I. P. W. Sirinaga, Ali Khatibi, S. M. Ferdous Azam


The main purpose of the study is to see whether three is a relationship between knowledge development (KD) and knowledge retention (KR) on the performance of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (SMEs) and also to understand which factor has a significant effect on the performance of the SMEs. The data was collected from the owners of export-oriented apparel SMEs through a self-administrated questionnaire and used SPSS 21 version to analyze the data statistically. The results suggested that KD and KR have a positive significant relationship with the performance of SMEs, jointly. In the individual effect, the KR is the most influential factor on the performance of SMEs. The findings further reveal that apparel SMEs are practicing KD and KR strategies at the work place at average level.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



knowledge development, knowledge retention, performance of SMEs

Full Text:



Aguenza, B. B., & Som, A. P. M. (2018). Motivational factors of employee retention and engagement in organizations. IJAME.

Amarathunge, B. B. (2016). Determinants of Intention to Leave among Operational Level Employees: A Study at a Leading Apparel Manufacturing Company in Sri Lanka. In Proceedings of International HR Conference (Vol. 3, No. 1).

Andronikou, D. (2018). The Challenge of Knowledge Management in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs): Subjective, Social and Political Dimensions (Doctoral dissertation, School of Management).

Asrar-ul-Haq, M., & Anwar, S. (2016). A systematic review of knowledge management and knowledge sharing: Trends, issues, and challenges. Cogent Business & Management, 3(1), 1127744.

Barney, J. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of management, 17(1), 99-120.

Bojica, A. M., Estrada, I., & del Mar Fuentes‐Fuentes, M. (2018). In good company: when small and medium‐sized enterprises acquire multiplex knowledge from key commercial partners. Journal of Small Business Management, 56(2), 294-311.

Bolisani, E., & Bratianu, C. (2018). The emergence of knowledge management. In Emergent knowledge strategies (pp. 23-47). Springer, Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Bratianu, C., & Bejinaru, R. (2019). The Theory of Knowledge Fields: A Thermodynamics Approach. Systems, 7(2), 20.

Buers, C., Karpinska, K., & Schippers, J. (2018). Managers’ retention decisions regarding young intermediate-level educated employees. International Journal of Manpower, 39(2), 254-268.

Caroline Martins, E., & Meyer, H. W. (2012). Organizational and behavioral factors that influence knowledge retention. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(1), 77-96.

Centobelli, P., Cerchione, R., & Esposito, E. (2019). Efficiency and effectiveness of knowledge management systems in SMEs. Production Planning & Control, 1-13

Cerchione, R., Esposito, E., & Spadaro, M. (2015). The spread of knowledge management in SMEs: A scenario in evolution. Sustainability, 7(8), 10210-10232.

Chan, A. L. J. (2019). The emergence of the knowledge economy and the changing role of translators as knowledge brokers: a case of the sharing economy in China. The Translator, 1-13. companies. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 31(2), 125-139.

Cronbach, L. J. (1951). Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. Psychometrika, 16(3), 297-334.

Dhewanto, W., Herliana, S., Lantu, D. C., & Lawiyah, N. (2018). Internal factors that affect SMEs to export: A case study of Footwear Cluster. In MATEC Web of Conferences (Vol. 215, p. 02007). EDP Sciences.

Durst, S. (2019). Course: Knowledge Management.

Durst, S., & Bruns, G. (2018). Knowledge Management in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. In the Palgrave Handbook of Knowledge Management (pp. 495-514). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Durst, S., & Ferenhof, H. (2014). Knowledge leakages and ways to reduce them in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Information, 5(3), 440-450.

Durst, S., & Leyer, M. (2014). How can SMEs assess the risk of organizational knowledge? In LWA (pp. 299-309).

Durst, S., & Runar Edvardsson, I. (2012). Knowledge management in SMEs: a literature review. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(6), 879-903.

Durst, S., Bruns, G., & Edwardson, I. R. (2018). Knowledge Retention in Smaller Firms. In Contemporary Knowledge and Systems Science (pp. 100-119). IGI Global.

