The investigation of key success factors on knowledge management in malaysian firms


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The investigation of key success factors on knowledge management in malaysian firms

  1. 1. ADVANCED IN MODERN MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, VOL.1, NO.1, FEBUARY 2012 4 The Investigation of Key Success Factors on Knowledge Management in Malaysian Firms Ali Af. Asgari, Abu Bakar Abdul Hamid, Nik Muhd Naziman Ab Rahman, Azadeh Asgari advantages [24]. Abstract— The ultimate intention of this paper is to achieve a Knowledge, indeed, is the most significant strategic sourcebetter understanding of how some critical factors for the and the task to obtain and expand it, allocate it and employ itsuccessful application of knowledge management (KM) in can hint to maintainable competitive advantages [16]. This isMalaysian firms. KM covers an extensive range of usefulness and because advanced knowledge can contribute to traditionalsustains various sets of activities and supposed that the KM funds and assets in new and unique conducts and by this meanssuccess, are the Key Success Factors (KSFs) on the contributionsof quality and quantity to the system. Based on the existing prepare higher value to consumers [27].literature, a research hypothesis has been developed and tested In recent years organizational effort has been locate intothrough the quantitative study. The data were collected through a knowledge management (KM) initiatives that became one ofquestionnaire that was administrated among sample comprising the management buzzwords [29], [17]. Ever since the mid70 managers from the various private Malaysian firms. The 1990s, the description of KM has enhanced fairly a bit.outcomes confirm positive relationships between all five KFS Basically, it is started as essential knowledge movement, thatparameters but there is a lack of leadership. value is concluded by the recipient and the organization. It is focusing on taking employees’ knowledge regarding Index Terms— Key success factor (KFS), knowledgemanagement (KM), firms competitors, products, consumers, and services created in an organization [15]. In its simplest form, KM is regarding supporting individuals to share ideas, knowledge and I. INTRODUCTION information, in order to create value-adding services and products, thought the internet [7]. Therefore, the perspectiveT he information technology beginning has created not only attention in how to obtain, gather and mine data, but alsohow to handle knowledge [4]. In the current post - developed of the KM is inside the organization and the KM benefit is in fact adhering to an essential KM success factor: listen to your consumers and employees [15].society, knowledge has developed into an explanation means A basic success factor key of knowledge management is toof the economy. Growing the customers’ demands regarding have a regular perceptive of the terms "knowledgeinnovativeness and quality of services and products impose management" and "knowledge sharing" and how these termscompanies under force and pressure. At the same time, threats use to particular condition and requests. Several organizationsfrom worldwide competitors force them to reduce the price of select generally, not to refer these certain terms since theythe products and services. These challenges of improving terms are not consented in the culture [1]. Some intrinsicquality, innovativeness, and the increasing pressure to diminish essential success factors are produced into the explanation.cost require companies to devise their business process again KM is a series of approaches and strategies and approaches[11]. In that market, knowledge is the only assurance is that marks a specific construction or a manner to do things.uncertainty, the one certain resource of lasting competitive II. II. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY Manuscript received January 30, 2011. The goal of this part is to elaborate an overview of the A. Af. A. Author is with Management and Human Resource Development relevant literature relating to each of the stated researchFaculty, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, 81310, Malaysia.(corresponding author to provide phone: 6017-202-7029; e-mail: questions. The literature review chapter emphasizes success studies of firms resulting from the knowledge A. B. A. H. Author, Faculty of Management and Human Resource management implementation.Development, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia. ( N. Mhd. N. A. R. Author, Faculty of Management and Human Resource A. KnowledgeDevelopment, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. (e-mail: The matter of concentrated research in closely each area organizational examination has been knowledge [31]. In A. A. Author, Department of Language and Humanities, Faculty ofEducational Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia. (e-mail: recent years, knowledge has been an accepted subject
