The Challenges and Coping Strategies of KM Implementation in HEIs: An Empirical Investigation

The Challenges and Coping Strategies of KM Implementation in HEIs: An Empirical Investigation

Ayesha Khatun (Lovely Professional University, India) and Sajad Nabi Dar (Lovely Professional University, India)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/IJABIM.20211001.oa4
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The pace of competition has increased in every sphere of the economy, and to face such high level of competition, organizations look for sustainable competitive edge. Knowledge as a tool of competition has been found to be highly sustainable as compared to physical resources and even technology, so organizations look for managing knowledge with strategic focus. This paper attempts to assess the knowledge management practices of a top Indian B-School, to identify the challenges faced by the B-School in the domain of knowledge management implementation and the coping strategies adopted by the school vis-à-vis the challenges. The study adopts for itself a descriptive framework and bases the enquiry on both primary as well as secondary data. For carrying out the investigation, case study method of research was applied. The findings show that though the B-School under study practices most of the selected parameters of knowledge management, managing knowledge as a strategic tool for developing and maintaining sustainable competitive edge is yet to be recognized.
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The pace of technological change and growing integration of the world economy are resulting in an entirely new economic order and reshaping the landscape of competition. The rates, magnitude and complexity of environmental changes require an organization to introduce new modes of enterprise management (Chaudhary, 2005:01-03) and that has led to the emergence of Knowledge Management (KM). Over the last few decades business have recognised the importance of managing their intangible assets especially in knowledge based organizations (Jingyuan Zhao, 2011; John M. Carrol, 2003 and Khatun et al, 2021). In a knowledge based organization like B-School, knowledge is the most important asset for developing and sustaining competitive advantage (Kambil, 2009; Sung Jung Jo, 2011, Neumann & Eduardo, 2011).

Rechberg and Syed (2014) revealed in their study that current knowledge management activities can be strengthened by putting more emphasis on the function of persons (an individual-centered approach) in organizational design and implementation of knowledge management. This study found that greater heedfulness to the people element is necessary in order to improve the effectiveness of knowledge management in organizations. Knowledge management studies to determine the degree of consideration paid to the position of persons and their potential connotation for knowledge management efficacy. This reveals that in existing frameworks to knowledge management, people are a significant source of implicit and overt types of knowledge which are not properly addressed, a condition that can be corrected by implementing an individual-centered approach.

With regard to the approaches to be used Ribiere and Tuggle conducted a study in 2005 and stated that improper organizational cultural continues to be a crucial obstacle to the achievement of KM success. Their empirical research study, carried out involving data from 97 companies involved in Knowledge Management, examined the relation between the degree of organizational trust and the utilization of knowledge management methodologies, in general the utilization of knowledge management methodologies for codification and knowledge management methodologies for customization. These findings indicated that the utilization of knowledge management by organizations with higher level of trust is much more effective than those with low level of trust.

It is found that, much of the existing work has concentrated on either people or technology often to the exclusion of the other two elements. Particularly, a process element is paid insufficient attention. Process here means the business process of the organization, not only the KM processes because KM process has to be integrated with the business processes. So it is said that in KM the way things are done is more important than what is done i.e., process is more important than content (Edward, 2011). Chiang adds that prior researchers about KM excessively stressed the operational and technological aspects of KM; however, people management is the approach that truly contributes to KM (Chiang, 2011). There is no doubt that higher education institutions are the knowledge intensive organizations since they are involved in knowledge creation, dissemination and learning but managing knowledge with prime focus in higher education has become crucial since the inception of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization in early 1990s due to the increased competition among the institutions of higher education but little work has been done on it (Tarnekar, 2017:383; Vashisth, 2010:21; Shukla, 2012:24 and Khatun & Dar, 2019).

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