Caroline Kipchilim, Dr. Purity Gatobu


This study sought to examine the effect of knowledge transfer approaches on performance of agricultural SMEs in Kenya. This study was guided by the following specific objectives; to examine the effect of communities of practice on performance of agricultural SMEs in Kenya and to find out the effect of knowledge management systems on performance of agricultural SMEs in Kenya. This study was guided by social network theory and knowledge-based theory. The study used descriptive research design. The target population consisted of 347 Disadvantaged Group SMEs operating in the agricultural sector in Kenya. A sample size of 186 respondents was determined using the Yamane formula, and a simple random sampling technique was used to select the participants. Primary data was collected using a structured questionnaire with closed-ended questions. Data analysis involved both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Qualitative data from open ended questions were analyzed using content analysis and presented in prose form. Quantitative data on the other hand was analyzed using SPSS where descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation, frequencies and percentages were used. Correlation analysis was also done to test the strength and direction of linear relationship between variables. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to determine the relationships between the independent variables (knowledge transfer approaches) and the dependent variable (performance of agricultural SMEs). The findings were presented in tables and figures. The regression analysis revealed significant positive coefficients for each of the key variables studied: communities of practice (CoPs), and knowledge management systems (KMS). Specifically, the coefficient for CoPs was β = 0.292 (p < 0.05), indicating a positive impact on SME performance. Similarly, knowledge management systems exhibited a significant coefficient of β = 0.264 (p < 0.05), highlighting their positive contribution to SME performance. Based on the findings, recommendations for improving the performance of agricultural SMEs in Kenya include fostering collaboration through communities of practice and implementing effective knowledge management systems. These initiatives can promote knowledge transfer, skill development, and operational efficiency, driving sustainable growth and competitiveness in the sector.

Key Words: Knowledge Transfer Approaches, Communities of Practice, Knowledge Management Systems, Performance, Agricultural SMEs

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