Leadership Styles and Knowledge Management Strategy in Malaysian SMEs

Sivachandran Narayanan, Devika Nadarajah, Sultan Adal Mehmood, Nur Farhana Abdullah

Abstract


This conceptual paper aims to explore the link between leadership styles and SMEs’ knowledge management strategy. While previous studies have explored different leadership styles’ impacts on knowledge management strategy, they have not illuminated ‘why’ a specific style is more effective. Therefore, this paper fills the gap in the literature by answering two questions: (1) What leadership style is apt to promote knowledge management strategy within SMEs? and (2) Why is the particular leadership style appropriate in SMEs? This paper reviews research related transformational, transactional, servant, paternalistic, facilitative and collaborative leadership, and concludes that transformational leadership is imperative for Malaysian SMEs’ knowledge management. The key implications of this paper are: (1) it sheds light on leadership and knowledge management in SMEs in particular, and (2) it posits transformational leadership as the most appropriate style for knowledge management strategy in Malaysian SMEs.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/bms.v11i1.16783

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