Knowledge management can be described as an intangible asset for any organization or corporation which needs to be deployed and managed well (To, Lee and Yu 2012.). Earlier, these assets for company were of very less importance. With globalization of business world organizations understood that to move ahead of their competitors they require furnishing their intangible assets too along with tangible assets.
This report considers the complete knowledge management process in Suncorp bank. It analyzes the practices of knowledge management in the company considering its strength and weaknesses. Knowledge management tools and it efficiency has been discussed keeping the company in account. The benefits of dissemination of knowledge was studied It has been marked to play its CSR well.
The report has been tactfully divided into parts to understand it better. The main points of interest being background of the company, its knowledge management practices, consequences of knowledge management in long run, risk nad barriers to implement certain tools and practices of knowledge management.
Suncorp Bank has been established way back in 1902. Its provision includes personal agribusiness and business deposits making it fifth in ranking in terms of largest bank. It has been working for the Australian farmers, families and businesses to benefit them with their outstanding services in 190 branches and more than 1650 ATMs. It also works along with the today’s trend of net and phone banking. Suncorp bank has majorly been taking part in charity events, fundraising programs and personnel volunteering events. The company also provides their customers a phone app which will help them to keep in track their accounts (@SUNCORP-BANK, 2017).
Knowledge management in any organization is very beneficial to enhance the outcomes of the company. Suncorp bank has implemented knowledge management to gain maximum profitable outcomes. The parties or the people who directly connected with this flow of knowledge are managerial authorities, bank workers, investors and customers. The company has sensed the importance of sharing knowledge and therefore considers practicing it with regularity for a long term benefit (Borrell 2012).
Knowledge is much different aspect than data and information. It is a collaboration of experience, skills, intuition, values and expert insight. It enhances critical capability and provides insight for the choice to do decision making the best way. Knowledge management stresses on the utilization of information to encourage creativity, learning, intelligence and originality.
Till now Suncorp bank has worked well with Knowledge management and has been able to leverage its position in banking sector providing enough clashes to competitors. The organization supports free flow of knowledge by allowing employees to express their views and ideas with eagerness and faith. Yet it has been witnessed that the policy and regulation of the company which acts as a tool for knowledge management is quite flaccid reducing the shelf life of the process which adversely affects the company’s desired outcomes (Andreev and Kianto 2012). The dissemination of Suncorp’s knowledge in form of customers documented information, how to proceed with it and how to propose certain deals is prolonged. This though acts as an advantage for the company yet requires furnishing with help of knowledge management tools like knowledge map, knowledge bases or repository (Pfeffer et al. 2013).
Suncorp has devoted huge investments in implementing efficient tools like creating knowledge repository, formed communities of professionals, devising knowledge map and learning management systems. Now the company requires growing efficiency of its tool to next level. The company has huge number of employees and staffs but not all of them are aware of the knowledge base, how to contribute and benefit from there. Hence it becomes essential to make sharing of knowledge a part of the company’s culture which can be incorporated by engaging employees in virtual rewards, points and badges for their knowledge contribution (Pfeffer et al. 2013). Some higher level subject matter expert should be appointed for consulting and formulating questions beforehand which can be accessed by staff for better workflow.
The companies always focus on explicit knowledge and tend to forget about the tacit knowledge which actually lies in their environment only. Tacit knowledge that is inherent is laborious to access but yet is far more rewarding as this knowledge is obtained by the people employees or staff’s own individual experience (Huang, Hsieh and He 2014). It offers insight to how one act in a situation which he has not been in before. It happens though this knowledge is lost with resignation of officials or retirement. It happens that always a solution to the situation is not provided explicitly. At that moment tacit knowledge proves to be fruitful. It has been seen that Suncorp has not been using much of its tacit knowledge. This increases the chances of company’s loss of knowledge and experience.
To bring a change in the company’s environment one requires addressing the cultural and organizational risks or barriers which should be overcome in order to apply knowledge management firmly. This would also help in understanding the risk which would incur in bringing the change to the environment of Suncorp.
The major cultural barrier witnessed in Suncorp bank is of accepting Knowledge management process which requires employees in the company to understand the need for knowledge management. People find it unessential and do not see its long term benefits which they may acquire through it (Casimir, G., Lee, K. and Loon, M., 2012). The employees at Suncorp are unable to accept new change and leave it behind thinking that it is non-profitable for them. Other than this some organizational barriers which suncrop is facing can be highlighted as lack of advanced resources to create, modify and disseminate knowledge. In addition credibility of people is also questionable who are advocating knowledge sharing. All this is just reducing the efficiency of the already applied knowledge management tools at Suncorp bank.
Labor market is another aspect which Suncorp bank can exploit to gain more fruitful outcomes. We can segment labor markets under the criteria of gender, qualification or on wage basis (Loveridge and Mok 2012). Suncorp also needs analyzing the labor market segments which would benefit it in long run. The best segment for Suncorp which can be exploited is qualification. Suncorp can hire pursuing post graduates who will have appropriate knowledge of the field and could contribute to knowledge management process also. They can work efficiently and can provide economic growth to the company. Suncorp needs skilled labors who evaluate problems with knowledge sharing.
