Today’s Knowledge Economy and Firm Growth: A Study of Small to Medium Enterprises in the Manufacturing Sector of Zimbabwe

Faitira Manuere, Tendai Joseph Mabvure, Obert Sifile, Piason Viriri


Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Zimbabwe are characterized by high failure rates. This failure rate has been attributed to poor leadership, poor funding and lack of technology. The contribution of knowledge management to SMEs growth has received very little attention from researchers in Zimbabwe. Hence this study makes an effort to investigate the relationship between knowledge management models and SMEs growth. Data were collected from 32 SMEs owners in the Makonde District of Zimbabwe. Pearson’s product moment was used as a tool for data analysis. The independent variables are knowledge creation, knowledge acquisition, knowledge storage and knowledge dissemination. The dependent variable is SMEs growth. The findings show that knowledge management positively correlates to SMEs growth. To that end the study recommends that effective models of knowledge management must be used to boost the growth of SMEs in Zimbabwe.

Full Text:



Akram, K., Siddigui, S. H., Nawaz, M. A., Gauri, T. A., & Cheema, A. K. H. (2011). Role of knowledge management to bring innovation” an integrated approach. International bulletin of business administration, 4(11), 12-134.

Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. E. (1999). Issues challenges and benefits. Communications of the association for information system, 7(1), 68-72.

Barkham, R., Gudgin, G., Hart, M., & Hanvey, E. (1996). The determinants of small firm growth: An Inter-regional study in the United Kingdom. Jessica Kingsley London.

Bose, R. (2004).Knowledge management metrics. Industrial management and data systems, 1(3), 457- 468.

Carneiro, A. (2000). How does knowledge management influence innovation and competitiveness? Journal of knowledge management, 4(2), 87-98.

Chai, K., & Gregory, M. (2003). Bridging Islands of knowledge: It’s a framework of knowledge sharing mechanism. International journal of technology management, 7(3), 445-460.

Darroch, J. (2005). Knowledge management innovation and firm performance. Journal of knowledge management, 9(3), 101-115.

Davenport, T., Prusak, l. (1988). Working knowledge: How organisations manage what they know. Boston: MA Harvard business school press.

Davidson, P. (2010). Entrepreneurship and after: A study of growth willingness in small firms. Journal of business venturing, 4, 211-26.

Delmar, F., Davidson , P., & Gartner, W. (2003). Arriving at the High –growth Firm. Journal of business venturing, 18(2), 189.

Drucker, P. (1993). Post Capitalist Society, New York: Harper Business.

Gold, A. H., Malhotra, A., & Segras, A. H. (2001). Knowledge management: An Organisational capabilities perspective. Journal of Management Information Systems, 18(1), 185–214.

Howard, J. L. (2006).Small business growth: Development indicators. Academy of entrepreneurship journal, 12(1), 12-23.

Levratto, N., Tessier, L., & Zaukri, M. (2010). The determinants of growth for SMEs: A longitudinal study of French manufacturing firms.

Lin, H. (2007). A stage model of knowledge management: An empirical investigation of process and effectiveness, Journal of Information Science, 33(6), 643–659.

Nonaka , I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge- creating company. Oxford University, University Press. Oxford.

Nonaka, I., & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge creating company. How Japanese Companies create the dynamics of innovation. Oxford University Press: New York.

Parlby, D., & Taylor, R. (2000). The power of knowledge: A business guide to knowledge management. Academy of entrepreneurship journal, 12(1), 12-23.

Polanyi, M. (1958). Personal knowledge towards a post-critical philosophy. London. Routledge.

Prusak, L. (1997). Knowledge in Organizations. Boston: Butterworth Publications.

Schumpeter, J. (1934). The theory of economic development. Applied mathematics in engineering management and technology, 5(1), 68-73.

Scott, M., & Bruce, R. (1987). Five stages of growth in small business, Long Range Planning, 20(3), 45-52.

Storey, D. (1994). Understanding the small business sector, International Thompson Business Press. London.

Zack, M. (1999). Developing a Knowledge Strategy. California Management Review, 41(3), 125-145.

Zhou, K. Z., & Li, C. B. (2012). How knowledge affects radical innovation: Knowledge base, market knowledge acquisition, and internal knowledge sharing. Strategic Management Journal, 33(9), 1090-1102.


Copyright (c) 2018 Faitira Manuere, Tendai Joseph Mabvure, Obert Sifile, Piason Viriri

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104


Copyright © Macrothink Institute

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.