowledge Management, Commitment, Trust, HRM

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