KMS in a Cluster of Firms: The Role of a Digital Platform

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation book series (LNISO, volume 6)


Previous studies widely focused on the adoption and usage of Knowledge Management Systems, namely KMS, within a single organization or within supply chains providing little explanations of the relations behind knowledge sharing and transfer; yet, hitherto few studies have provided empirical results of KMS adoption within cluster of firms. The lack of such studies dealing with KMS adoption within cluster of firms and focusing on knowledge absorption motivated the study focus on how the IT-enabled knowledge capabilities affect firm innovation. To overcome this void in the literature this study presents the preliminary results of a multiple case study conducted on six SMEs within a cluster of firms adopting a digital platform, a KMS, aiming at generating innovation and internationalization opportunities. We carried out a systematic literature review over 200 articles by identifying three main research areas: knowledge management, joint activities and business value of IT. We built an a priori theoretical framework that extends the limitations of previous studies by focusing on the adoption within a cluster of firms. For scrutinizing the theoretical framework on knowledge sharing, a multiple case study approach was chosen and carried out on the six firms. The preliminary results contribute in explaining the role of digital platforms and the strength of interpersonal connections in influencing the performances improvement of the whole cluster.


Knowledge sharing Knowledge management systems Cluster of firms Absorptive capacity 


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lab#IDUniversità Carlo Cattaneo - LIUCCastellanzaItaly
  2. 2.CETICUniversità Carlo Cattaneo - LIUCCastellanzaItaly
  3. 3.DMTECETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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