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A Proposal On Knowledge Management

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Question:

Discuss about  A Proposal on Knowledge Management.

 

Answer:

Introduction:

A report is to be prepared on Knowledge Management. It is to be noted that knowledge management is to extract the optimal knowledge from the resources the organisation possesses. On the organisational front, knowledge management is very well connected with the idea of intellectual capital (Hislop, 2013). The intellectual capital consists of Human Capital, Structural Capital and Social Capital. The human capital are expressed by the level of education, skills, expertise and attitude. The structural capital consisted of brand names, system and processes and sorts of management philosophy. The social capital is concerned with the relationship of the organisation with that of its customer, partners, employees and other stakeholders (Holsapple, 2013). The subject would be well understood if cited from an organisational aspect. To do so the instance of the Central Bank of Oman would be taken. The effective handling of the knowledge management, its usage and relevance with respect to the aforesaid organisation would be discussed.

Background

Knowledge is one of the most competitive resources and is concerned with the development as well as cultivation of systems which enable a company to improve, distribute, detect as well as leverage the assets of knowledge. 21st century is the era of knowledge and in order to progress, knowledge would play an inevitable part. So applies for the organisational progress of the Central Bank of Oman, knowledge management is very much essential as it takes into account of all the relevant facts to provide an effective platform for the same. Knowledge management (KM) consists of the following steps, which are:

  • Generation of knowledge
  • Sharing knowledge
  • Adaption to knowledge
  • Application of knowledge
  • Creation of new knowledge.

It can also be viewed as a process of input and output where the individual knowledge of a person is represented as the input which is then generated, created as well as integrated within the firm whereas the           organizational knowledge represents the output (Fuller, 2012).

Apart from being just a business of money, banking is also considered to be a business of information. Due to the change in the global environment of business banks are supposed to rationalize their products along with evaluating the part played by knowledge management in the improvement in competitiveness. Management of knowledge is essential in any type of organization including the banking sector. The most significant way which can help banks to create a competitive advantage is by leveraging knowledge.

The initiatives for knowledge sharing should focus on the creation of an environment which would promote various cultural factors which incorporates the structures of communication and cohesiveness as well as professional autonomy. The creation of a work context should be emphasised by the banks which is distinguished by greater levels of organizational citizenship. This would result in the formation of mutual social relationships along with increasing the intentions of sharing knowledge. Furthermore, the inception of a knowledge sharing system is ought to aggrandize the knowledge sharing and communication at the workplace, specifically in organizations which are geographically dispersed from the technological viewpoint. Organizations should also focus on creating communities of practice within the workplace since the best way to attain knowledge sharing is through networks of humans. The employees should receive appropriate and adequate feedback from the managers regarding the attainments of the referring communities (Holsapple, 2013). The sense of self-worth of an individual is enhanced through these actions and the behaviour of knowledge sharing is also motivated. Since the capability of generating new knowledge is highly pertinent to the intellectual capital in the banking sector, the banks should connote their own resilient mechanisms for the creation of knowledge so that ability of knowledge creation is improved. The knowledge creation in banks should be aimed on the sharing and exchange of information. The usual approach which might be adopted by the bank in question may comprise of workshops and brainstorming which team oriented.  

 

Expected Deliverables:

In terms of knowledge management, the organisations like Central Bank of Oman has to deal with the deliverables of Data, Information and Knowledge. The aforesaid elements are an important part of the organisation as they are the stepping stone for the organisation which exposes them to the world wide open to the arena of the knowledge management. These three elements collaborate as a process to bring up the concept of knowledge management (Liebowitz & Frank, 2016).

Data – Data is termed as the unprocessed facts which are very much required to create for an information (Hislop, 2013). It is the distinct information that needs to be structured in a special way which could be used by the organisation to serve its purpose. In the current scenario, data is stored in the software and programmed to make better use of it. Likewise the Central Bank of Oman has a wide set of diverse data which the organisation process to gain the right information.

