Ontological Levels in the Knowledge Management Field

Autores UPV
Revista International Journal of Business


The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between knowledge and reality in the field of management, highlighting the importance of ontological support in the formation of knowledge. The empirical study establishes those ontological levels in large Spanish firms. The article underlines the importance of ontological support and of practice carried out in forming knowledge, and reviews different approaches. The empirical study identifies, via an exploratory factor analysis, the ontological supports of knowledge in large Spanish firms, going on to apply a confirmatory factor analysis that shows the fit of the factors obtained from the sample. The discussion carried out suggests the desirability of widening and deepening the ontological bases of knowledge. The empirical study identifies that, for the sample studied of large Spanish firms, individual-group ontological support of knowledge is significant, along with ontological organizational (and institutional) support of knowledge. The limitations of the article have to do with the difficulties involved in carrying out the fieldwork for the empirical research of all the relevant questions discussed in the theoretical framework. In so far as the process of the formation of knowledge resides in practice, when it has not yet become conceptual knowledge, the statistical empirical research of these questions presents a number of difficulties. This article broadens the perspective of Tsoukas and Spender, emphasizing the importance of practice and highlighting the fact that its consideration as the basis and source of knowledge requires the ontological bases to be broadened to include the physical and technological context.