The mediating role of firm innovativeness in the relationship between knowledge sharing and customer satisfaction in SMEs
Keywords:Customer satisfaction, Knowledge sharing, Innovativeness, SMEs, Poland
Customer satisfaction, innovativeness and knowledge sharing have fundamental meaning for contemporary managers and draw the attention of both researchers and practitioners. However, the relationships between these constructs are less than evident in prior empirical research focused on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). To fulfil the research gap, this study integrates separate research streams and empirically tests the relationships between these constructs in Polish SMEs. Based on the sample of 120 firms and using PLS-PM technique, it was found that knowledge sharing and firm innovativeness are significant and positively related to customer satisfaction. Knowledge sharing and a firm’s innovativeness predict 29.9% of the variability of customer satisfaction indicators. Moreover, firm innovativeness partially mediates the relationships between knowledge sharing and customer satisfaction. This finding supports suggestion that effective knowledge sharing improves a firm’s ability to introduce new or improved products and services, which in turn increase customer satisfaction. Results of this study provide empirical evidence for the importance of knowledge sharing for firm innovativeness and customer satisfaction. The focus on SMEs in a single country, subjective nature of the data and cross-sectional design of the research are the main limitations of this study.