Tovstiga, George, Korot, Len, Dana, Leo-Paul and McElwee, Gerard (2011) A Cross-National Comparison of Knowledge Management Practices. In: Encyclopedia of Knowledge Management, Second Edition. IGI Global, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA, pp. 163-174. ISBN 9781599049311

Entrepreneurship, supported by continual innovation, is central to those economies regions and businesses which want to maintain competitive edge (Atherton, 2006). Businesses need to develop flexible, self-adapting organization structures that evolve and grow amidst constant and unpredictable change in their markets. Many businesses have removed political, top-down, command-and-control corporate cultures substituting open, non-hierarchical, team-driven, knowledge-sharing, innovative and rapid response cultures. A distinguishing feature of the successful ‘post Network Age’ enterprise is its intrinsic entrepreneurial character that manifests itself in key organizational knowledge practices relating to organizational culture, processes, content and infrastructure. This article reports on the outcome of field research conducted in the period 1999 to 2003 in which entrepreneurial firms in four geographic regions were analyzed with the help of a diagnostic research tool specifically developed for profiling organizational knowledge-based practices. The diagnostic tool was applied in firms located in the US Silicon Valley, Singapore, the Netherlands and Israel. The article provides evidence that innovative, entrepreneurial firms, irrespective of location, tendto exhibit organizational knowledge practices, cultural beliefs, values and behavioral norms that are more akin than dissimilar, regardless of national context. Key practices common to leading-edge firms in all regions included: (1) a propensity for experimentation; (2) collective sharing of knowledge, and (3) collective decisionmaking. The paper has four aims. It describes the research in terms of a cross-cultural comparison of the four regions, it shows key determinants of competitiveness, profiles regional characteristics which enhance innovation and entrepreneurship and finally closes with a discussion on the implications of the research outcomes for entrepreneurial firms seeking to build a global presence. The rapid rate of technological change, shorter product life cycles and intense global economies has transferred the competitive position of regional economies (O, Shea, R. 2007.171). This is the subject matter of the paper.

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