In the long run knowledge management can have both positive and negative effects on any organization. The positive impact seen at Suncorp were provision of multimedia and images as tools for manipulation, freedom of knowledge contribution without hesitation, accumulation of tacit knowledge in form of explicit knowledge, more efficient working of organization, solving issues fast and easily with help of knowledge base. The negative effects can be listed as unauthorized knowledge being stored, unauthorized data being accessed, informal data or information being stored; knowledge databases do not guarantee efficient knowledge management which may affect Suncorp in the long run (Sung and Choi 2012).
Suncorp has always made human and social capital go hand in hand. The social capital that is the relation between the employees and company focuses on entrusting each other for better social cohesion and economic success. The company has been witnessed to support the employees and trust them which in turn affect the human capital. Human capital portrays the economic behavior of an individual that is the collection of knowledge which helps them increase the earnings and productivity (Weaver and Habibov 2012). In this way, the Suncorp’s social capital depends upon the human capital and vice versa and requires focusing on both.
Any organization practicing CSR helps in bringing the ethical issues in spotlight. Acting in accordance with CSR pyramid the layer of responsibilities gets clearer. CSR pyramid has four layers economic responsibility, legal responsibility, ethical responsibilities and philanthropic responsibility (Aigner 2016.). Suncorp practices CSR through fundraising and charity events for NGOs (@SUNCORP-BANK, 2017), provision of financial support to the social enterprises and increasing financial awareness through education.
Suncorp bank has always worked towards being connected to their employees, investors and foresees the need of innovation. Its community grants program is lean towards helping individuals. The company also is in partnership with Queensland Police Service which works for the community’s safety and pliancy. It also runs some not-for-profit organization to provide well-being and good health (@SUNCORP-BANK, 2017).
Today most of the countries are adopting knowledge management to become knowledge or information-based economies where tacit knowledge plays a vital part and which can only be obtained from human beings. This knowledge system requires assessing the right knowledge, capture it, and apply it in various ways to various situations. Knowledge management being new to banking sector is yet to be explored. Conclusively, it can be said that it is an effective and efficient practice which has been implemented by the Suncorp and can be utilized by other organizations to explore and validate fruitful knowledge widely spread in their firm. This will enable the company to grow in all direction that is in terms of economy, productivity, manpower and their efficiency (Andreev and Kianto 2012). It will also help company’s reputation to prosper for a better tomorrow.
On the basis of the above discussion certain recommendations can be made.
Overcoming barriers: Knowledge management practices at Suncorp were predicted as very low provisional one. It did not seem to be effective enough. Certain cultural and operational barriers still exist and require overcoming for future productivity.
Enforcing firm KM policies: Policies devised for KM are not being followed due to certain barriers. Suncorp requires maintaining firm policies get to desired outcomes through KM.
Forums for KM: The present benefits derived from Knowledge management practices performed by employees sharing knowledge and operations are not so efficient. Creating forums for discussions, may acts as an advantage for clearing confusion before incorporating their knowledge in the repository.
Suncorp Bank will have to focus on their human capital for which they require participating in the process to enhance their knowledge and experience for achieving their aimed goals.
@SUNCORP-BANK. (2017). Banking. [online] Available at: https://www.suncorp.com.au/banking/ [Accessed 15 Mar. 2017].
Aigner, D.J., 2016. Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance. In Corporate Responsibility (pp. 11-37). Palgrave Macmillan UK.
Andreeva, T. and Kianto, A., 2012. Does knowledge management really matter? Linking knowledge management practices, competitiveness and economic performance. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(4), pp.617-636.
Borrell, J., 2012. Keeping Ahead of the Game: Responding to Changing Environments.
Casimir, G., Lee, K. and Loon, M., 2012. Knowledge sharing: influences of trust, commitment and cost. Journal of knowledge management, 16(5), pp.740-753.
Huang, X., Hsieh, J.J. and He, W., 2014. Expertise dissimilarity and creativity: The contingent roles of tacit and explicit knowledge sharing. Journal of applied psychology, 99(5), p.816.
Loveridge, R. and Mok, A.L., 2012. Theories of labour market segmentation: a critique. Springer Science & Business Media.
Pfeffer, K., Baud, I., Denis, E., Scott, D. and Sydenstricker-Neto, J., 2013. Participatory spatial knowledge management tools: empowerment and upscaling or exclusion?. Information, Communication & Society, 16(2), pp.258-285.
Sung, S.Y. and Choi, J.N., 2012. Effects of team knowledge management on the creativity and financial performance of organizational teams. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 118(1), pp.4-13.
To, W.M., Lee, P.K. and Yu, B.T., 2012. Benefits of implementing management system standards: A case study of certified companies in the Pearl River Delta, China. The TQM Journal, 24(1), pp.17-28.
Venkitachalam, K. and Busch, P., 2012. Tacit knowledge: review and possible research directions. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(2), pp.357-372.
Weaver, R.D. and Habibov, N., 2012. Social capital, human capital, and economic well-being in the knowledge economy: Results from Canada's General Social Survey. J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare, 39, p.31.
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