  2. 2. ADVANCED IN MODERN MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, VOL.1, NO.1, FEBUARY 2012 5considerable attention focused on areas like the fundamental inhabits in formulae, textbooks, technical documents and sorole of knowledge workers, the knowledge creation, intensive on. On the contrary, tacit knowledge is the type ofsocieties and organizations, and the need to create and share knowledge that cannot be interpreted completely and can beknowledge [29]. In market, knowledge comprises the relocated from one person to another only throughout anessential belief of the marketing concept as this is stated by apprenticeship lengthy procedure [3]. “Tacit knowledge ismarket orientation means that indicates the case of a the tasks and know-how we have inside each of us thatcompany that systematically saves and spreads knowledge cannot be easily shared” [20].regarding the competitors and consumers, and makesdecisions that strongly are based upon this knowledge [18]. B. nowledge Management Even though, knowledge management (KM) is critical to executive survival, although it is a complicated mission because it requires large disbursement in recourses. Information Technology explanations, like document management, email and intranets are demonstrating extremely applicable in particular areas [23]. The process of knowledge management can therefore be somewhat unclear and vague [12]. In this field, managers working should recognize that knowledge management is greater than intranet or groupware (Group level/Package-Store & Share- Apply in the KM Map), it is also more than business intelligence (Organization level/Scan-Map) and more than an employee CVs’ yellow pages database (Individual Figure1. Knowledge Terms and Transformations (Spiegler, 2000) level/Package-Store). KM is engaged with the managing of information profits [26] outlined a pattern that determines the different and shred knowledge of company to prepare this knowledgeconcepts and various terms of knowledge in order that an to as numerous employees as possible and its businessapparent graph results. As shown in Figure1, actuality was process also to encourage better sustain and more reliableconnected to things whereas data are the characteristics of making decision [5]. It appears that, now, knowledgethose entities. This model describes the knowledge creation management as an individual field of work and has beenprocess with the information technology playing an assistant supported in the individual and her/his behavior, regularly.role. In that process data are being captured from various With the formalization of this area, concentration haspaths and methods and are processed to create moved to encourage the knowledge application, generation,information [2]. transfer, and reinvention in a company [10]. Knowledge Information is defined as data endowed with relevance management is demonstrated as an emergent set ofand purpose or data that create a distinction. The information operational principles, processes, organizational design andvalue is clearly identified by the receiver not by the sender. structures, applications and technologies that assistData suits a s information once they insert value in knowledge workers dramatically leverage their creativity andsome way, and after that information will be knowledge as ability to deliver business value [20].it adds abstractive value, insight, better perceptive [26]. Data is depict, record, supply, and keep entities attributes. C. Information is demonstrated as knowing that and it is the nowledge Management Process finding of operations of data processing like sorting, Fundamentally, KM is a sustain process and in organizing, and so on. consequence of extending knowledge nature any business process can be converted into a “ Knowledge Management Knowledge is explained as knowing how and it is an Process”, like for example knowledge use, knowledge outcome of operations of information processing. creation, and knowledge dissemination [14]. Besides, it is Wisdom is about knowing “when” and/or “if”. suggested that the sample list of KM process namely, 1) Knowledge donates to wisdom throughout actions like producing new knowledge, 2) approaching knowledge from value, discovery, experience, and further. external sources, 3) depicting knowledge in software, databases, documents, and so on, 4) implanting knowledge in Researchers have identified two classes of knowledge, the processes, services or products, 5) shifting being knowledgeexplicit knowledge and tacit knowledge. Explicit knowledge in the region of organization, 6) using accessible knowledge inis the type of knowledge that is relatively easy to decision making, 7) assisting knowledge development viacommunicate and articulate. It is the knowledge that incentives and culture, 8) evaluating the generation importance
  3. 3. ADVANCED IN MODERN MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, VOL.1, NO.1, FEBUARY 2012 6and the effect of KM [13]. technology or procedure should all buy in to this insight andD. Key Success Factors of Knowledge Management consider it will work [6]. Some intrinsic essential success factors are created into the No formal communication - Make sure that consumers andmeaning. KM is a series of approaches and strategies that employees recognize on the modifications happening withinmarks a limited structure or an approach to do things. On the organization once designing and implementing KM initiatives.other hand, this approach allows the information flow to the Based on literature, it has been assumed that people have toexact person at the exact time, this is another critical creation hear the same message at least three times by it embeds in theof this definition; otherwise, an organization would be short-term memory. Consequently, communication must becontrolling its knowledge just in order that handling it and not ingeminating and extending. Whereas executing KM in anyto create value [19]. That presents us to the most crucial factor organization, market yourself. Ensure each person knows whatof this explanation: producing more value for the initiative. you are trying to do, and created expectation for the initiate.