The differences between large organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in terms of their characteristics and challenges, may result in different practices toward many dimensions such as managing knowledge resources. Most KM research has been conducted in large organizations and in the western context. SMEs in developing countries such as Saudi Arabia have different situations and circumstances that need further investigation. The research aimed to investigate empirically, the sources from which Saudi Arabian SMEs acquire their knowledge to operate and compete, and to explore the extent to which information technology (IT) applications are used for the purpose of knowledge acquisition. Data based on surveying 143 SMEs and interviewing 17 SMEs’ managers, shows that both internal and external knowledge sources are important to SMEs with differences in terms of variety of external sources and limitations of internal sources. Among the external sources, customers and suppliers are the most significant knowledge sources for SMEs, while employees are the main internal knowledge sources that SMEs count on. The use of IT for such purposes is quite limited among SMEs except Internet and emails which are intensively used by many SMEs.
Azyabi, Naief; Fisher, Julie; Tanner, Kerry; and Gao, Shijia, "Knowledge Sources and IT Applications among SMEs: An Empirical Investigation in Saudi Arabia" (2013). ACIS 2013 Proceedings. 37.