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THE APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN PROMOTING ORGANISATIONAL PERFORMANCE (A STUDY OF GODFREY OKOYE UNIVERSITY)

Project topic for Entrepreneurial Studies department.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

Knowledge management (KM) efforts have a long history, including on-the-job discussions, formal apprenticeship, discussion forums, corporate libraries, professional training, and mentoring programs (Martensson, 2015). History has it that a number of management theorists have contributed to the evolution of knowledge management, among them such notables as Peter Drucker, Paul Strassmann, and Peter Senge in the United States. Drucker and Strassmann have stressed the growing importance of information and explicit knowledge as organisational resources, and Senge has focused on the "learning organisation," a cultural dimension of managing knowledge. Liao and Wu (2019) examined various facets of managing knowledge. In fact, Leonard-Barton’s well-known case study of Chaparral Steel, a company which has had an effective knowledge management strategy in place since the mid-1970s, inspired the research documented in her Wellsprings of Knowledge — Building and Sustaining Sources of Innovation (Liao & Wu, 2019).

Everett Rogers’ work at Stanford in the diffusion of innovation and Thomas Allen’s research at MIT in information and technology transfer, both of which date from the late 1970s, have also contributed to our understanding of how knowledge is produced, used, and diffused within organisations. By the mid-1980s, the importance of knowledge (and its expression in professional competence) as a competitive asset was apparent, even though classical economic theory ignores (the value of) knowledge as an asset and most organisations still lack strategies and methods for managing it (Martensson, 2015).

Recognition of the growing importance of organisational knowledge was accompanied by concern over how to deal with exponential increases in the amount of available knowledge and increasingly complex products and processes. The computer technology that contributed so heavily to superabundance of information started to become part of the solution, in a variety of domains. Doug Engelbart’s Augment (for "augmenting human intelligence"), which was introduced in 1978, was an early hypertext/groupware application capable of interfacing with other applications and systems. Rob Acksyn’s and Don McCracken’s Knowledge Management System (KMS), an open distributed hypermedia tool, is another notable example and one that predates the World Wide Web by a decade (Martensson, 2015). Thus, with increased use of computers in the second half of the 20th century, specific adaptations of technologies such as knowledge bases, expert systems, information repositories, group decision support systems, intranets, and computer-supported cooperative work have been introduced to further enhance such efforts.

The phrase "knowledge management" entered the lexicon in earnest. To provide a technological base for managing knowledge, a consortium of U.S. companies started the Initiative for Managing Knowledge Assets in 1989. Knowledge management-related articles began appearing in journals like Sloan Management Review, Organisational Science, Harvard Business Review, and others, and the first books on organisational learning and knowledge management were published (for example, Senge’s The Fifth Discipline and Sakaiya’s The Knowledge Value Revolution). According to Martensson (2015) by 1990, a number of management consulting firms had begun in-house knowledge management programs, and several well known U.S., European, and Japanese firms had instituted focused knowledge management programs. Knowledge management was introduced in the popular press in 1991, when Tom Stewart published "Brainpower" in Fortune magazine.

By the mid-1990s, knowledge management initiatives were flourishing, thanks in part to the Internet. The International Knowledge Management Network (IKMN), begun in Europe in 1989, went online in 1994 and was soon joined by the U.S.-based Knowledge Management Forum and other KM-related groups and publications. The number of knowledge management conferences and seminars is growing as organisations focus on managing and leveraging explicit and tacit knowledge resources to achieve competitive advantage. In 1994 the IKMN published the results of a knowledge management survey conducted among European firms, and the European Community began offering funding for KM-related projects through the ESPRIT program in 1995 (Martensson, 2015).

However, Funmilola (2015) describes Knowledge Management (KM) involves valuable processes which can influence the productivity, financial performance, staff performance, innovation, work relationships and customer satisfaction and finally organisational performance. Amayah (2018) opines that the main goal of Knowledge Management is for rapid, effective and innovative utilization of resources and knowledge assets, infrastructures, processes and technologies in order to promote organisational performance.

Thus, the management of knowledge is promoted as an important and necessary tool for organisational performance and maintenance of competitive strength. KM is identified as a framework for designing an organisation’s strategy, structures, and processes so that the organisation can use what it knows to learn and to create economic and social value for its customers and community (Baloh, Desouza & Paquette, 2018). Organisations need a good capacity to retain, develop, organise, and utilise their employees' capabilities in order to remain at the forefront and have an edge over competitors. Knowledge and the management of knowledge is regarded as an important features for organisational survival; while the key to understanding the successes and failures of KM within organisations is the identification of resources that allow organisations to recognize, create, transform and distribute knowledge. Organisations that effectively manage and transfer their knowledge are more innovative and perform better (Riege, 2019).

Successful organisations now understand why they must manage knowledge, develop plans as to how to accomplish this objective and devote time and energy to these efforts. This is because KM has been described as a key driver of organisational performance (Bousa & Venkitachalam, 2013), and one of the most important resources for the survival and prosperity of organisations (Kim, 2014). Therefore managing and utilizing knowledge effectively is vital for organisations to take full advantage of the value of knowledge. The attention and importance given to the acquisition of KM in literature as well as practice in the past years is also of necessity due to changes in the environment such as increasing globalization of competition, speed of information and knowledge aging, dynamics of both product and process innovations, and competition through buyer markets (Greiner, Bohmann & Krcmar, 2019).

