Knowledge Management Critical Success Factors and the Innovativeness of KIBS Companies

  • Malgorzata Zieba Gdansk University of Technology, Poland
  • Krzysztof Zieba Gdansk University of Technology, Poland
Keywords: Innovativeness, Knowledge management, Knowledge-intensive business services, Small to medium-sized enterprises, Critical success factors


The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of two critical success factors for knowledge management (i.e. leadership and support by the management, motivational practices) on the innovativeness of knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) companies in the SMEs sector. A sample of 400 companies (KIBS SMEs) located in the Pomeranian District in Poland was selected. The questionnaire was designed to measure knowledge creation and knowledge sharing, team working, professional development and innovation performance. The findings indicate that companies with stronger leadership and support by the management and which employ motivational practices are more innovative than their competitors. This paper provides evidence of the significance of the critical success factors selected for KM in innovation processes. The research opens up the discussion on the relationship between KM critical success factors and company innovativeness. On the basis of the findings, managers in KIBS companies would do well to pay attention to managerial practices which foster the knowledge and professional development of employees, as these practices influence a company’s innovativeness. For academics, this paper sketches out fields for further research in this area to be conducted in other countries and sectors.


Author Biographies

Malgorzata Zieba, Gdansk University of Technology, Poland

Malgorzata Zieba, PhD, Eng.  is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Management and Economics of Gdansk University of Technology, Poland. She has taken part in several national and international projects. Her scientific interests oscillate around knowledge and innovation management and modern concepts of management in organizations. She has a record of around 30 publications in these areas.

Krzysztof Zieba, Gdansk University of Technology, Poland

Krzysztof Zieba, PhD, Eng. is an assistant professor in the Department of Business and Economic Law at the Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdansk University of Technology. He is also a member of the research team carrying out Pomeranian Economic Observatory. His research interests concentrate on entrepreneurship and the functioning of the SME sector. He has a record of around 40 publications in these areas.