Ferreras-Méndez, J. L., Fernández-Mesa, A., & Alegre, J. (2019). Export Performance in SMEs: The Importance of External Knowledge Search Strategies and Absorptive Capacity. Management International Review, 1-25.

Garcia, O. P., & Coltre, S. M. (2017). Knowledge Management as a Determining Factor in the Retention of Professionals in the Industry: A Case Study in an Organization in the Furniture Industry. Brazilian Business Review (English Edition), 14(2).

Gourova, E. (2010, September). Knowledge management strategy for Small and Medium Enterprises. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Applied Computer Science (pp. 639-648).

Grant, R. M. (1991). The resource-based theory of competitive advantage: implications for strategy formulation. California management review, 33(3), 114-135.

Grant, R. M. (1996). Toward a knowledge‐based theory of the firm. Strategic management journal, 17(S2), 109-122.

Grant, R. M. (1996). Toward a knowledge‐based theory of the firm. Strategic management journal, 17(S2), 109-122.

Hancock, P., Carastathis, G., Georgiou, J., & Oliveira, M. (2015). Female workers in textile and garment sectors in Sri Lankan Export Processing Zones (EPZs): gender dimensions and working conditions. Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences, 38(1), 63-77.

Handzic, M. (2006). Knowledge management in SMEs. CACCI Journal, 1, 1-

Hassan, N., & Raziq, A. (2019). Effects of knowledge management practices on innovation in SMEs. Management Science Letters, 9(7), 997-1008.

Iazzolino, G., & Laise, D. (2018). Knowledge worker productivity: is it really impossible to measure it?. Measuring Business Excellence, 22(4), 346-361.

Jayawickrama, U., Liu, S., Hudson Smith, M., Akhtar, P., & Al Bashir, M. (2019). Knowledge retention in ERP implementations: the context of UK SMEs. Production Planning & Control, 30(10-12), 1032-1047.

Kelegama, S. (2009). Ready-made garment exports from Sri Lanka. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 39(4), 579-596.

Koenig, M. E. (2012). What is KM? Knowledge management explained. KMWorld. Inf. Today, Inc, 4.

Kottawatta, K. H. H. (2011). Impact of Attitudinal Factors on Job Performance of Executives and Non-Executive Employees in Apparel Industry in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Journal of Human Resource Management, 1(1).

Kuppusamy, D., & Ramanigopal, C. S. (2017). A Study on Status of Employee Awareness on Knowledge Management in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) in Tamilnadu. International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (IRJET), 4(4).

Lejpras, A. (2019). Determinants of export performance: differences between service and manufacturing SMEs. Service Business, 13(1), 171-198.

Liebeskind, J. P. (1996). Knowledge, strategy, and the theory of the firm. Strategic management journal, 17(S2), 93-107.

Lopez-Acevedo, G., & Robertson, R. (Eds.). (2016). Stitches to riches? Apparel employment, trade, and economic development in South Asia. The World Bank.

Madurawala, S. (2017). Dwindling Stitching Hands- Labor Shortages in Apparel Industry in Sri Lanka. Daily Mirror (e-edition). Retrieved from

McKelvie, A., Wiklund, J., & Brattström, A. (2018). Externally acquired or internally generated? Knowledge development and perceived environmental dynamism in new venture innovation. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 42(1), 24-46.

Mishra, N. (2019). Knowledge management practice for effective operations in SMEs. Production Planning & Control: The Management of Operations Journal. 10(12). 795-798.

Mukherjee, S., & Kumta, G. A. (2016). Knowledge management in Indian SMEs: tool for sustainability. International Journal of Process Management and Benchmarking, 6(4), 491-511.

Naidoo, V., & Igbinakhase, I. (2018). Opportunities and Challenges of Knowledge Retention in SMEs. In Knowledge Integration Strategies for Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (pp. 70-94). IGI Global.

Narayanasamy, K., & Shetty, M. V. (2008). The role of centralized knowledge development centre for success of SME sector. Communications of the IBIMA, 2(28), 201-216.