Information – Information is the message which is derived by the interpretation of the data processed by the system (Holsapple, 2013). Information is a valuable resource as it influences the behaviour, decision or an upshot. The main purpose of information is to make for a change, so the change as happens create a value for the organisation. So if the information does not bring any change in the organisational scope, it is considered as valueless. For instance, OMR1000 was granted as a loan amount at an interest rate of 5% by the Central Bank of Oman. This statement gives the information that OMR1000 is the principal amount and 5% is the interest to be charged on the loan amount. 

Knowledge–Knowledge is to be derived from the information, the way it was derived from the data (Fuller, 2012). It is the fact or information or skill that is to be attained either through learnings or experience. It apparently contributes to the theoretical or practical understanding of the business. In short, knowledge stands to create for an awareness. Again, it is the knowledge that Central Bank of Oman is granting loan against an interest.

Potential Risk:

Knowledge management could pose problem to an organisation. Though the concept is utterly helpful to the organisation still it could be problematic as it might happen that the employees could not be ready to handle the data effectively and might stay away from it. This is because it needs the staff to upgrade their knowledge and for that they need to undergo rigorous training as required by the organisation. This kind of situation could be found everywhere. This problem is quite evident in case of a financial organisation like that of the Central Bank of Oman. This is because owing to a dynamic business situation, the financial market and mechanism are up for change at any moment. So the bankers has to keep them abreast with the latest information and knowledge to give their customers the best of service (Hislop, 2013).

It is the situation where the employees does not seem to upgrade their knowledge or skills. But the same is quite important for the organisation to implement for its growth and to do so it needs the employees to be skilled of the latest technology or knowledge as the situation demands for. So the continuous updating of knowledge is a big challenge that the Central Bank of Oman counter.

Approach to the Solution:

Knowledge management should make for an initiative on its part to make the organisation and its people come together for a greater good. It is the systematic management of the knowledge of the firm taking into stride the importance of the assets in order to create a value. This is being done to meet the strategic and tactic needs of the organisation. Knowledge management could be a complex scenario but in order to make it acceptable, Central Bank of Oman should make it innovative and easily understandable (Fuller, 2012). It would help the organisational staffs to counter the issue of increasing domain convolution, growing market instability, exaggerated speed to get responses and declining individual experience. Knowledge management is the need of the day and in an emerging economy like Oman, it needs to be given due importance. This is because it is the tool which would give boost to the organisation of the Central Bank of Oman to have a glorious run to its path of progress. 

The primary aim of knowledge management is to facilitate the operational and functional activities within the organization and in this case the primary importance for the bank would be the implementation of appropriate Knowledge management system structure that would help in eliminating the conflicts as better management framework will be developed (Haines, 2016). It is imperative to develop cultural construction that would help in motivating individuals. There are various initiatives has been undertaken in this context and they are as follows-

 

Managing domain convolution

Domain convolutionmanagement is oneof the most emerging issues that has to be carried out with the helpof appropriate techniques and modern technologicalapplications that would help in serving thebest possible functional activities within the organization.

Economic instability

This refers to the presence of excessive fluctuations in the macro economy due to unemployment rates, inflation, rising prices and consumer confidence issues. It affects the ability of a business to survive along with affecting hugely the cost of living as well as financial, emotional and physical well-being of the consumers and families.

Framework and hypothesis of study

Framework and hypothesis of study

System quality

This refers to the effectiveness, speed, ease and completeness of the function of storage of knowledge management system. In a qualitative study, it has been found that ease of storage encourages people in contributing their knowledge.

Hypothesis: the sharing of knowledge to a repository knowledge management system improves with the improvement in the system quality.

Service quality

The assessment of service quality is done by 5 characteristics: empathy, assurance, responsiveness, training and reliability. It is a significant criterion for the effective deployment of KM system.

Hypothesis: the knowledge sharing is improved by a greater service quality to a repository KM system.

Management support

It signifies the clarification of importance, vision and goals of KMS as well as providing encouragement to the end-users. The acknowledgement and open approval of knowledge exchange by the management diminishes the fear of the individual experts that they would lose their value. Moreover, when employees are provided with the time for knowledge sharing they are encouraged to put effort in it. Management support is extremely crucial to endorse knowledge management along with changing the attitudes of the employees (Haines, 2016). In the Arab culture, managers are considered to be high authority therefore, when they support KMS it instantly boosts the confidence of the employees to share their knowledge.

