Establishing Knowledge Management Model of Quality Management Systems for Higher Education Institutions

Establishing Knowledge Management Model of Quality Management Systems for Higher Education Institutions

Mohammad FakhrulNizam Mohammad (Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), Rusli Abdullah (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia), Marzanah A. Jabar (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia) and Rozi Nor Haizan Nor (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8085-1.ch006
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Knowledge management is a valuable antecedent in enhancing the competitive advantage and sustainability of an organization. Various quality management standards acknowledge the necessities and importance of knowledge management within quality management since both areas complement each other. Therefore, this state drives the need to conduct more knowledge management research related to quality management. However, research on knowledge management within quality management systems specifically in higher education institutions is still underexplored. This chapter attempts to explore the establishment of a knowledge management model in supporting the implementation of quality management standards. Several knowledge management enabler factors are suggested, namely strategic focus and leadership, culture, organization, structure, technology, processes, top management, measurement, knowledge, and people. An empirical study is suggested in the future to further support the conceptual knowledge management model established in this chapter.
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Higher education institutions (HEI) adopt quality management systems (QMS) standards to provide fundamental requirements in optimizing products and services as value-added to their stakeholders such as students, parents, industry partners, and staff. Though the concept of knowledge management (KM) is not new, past studies that focused on KM within QMS standards such as ISO 9001:2015 are still lacking. Hence, there is a vast opportunity and gaps for future KM research within the implementation of QMS to be conducted.

HEI refers to an institution that provides education at the tertiary level. Primary activities are knowledge-intensive, such as delivering lectures, providing consultation, and conducting research and development. While conducting the knowledge-intensive activities, there are interactive processes involved between delivering the knowledge, managing it, document it, and simultaneously ensuring that services delivered are conformed to the quality standards adopted by the institution. The knowledge conversion model developed by Ikujiro Nonaka and Noboru Konno (1998), Nonaka (1994), and Nonaka et al. (2000) indicates what they derived as the knowledge conversion process that involves interaction processes and activities between two types of knowledge (explicit and tacit). Therefore, the implementation of KM as part of the quality strategy assists in solving the quality problems, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1.
Quality problems supported by KM solutions (Bencsik & Horváth-Csikos, 2018)
Quality problemsImpactSolved byKM Solutions Activities
Repetition of similar mistakesCostsPreservation, recording, sharing of knowledge
Duplication of tasksKnown results from the past projectsPreservation, recording of knowledge
Lack of informationCustomer serviceKnowledge sharing, trust building
Lack of idea sharingBest practicesKnowledge gaining, sharing and development
Only one or two persons own specific information / knowledgeWeakest linkKnowledge sharing, trust building
Delay and no integration in knowledge gained.Slow products improvement resulting to competitor overtaking the opportunityKnowledge utilization
Information or sources of knowledge are not readily availableFrustrated employeesCreation of knowledge database and corporate memory.

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