“The largest amount complicated procedures of sharing of Moreover, you will be initiating a cultural change by designingknowledge would not assist once the knowledge shared within KM initiatives around your culture [6].an organization does not facilitate its recipients to producevalue, be it through improved time or income or cost savings” Leadership[21]. Leadership performs a significant role in confirming success The success of a KM enterprise depends on many elements, in closely any enterprise in an organization. Leadership effectsome of them within our control some are not. In characteristic on KM is even more considerable due to this is amanner, important success factors can be classified into five comparatively recent method [22]. “Nothing prepares superiorprincipal categories: effect on an organization than when leaders model the 1. Culture; behavior they are trying to encourage between employees. 2. Leadership; Some other top practice organizations have exhibited this 3. Structure, Roles, and Responsibilities; guarantee to KM”. “At the World Bank, the presidents support 4. Information Technology Infrastructure; and led to the creativity of an infrastructure that supported and 5. Measurement. promoted the development of communities of practice (CoPs) not only right through the organization, but around the world.Culture At present, the World Bank has supported its KM initiative via Culture, as one of the main success factor, is the mixture of its CoPs” [21]. Its knowledge managers persistently look forexpectations shared, social customs, unwritten rules, and recent methods to sharing of knowledge. Although leadershiphistory that influence behaviors. It is the series of basic ideas performs a crucial role in the KM success enterprise, while thethat are constantly affect the understanding of communications factor of culture can become even more importance to theand actions of all employees while rarely articulated in an success of KM.accurate manner. According to some researcher’s explanation,cultural issues about KM enterprises generally appear for the Structure, Roles, and Responsibilitiesseveral factors as follows: There are a numerous methods which, organizations Lack of time - The purpose is to act further efficiently not to structure the management of their KM enterprises, whilesupport the employees to work further. The roles designed, APQC has discovered one of special common elementstechnologies, and processes within a KM enterprise have to between the greatest practice partner organizations: a centralkeep employees time, not burden with extra work. This can KM support group, stewards/owners through the organizationjust be concluded once the employees work patterns are who are in charge for KM and a steering committee [21]. Thisexplained through the primary intend and scheming the is a mixture of a decentralized approach and centralizedinitiative phase [6]. approach. Unconnected reward systems - Organizations have to At the top level, the executives have usually been in thesustain scales among explicit and intrinsic rewards in sequence advising committee. They encourage the concept and prepareto influence behavior of employee. The most efficient apply of direction, guidance, and support. The central KM group isexplicit rewards has been to support sharing at the onset of a usually composed of three to four members who prepares theKM initiative. When the attendees do not determine worth in projects/initiatives’ basic support, that are typically transferredeither the system information or the meetings, preparing to the business stewards when they are executed. More oftenencouragements will not encourage their contribution. People than not, the central group comprise of people with advanceddistribute culture due to they want to, they like being honored project management, communication, and facilitation their peers, and they like to observe their expertise being The stewards/owners are responsible for knowledge sharingused [6]. and acquisition in the business units [6]. For an example, Lack of usual perspectives - Sharing should be motivated by Chaffey stated that “the core KM group, the stewards area usual insight. The individuals influenced by the recent change agents for the organization. They model and teach employees the principles of knowledge sharing applying an
  4. 4. ADVANCED IN MODERN MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, VOL.1, NO.1, FEBUARY 2012 7usual vocabulary. All of these partakers act as a team to avoid professional systems to communicate, cooperate, as well asa silo mentality and incorporate resistant employees in the share knowledge and information with another [25].process. Measurement Even though the structure was put in place to promote The measurement is as synonymous with ROI, so theaccountability and ownership, when there is no generally majority of organizations fear measurement because they don’tknowledge ownership and learning in the organization and the know how to connect knowledge management efforts to ROIleadership does not "walk the talk," it would be complex to [30]. Even if the final intention of measuring the KM initiativekeep any sharing behavior. effectiveness is to identify several kinds of ROI, but there are still several intervening variables that influence the results asInformation Technology (IT) Infrastructure well [9]. In the absence of a firm IT infrastructure, an organization Because of the variables effect on outcome, it is significantcannot allow its employees to distribute information on a large to create a connection among KM actions and business effects,scale [8]. Although the trap that most organizations fall into is while not claimable an absolute cause and effect relationship.not a lack of IT, but rather too much concentrate on IT. The Growth sales might be a finding not only of the sales agentsKM enterprise is not a software application; the only part of a having further information about the products, but also of theKM initiative is having a platform to communicate and share competitor closing down, a market turning, or 10 percentinformation. