KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN LOW TECH LABOR INTENSIVE MANUFACTURING: A STUDY ON APPAREL MANUFACTURING
Knowledge Management (KM) has become a widely addressed topic in the high tech industries even though it has not got much interest in low tech labor intensive industries. This paper studies how knowledge management is used in low tech labor intensive industries. Knowledge management practices of two reputed apparel companies were examined to understand how KM can be implemented in apparel manufacturing. The study examines how following aspects of knowledge management are used in the case companies: knowledge infrastructure, knowledge creation, knowledge storing, and knowledge sharing. The information obtained through the in-depth interviews and secondary data analysis shows that knowledge management (KM) practices are employed in many areas of manufacturing even though there are no dedicated knowledge management programs. The study reveals that these KM practices help to enhance the performance of the organizations. Even though the companies use many KM practices in apparel manufacturing there are many opportunities for further expansion of the KM practices.
Key words: Knowledge Management, Apparel Manufacturing, Performance Improvement
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