Hypothesis: the knowledge sharing is improved by a greater management support to a repository KM system.

Rewards policy

Rewards are incentives which might be non-trivial or non-monetary. This is a vital factor since the depth and range of a project in KMS is based on the employee participation for creating and codifying their knowledge for the use of others. Rewards does influences the participants to gather the required knowledge and implement the same in the organisational scope to create for a mutual growth. So by setting a reward policy the organisation could influence its staff to participate in the training and from the staffs’ side, the rewarding system is a motivational factor which they accept wholeheartedly.  

Hypothesis: the knowledge sharing is improved by aneffectiverewards policy to a repository KM system.

 

Peers trustworthiness

Trust can be described as a set of mutual expectations which are shared by people who are involved in exchange and collaboration. In the context of sharing of knowledge, trust refers to the trustworthiness of the utilizers of knowledge. If the sellers of knowledge are not being paid enough credit by the buyers, the sellers do not get anything. Hence, peers trustworthiness diminishes the fears of the owners and motivates them to share.

Hypothesis: the knowledge sharing is improved by peers’ trustworthiness to a repository KM system.

Individual benefits

There are various benefits which might be gained by individuals from the contribution of their knowledge to a repository KM system. These benefits are associated with benefits which are tangible such as promotions or increment in long term salary or intangible ones such as performance benefits, autonomy and reputation (Hislop, 2013). By having the requisite knowledge they could be an important asset for the organisation as human resources are the most important resource in the organisational front. So this aspect of the KM should be highlighted to the staff to be a part of the mechanism.

Hypothesis: the individual benefits are higher when the knowledge sharing to a repository KM system is higher.

Literature review

Knowledge sharing process

Knowledge sharing process one of the most effective approach that helps in delivering knowledge and guidance to the other employees with the supervision from the primary leaders. With the help of this particular process the available knowledge is shared throughout the member to execute a particular activity in an innovative way that brings several advantages to the organization and also increase the overall reliability. In the word of (), knowledge sharing through repository KMS is primarily referred to a codification and storage process. In this particular case, the repository KMS can be implanted by the manager as it involves data management along with domain facilitation. On the other hand, it will also help in protecting the significant data because in banking sector the data protection is one of the most significant initiatives that have to be done in way that would provide the best system defence. Repository KMS is a traditional process that involve a network model which helps in synchronising all the activities. This particular approach also provides a major support to the organization by delivering organizational memory (OM) that provide articulate knowledge to the organizational members regarding the operational and functional activities and better execution took place. Thu, OM is a remarkable conflict solution process which provides a major platform to the organization members to reapply the workplace knowledge and enlarge the knowledge sharing. The transmission of cultural routines results in adaptation and familiarity of the individual employees within this change management process as it is a major aspects to maintain the quality of service as well as security and safety of data (Haines, 2016). Repository KMS is entirely dependent upon the amount and quality of knowledge which is being structured within the system and there are several social inhibitors are present that provide critical significance to the system.

Determinants of knowledge sharing

It is evident from various knowledge management studies that the deployment of the concept of knowledge management in a particular organization depends upon several activities and factors which include various social and technical factors that provide critical impact to the knowledge sharing behaviour. Most importantly, the reliable working culture development should be the prime importance that would help in better working framework development along with the effective implementation of knowledge management process. DeLone and Mclean’s provide an innovative model in the years of 2003 which is regarded as IS success model. There are some technical factors that may provide critical impact to the information quality, system quality and service quality. However, the organizational culture has to be more reliable and familiar with professional working condition that would helps in better knowledge and data management. Organization culture can be regarded as the combination of value, beliefs and practices that would help in achieving the best possible productivity of the organizations. Motivation is one of the most significant factors that provide crucial impact to the internal stakeholders significantly to the employees because their contribution and hard out make ach of company’s goals successful (Liebowitz & Frank, 2016). According to Herzberg two factors theory motivational factors helps in better knowledge sharing and, thus, motivational theory implementation along with the knowledge management process would be the most suitable way for the manager particularly in banking sector to maintain the reliable working culture along with enhanced productivity.    Therefore, the appropriate management should be carried out according to the need of the organization and the conflicts of knowledge management play a crucial role in streamlining of organizational activities.     

