Leadership, Information Technology, Knowledge Management, Organizational Performance: How Are They Linked?

Mostafa-Sayyadi Leadership, Information Technology, Knowledge Management, Organizational Performance: How Are They Linked?
Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies, and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to HR.com, People + Strategy and Consulting Magazine and his work has been featured in these top-flight business publications

Introducing a New Model of that Guide Executive Action

 One tool for executives to use when considering on lessoning the gaps between success and possible failure, is to implement information technology and become a change agent. Executives can contribute to overall organizational performance through implementing information technology to increase knowledge management performance and help close the gap between success and possible failure. In doing this, executives can act as leaders who implement information technology through becoming a role model to enhance knowledge management performance.

How Leaders Manage Organizational Knowledge?

Executives as leaders enhance innovation and new idea generation through intellectual stimulation. Leaders play in developing new ideas is essential in strategic development and formulation. In doing this, leaders act as social architects who instill trust in organizations through clarifying not only their own roles and communicate them effectively but also the follower’s roles too. This way leaders can enhance knowledge acquisition and transfer. Similarly, leaders facilitate the process of knowledge acquisition from external sources. This is known as compiling data from rivals and comparing ROI and other pertinent information and then disseminating this information to employees. Executives that act as leaders enhance knowledge acquisition through facilitating knowledge transfer and simultaneously exploring more innovative solutions for organizational problems. Thus, executives that embrace leadership have a positively impact on knowledge accumulation process.

Executives that act as leaders have also found that it improves knowledge integration through facilitating knowledge sharing throughout all levels of the organization. Leaders also positively impact knowledge integration through enhancing the dynamic relationships among employees and departments, but most importantly, through satisfying customer needs and adding to financial success. Executives develop trust and form the capacity among employees to develop higher functioning relationships not at the higher echelons of the organization but between the lines of the organizational chart. Each level of the organization has the tools and techniques necessary to manage knowledge as it constantly changes and executives incorporate this knowledge into communication and change instantaneously.

Further, leaders improve networking with external sources through developing relationships and leading between the lines of the organizational chart to better meet the needs of shareholders. Leaders also inspire organizational members to network with more successful competitors by using the aspect of inspirational motivation and sharing successes to build alliances and not only enhance competition but communicate best practices as a way of keeping the highest standard of operation in the industry and being the go-to organization for successful modeling of profitability, customer service, and employee satisfaction. In doing this, executives create an inspiring view of future and motivate employees to develop relationships with external environments to identify new opportunities that occur in an ever-changing hypercompetitive marketplace.

How Leaders Implement Information Technology?

Leaders develop relationships and interactions within companies, set desired expectations and inspire followers to identify further opportunities in their business environment. When leaders view information technology as a vital important organizational resource that facilitates organizational communications and improves the search for knowledge they begin to see opportunities for successful business ventures.

Leaders spend a great deal of time conceptualizing strategic endeavors and one scholar by the name of Sebly Noseworthy affirms that the strategic role of leaders is enhanced when the implementation of information technology successfully occurs at the right time and place. Thus, leaders raise the levels of awareness on the importance of technology and empower people to improve the effectiveness of information technology implementation within organizations. Therefore, leaders positively affect information technology implementation within organizations. Thus, executives must understand that leadership can highly support information technology to successfully implement the projects of knowledge management and, therefore, remain competitive. Thus, when executives adopt leadership at the highest organizational levels to manage information technology, the organization can see increased knowledge management performance, better satisfaction by employees and customers, and most importantly enhance their own effectiveness as organizational leaders.

How Leaders Directly Support Organizational Performance?

Leaders aggregate human capital into social capital and develop organizational communications aimed at providing valuable resources for all organizational members. Thus, leaders enhance knowledge sharing among human capital and stipulate knowledge to be shared around the organization. Sharing the best practices and experiences could positively impact some non-financial aspects of firm performance such as innovation, providing learning and growth opportunities for employees. Empowered employees can enable an organization to actively respond to environmental changes and collective-interests. The key idea is to identify employee’s needs and show concern for both organizational needs and follower’s interests concurrently.

When executives show concern for the employee’s individual needs, individuals begin to contribute more commitment and they become more inspired them to put extra effort into their work. This extra effort improves the quality of products, customer satisfaction, and impacts the return on assets, sales, shareholder value, and improves operational risk management.

Leaders also inspire human capital through setting highly desired expectations. The higher level of follower expectation can enhance productivity and perhaps decrease organizational costs. Scholars agree that leaders positively affect financial and non-financial performance through improving the price of stock, decreasing costs, increasing sales, improving innovation, increasing the rate of responses to environmental changes, improving the quality of products and services, along with a stronger customer focus and developing learning opportunities for followers. Thus, leadership is positively associated with organizational performance.

How Information Technology Impacts Knowledge Management?

Information Technology is the new competitive advantage and the organizations that embrace it will survive while those that do not will find their organizations facing possible acquisition. Information technology is a resource for knowledge integration. With knowledge integration, executives can sustain current operations while preparing future endeavors. Information technology, as a competitive resource, encourages people to embark on technological facilities such as shared electronic workspaces to provide new ideas and possible solutions for solving problems. Problems that may leave an organization debunk and less competitive. The lack of innovative workplaces adversely impacts on the organization’s capability to integrate knowledge and use information technology to facilitate better knowledge integration.

Information technology, therefore, plays a critical role in integrating knowledge by executives and is also aligned with the knowledge-based view of the firm which not only builds upon the dissemination of information but also how it is restored and retrieved.

Mostafa-Sayyadi Leadership, Information Technology, Knowledge Management, Organizational Performance: How Are They Linked?
FIGURE 1. The Relationship between Leadership, Information Technology, Knowledge Management and Organizational Performance

In Conclusion

This article advances the current literature on leadership, information technology, knowledge management and organizational performance by offering novel insights into how effective leadership leads to better information technology which leads to better knowledge management and organizational performance. In fact, when executives implement information technology, they aim to generate more knowledge and create value through improved performance. Engaging in leadership can also provide executives with a high degree of freedom for subordinates to explore their own new ideas and solutions to organizational opportunities while solving problems that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making. This provides new and more innovative solutions for organizational problems and adds values to organizational performance.


Noseworthy, S. 1998. Transformational leadership and information technology: implications for secondary school Leaders. unpublished doctoral dissertation, Memorial University of Newfoundland.