Ngah¹, R., & Ibrahim, A. R. (2010). The effect of knowledge sharing on organizational performance in small and medium enterprises.

Omerzel, D. G. (2010). The impact of knowledge management on SME growth and profitability: A structural equation modelling study. African journal of business management, 4(16), 3417-3432.

Pacheco, L. M. (2019). Internationalization effects on performance: the case of the Portuguese textile and apparel SMEs.

Park, C., McQuaid, R., Lee, J., Kim, S., & Lee, I. (2019). The Impact of Job Retention on Continuous Growth of Engineering and Informational Technology SMEs in South Korea. Sustainability, 11(18), 5005.The Impact of Job Retention on Continuous Growth of Engineering and Informational Technology SMEs in South Korea. Sustainability, 11(18), 5005.

Peterson, R. A. (1994). A meta-analysis of Cronbach's coefficient alpha. Journal of consumer research, 21(2), 381-391.

Petrov, V., Ćelić, Đ., Uzelac, Z., & Drašković, Z. (2019). Three pillars of knowledge management in SMEs: evidence from Serbia. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 1-22.

Probst, G. J. (1998). Practical knowledge management: A model that works. Prism-Cambridge Massachusetts-, 17-30.

Ranasinghe, A., Madurawala, S., Su, J. J., & Senadeera, T. (2016). An empirical investigation of labor shortage in the manufacturing sector in Sri Lanka (No. economics: 201605).

Ranasinghe, A., Madurawala, S., Su. J. J., Senadeera T., (2017). An Empirical Investigation of Labor Shortages in the Manufacturing Sector in Sri Lanka. Economics and Business Statistics. ISSN 1837-7750

Rua, O. L., Ortiz, R. F., França, A., & San Emeterio, M. C. (2018, June). Intangible Resources, Absorptive Capabilities, Innovation and Export Performance: Exploring the Linkage. In International Conference on Innovation, Engineering and Entrepreneurship (pp. 963-970). Springer, Cham.

Sanda, A., & Ntsiful, A. (2013). Dynamics of Employee Retention Among SMEs in a Developing Economy. ECENT Advances in Business Administration, Marketing and Economics, 119-126.

Saqib, M., Udin, Z. M., & Baluch, N. (2017). The impact of knowledge management on organizational performance in today’s economy. South East Journal of Contemporary Business, Economics and Law, 12(3).

Shafiullah, M., & Navaratnam, R. (2016). Do Bangladesh and Sri Lanka Enjoy Export-Led Growth? A Comparison of Two Small South Asian Economies. South Asia Economic Journal, 17(1), 114-132.

Song, H., Lu, Q., Yu, K., & Qian, C. (2019). How do knowledge spillover and access in supply chain network enhance SMEs’ credit quality? Industrial Management & Data Systems, 119(2), 274-291.

Spender, J. C., & Grant, R. M. (1996). Knowledge and the firm: overview. Strategic management journal, 17(S2), 5-9. “

Wernerfelt, B. (1984). A resource‐based view of the firm. Strategic management journal, 5(2), 171-180.

Xue, C. T. S. (2017). A Literature Review on Knowledge Management in Organizations. Research in Business and Management, 4(1), 30-41.

Zheng, T. (2017). A literature review on knowledge sharing. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 5(03), 51.


Copyright (c) 2019 I. P. W. Sirinaga, Ali Khatibi, S. M. Ferdous Azam

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The research works published in this journal are free to be accessed. They can be shared (copied and redistributed in any medium or format) and\or adapted (remixed, transformed, and built upon the material for any purpose, commercially and\or not commercially) under the following terms: attribution (appropriate credit must be given indicating original authors, research work name and publication name mentioning if changes were made) and without adding additional restrictions (without restricting others from doing anything the actual license permits). Authors retain the full copyright of their published research works and cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the license terms are followed.

Copyright © 2016 - 2023. European Journal Of Social Sciences Studies (ISSN 2501-8590) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library. All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and standards formulated by Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and  Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyrights of the published research works are retained by authors.


Hit counter