The rapid growth of electronic commerce on the Internet provides a platform for organizational knowledge to be changed faster than ever. The process by which knowledge assets of an organization change over time to cope with the pressure of environmental variation is called knowledge evolution. In this paper, we adopt the strategic fit theory to examine whether different knowledge evolution strategies would affect organizational performance in different circumstances. We adopt the concept from natural evolution to define two knowledge evolution strategies: knowledge mutation that relies on internal knowledge sources and knowledge crossover that takes advantage of external sources such as online communities and professional consultants. A survey was conducted to explore the effects of different strategies on organizational performance, as measured by the balanced scorecard (BSC). The results show that knowledge mutation and crossover have impacts on different aspects of organizational performance. In addition, many industrial factors, such as environment variation, knowledge density, and organizational factors, including IT capability and sharing culture, are found to have moderating effects. The findings of this research will help organizations choose the right strategy for knowledge enhancement and light up new directions for further research.
Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 10(1), 75-84