Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management

Salman Iqbal (Massey University, Manawatu Campus, New Zealand), Hayati Abdul Jalal (Massey University, Manawatu Campus, New Zealand), Paul Toulson (Massey University, Manawatu Campus, New Zealand) and David Tweed (Massey University, Manawatu Campus, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0894-8.ch004
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Abstract

Organisational culture plays an important role for enabling the process of knowledge sharing. Organisational culture is not only reflected in the visible aspects of organization such as structure, mission, and objectives, it is also embedded in the behaviour of people. The purpose of this chapter is to close research gaps present in knowledge sharing success by examining the linkages between employees’ knowledge-sharing through collaboration, perceived values of involvement, trustworthiness, and formal recognition. The research data was collected by using simple random sampling techniques from a population of knowledge workers in Malaysian IT organisations. The findings highlight the importance of organisational culture for successful knowledge sharing within organisations. The results of factor analysis show the emergence of four new cultural values extant in the Malaysian context. These values are involvement, trustworthiness, formal recognition, and independence. Successful knowledge sharing is significantly related to the perceived value of involvement, trustworthiness, and formal recognition. This chapter will be beneficial for researchers, practitioners, scholars, and organisations (leaders and employees); it will also be helpful for those interested in organisational structure and relationships across organisations in knowledge contexts.
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Literature Review

An individual employee’s knowledge plays an important role in organisational performance. For instance, it has been suggested that individual skills and abilities have long been known as essential for maintaining an organisation’s economic competitiveness (Coffield, 2002). The world economy has shifted from being industrial to knowledge based, where information has become the primary output and people’s knowledge has become the main means of production (Davis, 2004). In this knowledge era, it is important to understand that the main profit lever becomes employee knowledge. Further, all the assets in a firm except employee knowledge are lifeless and passive until they become subject to human application which generates value (Fitz-enz, 2000).

Knowledge

Knowledge is information, and managing this information helps organisations to function effectively. Barnard (2005) suggests that knowledge itself, then, becomes the real asset of organisations. Knowledge is intangible, as opposed to other traditional tangible resources. Leaders of effective organisations realise that employee knowledge (human capital) is part of an organisation’s intellectual capital including relationship capital and structural capital (Fitz-enz, 2000). Yang and Guo (2007) conclude that knowledge is an important source to help organisations to achieve competitive advantage. The concept of knowledge as a means of competitive advantage in organisations has become popular in the literature (Alvesson & Karreman, 2001).

De Long & Fahey (2000) argue that knowledge resides at three levels in organisations, known as the individual, the group, and the organizational levels. Roos and Krogh (1992) further subdivide the organisational level into departments and divisions. This chapter focuses on the most basic of these levels, the knowledge that is possessed by individuals (employees). Furthermore the sharing of individual knowledge with other individuals is essential for the transfer, distribution and further creation of knowledge at all the other levels within an organisation. For instance, employees of IT sector can learn new developments from peers, and managers to enhance their own knowledge.

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