ICTs in Knowledge Sharing and Organization Culture: Case Study of a Center for Continuing Education

ICTs in Knowledge Sharing and Organization Culture: Case Study of a Center for Continuing Education

Muhammad Mohiuddin, Marian Matei, Samim Al-Azad, Zhan Su
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/IJKM.313446
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This study analyzes the knowledge value chain of a center for continuing education that offers skill development programs for adult learners. It analyzes how the center can improve efficiency and capacity by effective knowledge sharing (KS) that requires both information and communication technologies (ICT) and the conducive organizational cultures. The case study methodology was used to study the factors that influence KS in an academic environment. KS depends on the type of knowledge, motivation, and opportunity to share. The results show that both knowledge management systems and a conducive organizational culture are needed to implement an effective KS strategy. Thus, the study focuses on the emergent approach, i.e., focusing on interpersonal dynamics and the nature of their daily tasks, and engineering or management approach, i.e., focusing on the infrastructure of KS. This study shows how systematic and organized KS can help an organization offer continuing education services effectively and improve performance in the competitive marketplace.
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Knowledge management is increasingly considered an important strategy to improve productivity, competitiveness, and organizational performance through efficient use of existing intangible resources hidden in the organization (Haas & Hansen, 2007; Wiig, 1997). The question is no longer whether to manage organizational knowledge but how to maximize the utilization of available resources to achieve higher performance. Universities and research institutes constitute social, academic communities that play a vital role in creating and transmitting scientific knowledge, which is the fundamental source and driver of societal progress as well as development through improving the innovation eco-system (Rodríguez-Soler & Brunet Icart, 2017; Tian et al., 2009). There is little research on knowledge sharing in an academic organization for adult learners offering job market demand-oriented short courses and training, such as a continuing education center. The increased demand for new skills-oriented short courses and training motivated us to study how the traditional Center for Continuing Education can improve its performance through knowledge sharing utilizing information and communication technologies (ICTs) and organizational soft management approaches. The novelty of the research theme and multi-stage analysis requires an in-depth analysis of various functions and their collaborations and knowledge sharing. The case study method was undertaken to explore knowledge sharing within the organization and with third parties. The traditional Centers for Continuing Education (CFOO1) need to improve their performance to face the increasing competition from all kinds of Massive open online course (MOOC) and offline providers of similar services, such as skills development, training, and short courses for professional development. Thus, improving the knowledge-sharing process in the organization that offers career development-related short courses would have a significant social impact and improve organizational performance. Knowledge sharing refers to providing task information and know-how to help others and collaborate with others to solve problems, develop new ideas, or implement policies or procedures (Wang & Noe, 2010,). We study the case of the CFOO, an independent organization that provides professionally oriented short courses, customized training for companies, and business-oriented courses. Operating in a context of globalization, extreme competition, and constant innovation, a knowledge-based economy requires an increasingly specialized workforce. It looks to CFOOs for innovative training and skills development services with a considerable demand in the market. The CFOO can cope with the increasing demands by focusing on managing its implicit and explicit knowledge. Based on the analysis of an existing unexploited knowledge reservoir, this study aims to offer systematic and organized use of organizational knowledge for survival in a competitive environment. An organization needs to understand how knowledge is created, shared, and used within the organization to capitalize on the value of knowledge. This study focuses on how knowledge sharing takes place and can be improved at a basic level, such as among employees. This study explores how internal knowledge users can collaborate and share knowledge to enhance their service delivery to prospective clients. The study highlights the use of information and communication technology (ICT), making it flexible in communicating and coordinating among employees and managers to share knowledge in the organization. ICT infrastructure has become part and parcel of most knowledge-intensive organizations, and integrating it with the organizational culture can create a sound foundation for knowledge sharing and group learning (Jennex & Olfman, 2006). Knowledge management is a multidimensional phenomenon that requires a thorough approach to get to the heart of the topic and understand exactly what is happening in an academic organization’s knowledge management processes. This multidimensionality led us to choose the case study methodology to explore the knowledge management processes at the CFOO. The case study is an interesting method, especially when the question of the study is requested in the form of what is happening (Bouma & Ling, 2006) and how to deal with it? Indeed, the case study approach allows us to exploit the advantages of the deductive process and those of the inductive method to produce knowledge.

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