Knowledge Management Enablers and Knowledge Sharing Process: A Case Study of Public Sector Accounting Organization in Malaysia

Knowledge Management Enablers and Knowledge Sharing Process: A Case Study of Public Sector Accounting Organization in Malaysia

Kalsom Salleh (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia), Syed Omar Sharifuddin Syed Ikhsan (Leadership Centre, National Institute of Public Administration of Malaysia (INTAN), Malaysia,) and Syed Noh Syed Ahmad (Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-886-5.ch012
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Abstract

In the knowledge based economy era, the success of an organization lies more in its intellectual capital and system capabilities than its physical assets and financial capital. Therefore, professional intellects such as lawyers, doctors, systems analysts, accountants are an important source of intelligence for most organizations. Knowledge Management (KM) in a public sector organization can take advantage the transfer and sharing process of experiences, ideas and expertise of the organization’s professional intellects for the organization’s knowledge assets with the support of information technology. Therefore, this chapter presents the knowledge sharing model that interconnects KM enablers and knowledge sharing process for KM implementation success in the public sector accounting organization in Malaysia. Survey questionnaires were used as the main instrument to collect data from all public sector accountants working in the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) which is an accounting specialist department of the Federal Government in Malaysia. This selected knowledge intensive accounting organization has a large pool of public sector accountants and the core competencies of the organization are to provide timely accounting information and quality accounting services to all agencies of the Federal Government. Therefore, knowledge management (KM) in this case study organization is concerned with the flow of accounting knowledge during the sharing process of public sector accountants and getting value through the knowledge flow for the organizational performance. Since the main task of the AGD is heavily related to accounting process and technology for its financial data integrity, the statistical results of this case study research provide evidence that knowledge sharing technology has a high significant impact on the knowledge sharing performance as compared to other moderate significant factors such as leadership roles to create knowledge sharing culture, ICT skills and know-how of accountants and the ICT infrastructure and software for the accounting information system.
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Setting The Stage

AGD has 10 departments to carry out accounting operations and services at the headquarter office as well as 35 branch accounting offices and 10 self-accounting offices located throughout the country in order to provide efficient and timely services to its customers i.e. the ministries, departments and agencies of Federal Government. The two main accounting services provided by the AGD are the preparation of public accounts of Federal Government and the maintenance of accounting system applications.

The use of computer technology in government is not only restricted to data processing areas but was also extended to several new areas such as communication networks and access to information services. In 2006, AGD took a big step to implement its new holistic approach in accounting system applications by introducing the Government Financial Management Accounting System (GFMAS) to overcome the standalone computerised systems and mainframe based approach for its legacy accounting systems such as Branch Accounting System, Payroll System and Central Integrated System.

GFMAS which is based on SAP solution will provide real time knowledge base, flexible reporting structure and integration capabilities which can provide full data integration between head office and other branch accounting offices. The GFMAS application with its integration capabilities will help enabling standardized and accurate data creation and dissemination between the head office and all accounting offices.

With the introduction of Electronic Government (e-Government) paradigm, the AGD is also currently involved in the integration of its legacy systems with the e-Government application systems such as electronic procurement, human resource management information system, project monitoring system and electronic services. All of the e-Government’s applications, which involve monetary transactions and accounting system, need to be connected to the AGD’s legacy system.

KM is one of the AGD’s ICT plateau plans to help in building the full service capability for decision support and the future implementation of full accrual accounting system. The implementation strategy of KM in the AGD is to improve data integrity and data transformation into organizational knowledge or corporate memory to support the informed decision making process within and across the organization.

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