The application of knowledge management is essential especially in the case of organisational change. Internal factors like death, retirement, transfer, promotion, etc. bring about change in organisation (Mohamad, Mehrdad, Salman & Ali, 2017). In a diversified economic environment adaptations of learning and development to acquire new challenges are taken place. While facing new issues they need to implement new knowledge and plans. And some time factors like culture, coordination among employees and information technology help the organisation to succeed. Similar to a product, organisation also deteriorates. Decay and the growth cause many issues and problems while creating new opportunities to intervene the change. The change is important in an organisation because it helps in working of organisation (Funmilola, 2015).

Hence the importance of knowledge management as a concept of organisational knowledge, aimed at effective application of knowledge to make quality decisions. In this concept, people have a central role. Intellectual resources, and the first place knowledge, contribute to the company as a revenue contribution of products and services, preserve and increase the reputation, through the reduction of operating costs, create barriers to entry of potential competitors, by increasing customer loyalty and create innovation. The success of organisations largely depends on continual investment in learning and acquiring new knowledge that creates new businesses and improve existing performances.

In that processes, the balanced scorecard as a strategic managerial tool provides the enormous help (Muhammad, Zulkifli & Nazim, 2017). KM in educational institution is of a great essence makes a good combination of intellectual output of the academic organisation if preserved well using technology. The KM efforts could be monitored by the libraries and disclose it along explicit knowledge to the users, but tacit knowledge compilation is difficult as it is preserved at individual level. Therefore, this study focuses on the application of knowledge management in promoting organisational performance: A study of Godfrey Okoye University.

1.2       Statement of Problem

In view of the various considerations to develop a Knowledge Management or Institutional Repository or a knowledge base for an academic institution in the ICT era and digital media, it is found economical and useful with respect to new emerging strategies which enhanced the accessibility to traditional and institutional knowledge by developing open access to literature.

However, in a situation where academic institutions are unable to effectively apply knowledge management technique within the institutions, it brings a whole lot of issues within the institution. Internal issues like demise, transfer, retirement and promotion etc brings new changes into it. Which present a situation for change. Leaders’ aims and objectives are also a reason of the personnel change, which provide antecedent conditions for change. Leaders of the organisations have their own goals. In the pursuit of such goals, changes are brought in the organisation. Organisational Change led the organisation to explore new opportunities and it can further help the organisation in the development of knowledge. When this organisational change takes place few people adjust in the new changed environment while for few people it’s still a problem to adjust them.

Also, problem arises when academic institutions fails to apply knowledge management technique within the institutions as it hinders the process of its operations as a result of knowledgeable employees leaving the institution without the institution tapping into the knowledge that resides in the heads of these knowledgeable employees. The result of this problem is that it obstructs the institution from undergoing visible growth and performance. However, the researcher tried to investigate the application of knowledge management in promoting organisational performance: a study of Godfrey Okoye University.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this research is the application of knowledge management in promoting organisational performance: a study of Godfrey Okoye University. The specific objectives are to:

To determine the effect of knowledge identification on organisational performance in Godfrey Okoye University

To ascertain the extent to which creativity could improve organisational performance in Godfrey Okoye University.

To assess the effect of innovation on organisational performance in Godfrey Okoye University.

1.4       Research Questions

To what extent does knowledge identification affect organisational performance in Godfrey Okoye University?

To what extent does creativity improve organisational performance in Godfrey Okoye University?

To what extent does innovation affects organisational performance in Godfrey Okoye University?

1.5       Statement of the Hypotheses

Ho1:      Knowledge identification has no significant effect on organisational performance in Godfrey Okoye University.

Ho2:      Creativity has no significant effect in improving organisational performance in Godfrey Okoye University.

Ho3:      Innovation has no significant effect on organisational performance in Godfrey Okoye University.

1.6       Significance of the Study

This project is significant because it is expected to bring to the knowledge of university community the utility of knowledge management, considering it enhancement in an organisation. This research is also significant because it will enlighten the higher institution stakeholders on how to recognize and appreciate the knowledge within the institution.

The research exercise will also serve as a tool of lecturing in the higher institution, to broaden the horizon of students on the significance of knowledge management.

Finally, this study will serve as a guideline to prospective researchers who will wish to develop more work in line with this study in the future.

1.7       Justification of the Study

This topic impact of knowledge management on organisational performance is essential as it contributes to the growth of organisation if applied. Thus, organisations that wish to increase its level of performance are to consider the findings of this study important.

1.8       Scope of the Study

The researcher limited the research study on Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, to examine the application of knowledge management in promoting organisational performance.

1.9       Definition of Terms

Knowledge Management: Is the process of creating, sharing, using and managing the knowledge and information of an organisation. It refers to a multidisciplinary approach to achieving organisational objectives by making the best use of knowledge

Organisation: An organisation or organisation is an entity comprising multiple people, such as an institution or an association, that has a collective goal and is linked to an external environment.

Organisational growth: Organisational growth is a necessity to meet the demands of an increasingly complex and dynamic environment.

Organisational performance:

Refers to the sum of accomplishments achieved by all businesses/departments.


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