Original Research

Examining the role of knowledge management and technology operating capabilities in the development of customer-centric organisational systems

Watson Munyanyi, David Pooe
Acta Commercii | Vol 19, No 2 | a647 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v19i2.647 | © 2019 David Pooe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2018 | Published: 30 April 2019

About the author(s)

Watson Munyanyi, Department of Banking and Finance, Greater Zimbabwe University, Masvingo, Zimbabwe
David Pooe, Department of Business Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


Orientation: Over the years technological competence and knowledge management have grown in significance in relation to strategic management of firms.

Research purpose: The aim of the study was to examine the role of knowledge management and technology operating capabilities in the development of customer-centric organisational systems for small and medium enterprises in Zimbabwe.

Motivation for the study: The dynamism in the business environment, coupled with the proliferation in technological advancements, is forcing firms to reorient themselves, especially towards customer centrism.

Research design, approach and method: Based on a cross-sectional survey conducted on 388 firms in Zimbabwe, this study sought to investigate the influence of knowledge management capabilities and technology operating capabilities on the ability of small and medium enterprises to create customer-centric organisational systems. A five-point Likert scale questionnaire was used to collect data from simple, randomly selected small firms, and structural equation modelling was used to test the direction and significance of the proposed relationships.

Main findings: The study found that there are positive relationships between the two dimensions of knowledge management capability and one technological competence dimension.

Practical/managerial implications: Because external knowledge searches have become progressively significant for small and medium enterprises to attain and maintain a competitive advantage, the study findings demonstrate that knowledge acquisition and transformation are also essential for firms to create customer-oriented organisational systems.

Contribution/value-add: The novelty in this study is that it decomposes absorptive capacity and technological competences and assesses the individual dimensions’ influence on the dependent variable, thereby enhancing exhaustive understanding while avoiding theoretical misspecifications and empirical contradictions.


knowledge management; technology operating capabilities; customer-centric organisational systems; SMEs; knowledge acquisition capability; knowledge transformation capacity


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