The reported study paper has been evaluated to resolve the latest issue of strategic knowledge management within the human resources in Snapshot Industries. Notably, the change in leadership has made a massive difference in the management of Snapshot Industries. The main aim of the reported study is to identify how better knowledge management can be introduced at all level of the company reducing the issues such as employee turnover, employee burnout, major production related challenges, and absenteeism, etc (Debowski, 2006). In the context of the case study, the background of the organisation must be described to understand what are the leading challenges associated with the business of Snapshot Industries.
Snapshot Industries is a commercial product manufacturing firm that deals in gardening and kitchenware. Under the eminent leadership of Sam, the organisation has been developed with a stronghold of tradition leading to business sustainability and employee engagement. The strong leadership of Sam has introduced a high standard of employee loyalty as ninety-five percent of the employees have been working with Snapshot Industries since the previous twenty years. However, after the death of Sam, his grandson Jim has overtaken the business responsibility. Due to the change in leadership, the tradition and culture of Snapshot Industries have been disrupted as Jim has introduced new business frameworks and service areas. Therefore, collaboration within the staff members has been come out as one of the biggest challenges to deal with by the management. Hence, Snapshot Industries has to deal with inconsistent systems, product line issues, and lack of communication in sharing information.
In the modern business environment, knowledge management is considered as a process of converting the available data into understandable information. On the other hand, knowledge management is a much broader concept than just sharing knowledge and information among the workers. KM is a process of managing the experienced workers and motivating them to work by putting their best efforts in the job (Ermine, 2013). Knowledge management has four major processes that are discussed herein below:
Figure: Knowledge Management Process
Source: (Al-Hawamdeh, Start and Barachini, 2016)
According to the above figure, the first step is to identify the sources of knowledge. The second step is to capture the knowledge from different sources. The third step is to organise the knowledge into communicable information (Al-Hawamdeh, Start and Barachini, 2016). Finally, the last step is to disseminate or spread the knowledge among the new and existing members of the organisation. In the case of Snapshot Industries, the employment of the new workers led to an organisational culture that is not collaborative one to share knowledge. The new policies of the Jim were unable to implement a corporate culture in the organisation that would promote sharing of knowledge (Tiwana, 2013). The new management policy did not have any benefits for the older employees that made them restrict the change. On the other hand, the unwillingness of the old staffs to share knowledge became a major challenge for the management of the company. Furthermore, the management faced difficulty in locating the source of expertise for the new staffs (Debowski, 2006). Moreover, the management lack proper documentation of the transfer of tacit knowledge became another primary challenge for the company. Hence, the management failed to implement an adequate model for the knowledge management that makes the experts see the problems as one linked to knowledge management.
The current circumstances of Snapshot Industries have involved substantial types of knowledge within the human resource management of the company. Under the leadership of Sam, Snapshot Industries has developed a workforce that has the experience of the market condition as well as a production line (Reddy, 2015). Precisely, the expertise of the old employees can be identified as one of the most comprehensive knowledge available to Snapshot Industries. In the existing business scenario, Jim has tried to introduce the modern technologies too quickly within the functions of the management. As a result of the scenario, the lack of training and induction programme has affected in an adverse way (Debowski, 2006). On the other hand, the predictability of the tasks and routine work schedule can be recognised as another substantial knowledge among the employees of Snapshot Industries. Also, the change in leadership has introduced the computerised system in the departments to increase the pace of the departments. Finally, the centralised record system has been one of the vital knowledge that can be found in Snapshot Industries.
On a broader perspective, the strategic knowledge of Snapshot Industries can be identified leading to strategic goal expansion of the business. First of all, expertise knowledge of the experienced human resources has been recognised as an essential strategic knowledge. Almost ninety-five percent of the old staffs have been engaged with the firm since last twenty years. Hence, their tactical knowledge and skills have been the major strategic knowledge for Snapshot Industries (Juul Andersen and Minbaeva, 2013). Alternatively, the management information system developed by Snapshot Industries can be termed as the other most evident strategic knowledge. The management information system has enabled the employees to define how the tasks will be completed on the schedule. Finally, the knowledge about the target market audience can be defined as a substantial strategic knowledge (Ermine, 2013). By identifying the customers’ perception and need, Snapshot Industries has manufactured diversified products to be competitive in the market.
