African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4190

Full Length Research Paper

The role of knowledge and knowledge management in sustaining competitive advantage within organizations: A review

Omar R. Mahdi1*, Mahmoud Khalid Almsafir1 and Liu Yao2
  1College of Business Management and Accounting, Tenaga Nasional University (UNITEN), Muadzam Shah, Malaysia. 2Faculty of Technology Management, University Malaysia Pahang, Kuantan 26300, Malaysia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 01 August 2011
  •  Published: 07 October 2011



The utilization of knowledge and knowledge management (KM) is being highly considered as an organizational capability and a potential source of sustainable competitive advantage (SCA). This paper aims at figuring out the roles of knowledge and knowledge management in achieving SCA within organizations. Assuming knowledge and KM practice as strategic and tactical element respectively, a systematic literature review is carried out from definitions, derivations to interrelations, covering both traditional and contemporary theoretical studies. Through comparison and summarization, it is found that knowledge and knowledge management potentially affects the process of SCA from different aspects. And it suggests that firms re-bundle strategic knowledge from various types and transform it by using knowledge management in order to sustain competitive advantage under today’s new business environment characterized by dynamic, discontinuous and radical pace of change.


Key words: Knowledge, knowledge management, sustainable competitive advantage (SCA), review.