An empirical investigation of factors promoting knowledge management system success



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The growing popularity of the knowledge-based theory of the firm, the view that organizational knowledge is one of the last remaining sources of long-term sustainable competitive advantage, has led to management’s growing interest in knowledge management (KM) and knowledge management systems (KMS). To date, organizations that have implemented KMS have encountered mixed results. This research contends that existing KM studies fail to give adequate consideration to the importance of KM strategies in determining critical KMS success factors. The rationale behind this research is that by properly considering the moderating effect of KM strategy on the factors that influence KMS success one can explain the success of a KMS (or lack thereof) using a greatly simplified list of success factors. This research draws on existing IS and KM frameworks, models, and literature and selects four organizational factors that are believed to be critical for the success of a KMS; this study hypothesizes which of these factors are more critical for a knowledge exploration strategy (KRS) and which of these factors are more critical for a knowledge exploitation strategy (KIS). A web-based survey utilizing existing scales, some with slight adaptations, and a newly created strategy scale was administered to test the model; 204 complete responses were collected. The results contribute to the literature by empirically confirming the hypothesized positive relationships between the identified success factors and KMS success. This research can serve as a foundation for future studies, which can help identify additional factors critical for KMS success.