Critical role of leadership in nurturing a knowledge-supporting culture

  • Vincent M RibièreEmail author
  • Aleša Saša Sitar


This paper addresses the critical role leadership plays in the implementation and facilitation of knowledge management activities. Leadership is particularly important for organizations willing to ‘evolve’ their culture to a knowledge-supporting culture. Organizational culture has been identified as the main impediment to knowledge activities, and therefore leaders should model the proper behaviors causing culture to evolve in a way that enables and motivates knowledge workers to create, codify, transfer, and use and leverage knowledge. In the literature this leadership behavior is referred to as ‘leading through a knowledge lens’. Leading through a knowledge lens has some special characteristics since it is dealing with knowledge workers having specialized expertise. Leading them can be done only by intellectual power, conviction, persuasion, and interactive dialog. It requires skills that build confidence and engagement. Therefore, leaders should establish trust and commitment that will help the knowledge organization to achieve its knowledge and business goals.


knowledge management organizational culture leadership organizational learning knowledge worker 


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Copyright information

© Operational Research Society 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CAP Department WashingtonAmerican University, District of ColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Faculty of Economics, University of LjubljanaKardeljeva ploščadSlovenia

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