This dissertation examined the relationship between organizational culture and knowledge management in a manufacturing environment. The objective of this study was to determine what organizational culture type was significantly related to knowledge management in U.S. manufacturing firms. The study also explored the role of cultural strength in enabling knowledge management programs. This study used the following three research questions: (1) Is organizational culture related to knowledge management in U.S. manufacturing firms? (2) What organizational culture type relates to knowledge management in U.S. manufacturing firms? (3) Do dominant organizational culture types relate to knowledge management more than balanced culture types in U.S. manufacturing firms?
This study characterized organizational culture as clan, adhocracy, market, and hierarchy culture types (Cameron & Quinn, 2006). It described knowledge management according to six processes of the knowledge management cycle (Lawson, 2003). The researcher distributed Cameron and Quinn's (2006) OCAI and Lawson's (2002) KMAI to a sample of U.S. manufacturing firms located in Virginia ( N = 267) to assess organizational culture and knowledge management.
This study used both parametric and nonparametric testing to conduct the analysis. The results of this research suggested that organizational culture was related to knowledge management in U.S. manufacturing firms in Virginia. The Pearson productmoment correlation coefficients indicated a significant correlation between all of the organizational culture types and knowledge management. In addition, the regression model indicated that three of the four organizational culture types were significant predictors of knowledge management. Manufacturing firms that had dominant adhocracy culture types had a significantly positive and stronger relationship to knowledge management than clan, market, and hierarchy culture types did to knowledge management. Manufacturing firms that had dominant clan culture types had a significantly positive and stronger relationship to knowledge management than hierarchy culture types did to knowledge management. The standard regression analysis and Pearson correlation coefficients indicated that training and having a knowledge management program in place significantly related to knowledge management scores. Overall, the nonparametric analysis corroborated the findings of the parametric analysis.
The findings highlighted an opportunity for many manufacturers to improve their businesses by adopting a formal knowledge management program. This study recommended that managers conduct a gap analysis of their knowledge management program to identify areas in need of improvement. Managers can start a knowledge management program by implementing a small pilot project. After initial successes, they can move to larger projects. Eventually, organizations should seek to incorporate knowledge management into the strategy and culture of the organization (Davenport & Prusak, 1998).
This study provided a useful example to researchers that need to determine if two correlation coefficients are statistically different. For the parametric testing, the researcher used the Hotelling-Williams test for comparing two related Pearson correlation coefficients with a shared variable (Cramer, 1998; Steiger, 1980; Williams, 1959). For the nonparametric testing, the researcher used a Fisher's Z transformation and z-test to compare two related Spearman correlations that had a variable in common (Maier, 2009; Myers & Sirios, 2006). The researchers may choose between parametric and nonparametric methods depending on the nature of their data.
This study recommended several avenues for future research in knowledge management. One recommendation included examining organizational culture and knowledge management in different environments. Another opportunity for future research was to replicate this study while adding additional variables such as cultural congruence or organizational benefits (Chin-Loy & Mujtaba, 2007). The researcher also recommended employing qualitative methods and conducting a case analysis of a single firm. These opportunities for future research will enhance our understanding of knowledge management while promoting the knowledge management discipline.