Challenges and Trends of Knowledge Management in SME Enterprises in the Context of CSR

Authors

  • Dariusz Wielgórka Czestochowa University of Technology, Faculty of Management

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.34190/eckm.23.2.320

Keywords:

knowledge management, KM, SME, CSR

Abstract

Knowledge management, especially in the context of CSR, is still a new and challenging topic for Polish enterprises from the SME sector. However, the opportunities offered by the effective implementation of this process for organisations, as well as the global trend of its realisation, signal that it is worth conducting research into this phenomenon. The research objective of the article is to analyse knowledge management in the context of CSR in companies operating on the Polish market in the SME sector. The research was conducted in 2022, using the CATI method among 600 randomly selected companies from the SME sector operating on the Polish market.  Moreover, the article presents the experience of companies - leaders of responsible business, giving practical examples of actions and tools supporting knowledge management. The results of the research show, among others, that: enterprises applying CSR have more or less developed their own systems of responsible business knowledge management, however, these are often unconscious processes. Enterprises do not use (at all or insufficiently) all available resources and tools for managing CSR knowledge. Those knowledge management tools that are applied in companies are most often not verified for their effectiveness. Almost half of the surveyed companies use experiential learning (participation in specific projects) as an element of educating employees about CSR, thus not limiting themselves to education with the use of "hard" resources only. The majority of companies do not verify or evaluate in any way the knowledge of employees on CSR. Company boards are minimally involved in the process of managing CSR knowledge in the organisation. The main area of benefit from knowledge management in the context of CSR is the relationship with employees, which improves thanks to their greater involvement, loyalty and identification with the company's mission and vision. This translates into improvements in processes and activities and more effective implementation of the CSR strategy. Also important is the image aspect and a chance for greater competitiveness, built on high competences of the team. Knowledge management in the context of CSR cannot be limited solely to descriptive knowledge (knowledge describing phenomena). Implementation of a knowledge management system is undoubtedly a challenge for companies and their managers. The use of CSR concepts in knowledge management is a current trend in the development of the SME sector.

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Published

2022-08-25