The long time workers of the firm have a deep knowledge about the company and its customers. On the other hand, the older employees possess important information that helps them to do their job in a better way. Meanwhile, with the resignation and retirement of the long time employees, their skills, knowledge and abilities depart with them. Additionally, the company’s investment to train the older workforce also drains with the resignation and retirement of the employees (Juul Andersen and Minbaeva, 2013). In other words, the company would have incurred a huge expense in order to acquire the talent and develop their skills and competencies. Hence, the turnover of the employees drains the cost incurred by the firm.
On the other hand, when those workers go to the competitors, they multiply the strengths of the rivals. The rivals get a competitive advantage in the market with talented and experienced workers who already know the strategies and tactics of the older company. On the other hand, the employees represent the organisation to the customers (Agrawal, 2014). Hence, with the departure of the employees, the customers of the firm also reduce. Therefore, the resignation or retirement of the older employees can be considered as a major issue for the organisation.
In order to mitigate the issue of employee resignation and retirement, Snapshot can implement the following strategies:
In the current scenario of Snapshot Industries, there are three major aspects of concern over the leadership of Jim. Precisely, Snapshot Industries is a company that has extremely valued the tradition of the firm under the leadership of Sam. After the death of Sam, Jim has come to the scene and has tried to change the management structure based on modern facilities and system (Debowski, 2006). Therefore, inability to identify the objectives and goals can be defined as the first concern over the leadership. In reality, if a leader has shown inability in identifying the objectives and goals, the directionless moves can create an adverse effect on the productivity and functions of the firm.
In the case of Snapshot Industries, the same thing can be observed. Secondly, Jim has underrated the skills, expertise, and experience of the old staffs attached to the firm since previous twenty years. Therefore, the inefficiency of the leader in utilising the expertise, knowledge, and skills of the best employees can be identified as the major worry for the consultant (Harkness, 2010). On the other hand, lack of commitment shown by the leader in changing the organisational culture has been considered as the foremost reason for the consultant’s concern over leadership.
In context to the case, the leadership of Jim has adversely affected the business as well as management of Snapshot Industries, to say the least. Precisely, the leadership of Jim has developed an inconsistent system within the management (Ishikawa and Naka, 2015). As a result of the inconsistent system, the old employees have shown reluctance to participate in the latest infrastructure. Therefore, the change management has failed in a significant way. On the other hand, the leadership of Jim has forced the employees to work in a different proposition (Tsang, 2013). As an outcome of the event, the uniformity of the task and employee collaboration has been disrupted.
Alternatively, Jim has forced the old staffs to quickly adopt the latest computerised technology. Due to such stance of Jim, stress level among the old employees has increased to cope up with the competitive environment. Some of the old employees have preferred retirement due to burnout (Agrawal, 2014). Critically, the underrated traditional employees have been reluctant to share their expertise with the rest of the new members. As a result of the scenario, unavailability of expertise has become one of the major issues in the production line due to the unconventional leadership strategies of Jim.
In order to influence the role and responsibilities of the staffs, Jim should lead by example. For instance, during the change management, Jim must take active participation to introduce the benefits associated with the computerised system and record keeping. Precisely, the senior employees should be given the flexibility to use the technology as per their choice based on their contribution (Clement, 2013). Moreover, Jim should concentrate on building a collaborative environment within the workplace where senior employees and new members of the organisation can work in an efficient way. Furthermore, in order to reduce the stress of the senior management employees, precise stress management techniques should be introduced to make the employees feel more relaxed and comfortable (Aagaard, 2013). Thus, the knowledge management system can be linked to the overall goals and objective of the firm.
Relatively, Jim must capture and utilise the expertise, knowledge, and skills of the senior management members by involving them in the corporate governance. In this way, the skills and knowledge of the employees can be used as the core competencies influencing the competitive advantage (Hizmetli, 2014). Evidently, an effective communication system must be developed within the organisation leading to change management. By implementing effective communication strategy, collaboration among the workforce can be increased so that the skills of the senior management employees can be shifted towards the new talents leading to sustainability of business in the long-term (du Plessis, 2017).