 

Barriers to Knowledge Management within Arab Countries

The primary reason which has proved as a hindrance in the revelation of knowledge and communication is culture. The main reasons for the deficiency of KM are as follows:

Differences in culture and beliefs between the western and Arab nations.

The rate of illiteracy is high among the population

The availability as well as dependability of technology and communication networks is poor and the investment in R&D is lacking.

Several political factors such as quitting the country by political dissenters take their knowledge away with them which gives rise to the phenomenon of brain drain.

The shortage of skills which is recently being faced in the Arab regions can be regarded to be a prime factor in the lack of successful implementation of knowledge management as many of the employees are not sufficiently trained to effectively implement the practices of knowledge management.

In addition to this, differences in culture which are relevant to trust prove that with the context of the Arabian world, knowledge sharing can only be done with individuals by the managers with whom they have established a strong relationship which is based on trust and confidence. The accentuation on personal relationships might prove to be a key obstacle in the formal sharing of knowledge within the organizations. 

According to the American Productivity and Quality Centre (APQC) 6 emerging strategies for knowledge management have been identified which have been noted down below:

Knowledge strategy as business strategy

Here knowledge is treated as the product and the strategy is comprehensive and runs throughout the enterprise.

Intellectual asset management strategy

Here the assets of the company are either exploited or enhanced.

Personal knowledge asset responsibility strategy

Employees should be encouraged and assisted to develop as well as share their knowledge and skills.

Knowledge creation strategy

R&D should be used to accentuate the innovation as well as creation of the new knowledge.

Knowledge transfer strategy

In order to improve the efficiency and quality of the operations best practices and knowledge should be transferred.

Customer focused knowledge strategy

This focuses on understanding the needs of the customers better.

Systems Thinking:

System thinking is the understanding of the system which studies the connexions and communications between the machineries comprising of the entire defined system (Haines, 2016). The concept of systems thinking is concerned with the thought of how well integrated are the systems and in case of any sort of failure how it could be traced and made up for it. This approach would be very relevant to counter the issues as come across for the Central Bank of Oman (Liebowitz & Frank, 2016). The banking system is an integrated process and the components associated could point out the particular lacking in any case if faced by the organisation.

Gant chart

Knowledge Management Major Activities 

Start Time

End Time

Duration (days)

Problem Identification

25.06.2016

26.06.2016

1 day

Potential risk identification

27.06.2016

29.06.2016

3 days

Project development Planning

30.06.2016

2.07.2016

3 days

Preliminary development phrase

3.07.2016

6.07.2016

 4 days

Approach to the solution

7.07.2016

9.07.2016

3 days

Managing domain convolution

 

10.07.2016

11.07.2016

2 days

Economic instability management

 

12.07.2016

14.07.2016

3 days

System quality management initiatives

15.07.2016

17.07.2016

3 days

Service quality assessment

18.07.2016

20.07.2016

3 days

Management support development

21.07.2016

23.07.2016

3 days

Finalising the project

24.07.2016

25.07.2016

2 days

Recommendation:

The situation erupting out of the effective handling of the knowledge management could be done with the initiation of a suitable approach to it. The strategic competitiveness of the knowledge management calls in for the implementation of the systems thinking.It could be applied on the organisational scope of Central Bank of Oman to get the matter rightly settled. It would point out the failure that a particular component might lead to and work out a solution for it.

 

References

Fuller, S., 2012. Knowledge management foundations. London: Routledge.

Haines, S., 2016. The systems thinking approach to strategic planning and management. London: CRC Press.

Hislop, D., 2013. Knowledge management in organizations: A critical introduction. London: Oxford University Press.

Holsapple, C. (., 2013. Handbook on knowledge management 1: Knowledge matters. Vol. 1 ed. London: Springer Science & Business Media.

Liebowitz, J. & Frank, M. (., 2016. Knowledge management and e-learning. London: CRC press.
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