In this article, prof Jiming Wu of the College of Business and Economics at California State University, East Bay, describes a study of the comparative performance of firms with and without KM.
Although Prof Wu takes a very "IT systems" view of KM (probably typical of the US West Coast view), his conclusions are reassuring to those of us who make a living selling KM.
"We studied the financial performance of 62 firms in reaching our conclusions. Half the firms were deemed to have superior KM because they were better at mobilizing and applying their resources to problems and they resolved issues more quickly than other firms. On average, the superior KM firms were 5 percent better in four key categories: return on assets, return on sales, operating income to assets and operating income to sales. Not only were the superior KM firms more profitable, they garnered more income from each dollar of their assets".