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Title: Knowledge management and supportive environment : a study of food industry in Thailand
Author: Limapornvanich, Chaiyatorn
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2013
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Knowledge management (KM) is the process of manipulation of organisational knowledge. The success of KM process can return significant benefits, e.g. new opportunities, new business values or competitive advantages, to a company. As a core competitive element, knowledge forms the basis of irul0vation and the innovation process is partly about managing various knowledge components to create new knowledge, ideas and solutions, in order to deal with change. As a result, the KM. process is crucial to fostering and sustaining the innovation performance of a company. In addition, an effective KM process requires a supportive environment to facilitate knowledge activities. Two fields of study are prominent in the KM literature with regard to supportive environment, - i.e. KM enablers and KM system. Nevertheless, there is little research that consolidates these relevant aspects and the lack of empirical field data is clearly seen in theories and practices. Accordingly, this research attempts to contribute to the literature by examining the relationship between the KM process and the supportive environment. This objective encouraged the adoption of a holistic view to examine knowledge management as a complex system in order to improve understanding of the interaction between the KM process and the supportive environment. The theoretical foundation, revealed from the extensive literature and extant studies, provided a conceptual framework for an empirical investigation. The conceptual framework encompassed the relevant aspects, which are knowledge management, innovation, organisational support (KM enablers) and technological support (KM system). Following the literature review, the empirical investigation was conducted within the Thai food industry, chosen as the context of the study. As one of the most significant sectors in the world economy, the importance of knowledge management to the food industry seems to be increasing significantly. The food industry is considered a traditional sector in which food companies have to cope with various changes in technologies, market conditions, purchase behaviours and competitive environment. This makes innovation in a food company likely to be achieved through integration of internal and external knowledge resources, and effective KM process can lead a food company to improvement in innovation performance. A mixed-methodology approach was adopted for the empirical investigation in this study to facilitate a more holistic approach to the research issues involved. The empirical investigation was divided into two studies, one quantitative and one qualitative. Specifically, this included: (1) a survey of 107 Thai food companies, and (2) case studies of 21 Thai food companies. A questiom1aire was employed for the first stage to collect quantitative data from a large and diverse group of respondents. A case study approach, which involved interviewing a group of key informants selected from the Thai food industry, was adopted for the qualitative study, to provide greater insight and depth to the research. Consequently, the quantitative findings of the survey study together with the qualitative findings of the case studies provided a fuller picture of the issues being studied. The findings of the research have shown that the imp0l1ance of knowledge management is recognised in the Thai food industry and its success leads to better innovation performance. Contributions of organisational and technological supp0l1 to the KM process were revealed and emphasised by the findings. It was found that, in the Thai food industry, supp0l1 within the respective companies and technological provision created a positive relationship with the KM process. In other words, the importance of organisation infrastructure and information technology were recognised by Thai food companies as being important for ensuring that knowledge was managed effectively for innovation. Overall, the research concluded that organisational and technological support should be strategically implemented within Thai food companies with particular regard to the issues of aligning 10 business strategy, enhancing collaboration and cultivating knowledge communities which appeared to be critical components to the success of KM process in the Thai food industry
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available