The knowledge management principles are the guidelines set by an organisation to manage knowledge among the team and individuals. The establishment of the principles is the most effective action that can be taken by the management to support the knowledge management program. Hence, the areas of employees’ expertise mostly need to reflect the principles of knowledge management (Awad and Ghaziri, 2012). The reflection of the knowledge management principles increases the recognition of the profitable value of the workers knowledge. Hence, it helps in motivating the workers to enhance the performance of the workforce (Ishikawa and Naka, 2015). On the other hand, the reflection of the knowledge management principles in the area of employee expertise will help the management to use effective ways of managing the intellectual assets by using electronic processes.
In order to become competitive in the upcoming future, the management needs to abandon the idea of information hoarding and holding knowledge sharing (Ko and Ma, 2017). Competitive advantage can be achieved by focusing on how the intellectual capital of the firm is managed from detaining, regulating and disseminating of information to acquire better competencies through the implementation of training and development programmes. On the other hand, the management needs to reengineer the business processes in order to improve the employees’ expertise (Awad and Ghaziri, 2012). Hence, the management of Snapshot needs to implement knowledge management guidelines in order to effectively use its intellectual assets and promote sharing of knowledge among the organisation’s members. On the other hand, the principles will help the company to maintain a balance in its workforce’s expertise to promote productivity and retain the old staffs.
In the existing management circumstances, the decision-making of Jim has affected the roles and responsibilities of the old employees. During the restructuring of the management of Snapshot Industries, Jim has failed to apply the process of knowledge management. In order to share the knowledge of the staff members, strategic initiatives should have been considered (Samnani, Boekhorst and Harrison, 2012). Therefore, knowledge management is a significant strategy in this particular case of Snapshot Industries. Precisely, Jim has got some strategic objectives such as increasing the product lines and services in the manufacturing department. Alternatively, Jim has undervalued the efforts and expertise of the old human resources (Lustigman, 2015). By utilising the knowledge management strategy, the collaboration among the old employees and the new staff members can be managed in an effective way.
Knowledge management strategy can be effective in knowledge sharing and retention of knowledge for the long-term sustainability of business (Oluikpe, 2012). Moreover, knowledge management systems have valued the existing management structures so that leading competencies, skills, and knowledge can be passed from the senior management officials to the juniors (Michailova and Sidorova, 2011). By linking the knowledge management strategy with the overall objective, the performance and employee relations can be increased at the highest standard as well (Lindberg, 2013). In the case of Snapshot Industries, knowledge management strategy is highly recommended for the management to eradicate the negative aspects affecting the communication network and knowledge retention mechanisms.
Most of the organisations focus on producing products and services for the customers. Meanwhile, the companies missed to emphasis on producing knowledge to create value. Hence, the production of knowledge must be an essential part of the entire production process (Burke and Cooper, 2014). The major challenge that is faced by the modern organisation is to disseminate the knowledge among all members to enhance their expertise. The people with high knowledge have the potential for high level of value creation. According to Hizmetli (2014), ability and knowledge of the people are irreplaceable capital of the firm. On the other hand, the success of the firm relies on the effectiveness of the people to share their competence with others who can use it (Samnani, Boekhorst and Harrison, 2012). Hence, the implementation of the knowledge management strategy is the solution to all the problems of Snapshot Industries.
For example, AT&T’s knowledge management system helps the employees to access the instantly access the solutions to the customer’s problems (Burke and Cooper, 2014). Hence, the knowledge management system of the company helps the customer service representatives to solve the problems of the customers in few minutes. On the other hand, Monsanto uses a expert network to spread knowledge among the members of the organisation that improves the competencies of the workforce. In the same way, Snapshot can implement an advanced knowledge management system by detaining, regulating and disseminating information in order to mitigate the issues of the current workforce.
According to the case study on Snapshot Industries, the management faces the issue of high employee turnover and conflicts among the workforce due to a lack of knowledge management system. On the other hand, the implementation of the changes at a quicker speed has resulted in adverse consequences for the company. Hence, the company needs to focus on knowledge management principles in order to improve the employees’ expertise and improve its productivity. Furthermore, the implementation of the knowledge management system will retain back its workers and reduce the cost of recruiting and training new talents. Conclusively, knowledge management as a strategy will help the firm to mitigate its issues and enhance its growth in the market.
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