The impact of knowledge management on SMES’ performance during the COVID-19 pandemic: Assessing the significance of digital variables

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The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of knowledge management on the performance of small and medium-sized enterprises during the COVID-19 period in Indonesia. Furthermore, the study also highlights the role of digital variables such as digital capability, digital orientation, and digital innovation as mediating variables. A total of 247 valid responses were collected for this study through the survey conducted among managers of SMEs in Indonesia. The collected data were analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling with the Partial Least Squares approach. The study’s findings revealed several significant insights. It established the positive impact of knowledge management on digital capability, digital orientation, and digital innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the study identified digital capability as a mediating factor between knowledge management and SMEs’ performance. However, the full support for the mediating roles of digital orientation and digital innovation in the relationship between knowledge management and SME performance was not confirmed, suggesting potential context-specific variations. This implies that the influence of knowledge management on SMEs’ performance is mainly channeled through digital capability. The research underscores the importance of knowledge management and digital factors in shaping SMEs’ performance, particularly in the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    • Figure 1. Structural equation model
    • Table 1. Measurement items
    • Table 2. Sample demographics
    • Table 3. Validity and reliability result
    • Table 4. R-square results
    • Table 5. Summary of path coefficient
    • Table 6. Summary of mediation effects
    • Conceptualization
      Sukisno Selamet Riadi, Rizky Yudaruddin
    • Funding acquisition
      Sukisno Selamet Riadi, Khairil Anwar
    • Methodology
      Sukisno Selamet Riadi, Rizky Yudaruddin
    • Supervision
      Sukisno Selamet Riadi, Khairil Anwar
    • Writing – review & editing
      Sukisno Selamet Riadi, Rizky Yudaruddin
    • Formal Analysis
      Pebiansyah Hapsari, Puput Wahyu Budiman, Rizky Yudaruddin
    • Investigation
      Pebiansyah Hapsari, Puput Wahyu Budiman, Rizky Yudaruddin
    • Project administration
      Pebiansyah Hapsari, Puput Wahyu Budiman, Khairil Anwar
    • Software
      Pebiansyah Hapsari, Puput Wahyu Budiman, Rizky Yudaruddin
    • Validation
      Pebiansyah Hapsari, Puput Wahyu Budiman, Khairil Anwar
    • Visualization
      Pebiansyah Hapsari, Puput Wahyu Budiman, Khairil Anwar
    • Writing – original draft
      Pebiansyah Hapsari, Puput Wahyu Budiman, Khairil Anwar
    • Data curation
      Rizky Yudaruddin
    • Resources
      Rizky Yudaruddin