Knowledge Sharing and Managing Intellectual Capital in the Times of COVID-19: Evidence from Polish Restaurant Industry
Keywords:COVID-19, intellectual capital, knowledge sharing, SME’s, hospitality industry, restaurants
Purpose: The aim of this paper is to show how restaurants in Poland managed their intellectual capital (IC) in the COVID-19 crisis and how knowledge sharing (KS) helped them to survive in those dynamically changing conditions. Methodology: The study is based on qualitative research – semi-structured interviews with a few restaurant owners and managers responsible for the business operations during the first year of COVID-19 pandemic. Findings: Research results show that one of the key factors in the restaurant survival is their IC. Proper management of this capital allowed businesses to adjust to this unprecedented situation. Dynamic and intense KS between restaurants’ owners, managers and employees fastened the process of adjustment and provided new kind of services necessary to successfully operate in the new reality. Research limitations: The paper takes into consideration only selected restaurants in the Pomeranian region in Poland. Hence, the results cannot be generalized. Practical implications: The paper shows how restaurants’ managers and owners used KS and IC management in order to adapt their business operations to the COVID-19 reality. That can be inspiring for entrepreneurs and help them fully utilize IC of their employees and coworkers, as well as discover the benefits of KS practices. The study also shows the idea of supportive restaurant community and its important role in KS. It also shows arising coopetition between businesses in order to survive violent changes in the socio-economic environment. Originality/value: The paper focuses on dealing with the COVID-19 problems in the restaurant industry from the KS and IC perspective. So far, there are few studies of this kind that take the catering sector as the main subject of the research. Findings can be helpful and valuable not only for academics, but also for entrepreneurs and managers that seek knowledge and solutions they can use in order to grow and develop their organizations in the turbulent environment.
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