Purpose – The main purpose of this study is to craft and test a framework for the link between knowledge management (KM) and performance in organizations, with a view of providing a deeper understanding of the different KM output levels or stages that this link goes through, as well as highlighting the organizational context of each level in that link.
Design/methodology/approach – A survey method has been used to elicit opinions from 167 mid and top level managers from the top 81 Bahraini businesses.
Findings – The study results produced a fishbone model. Its spine positioned ‘knowledge management activities’ as the first output level, leading to ‘innovation’ as the second, which in turn impacts the organization’s level of ‘agility’, and finally links to ‘performance’ as the head of that skeletal model.
Research limitations/implications – The results highlighted the different organizational enablers for these stages, which have been diagramed as the ribs of the fish skeleton-like model.
Originality/value – The framework may become a standard model, i.e. may work as a reference for academics and practitioners to help evaluate which KM level needs to be emphasized, at what time, and then what critical factors managers should work on, in order to maximize the organization’s outcome from each stage of the model.
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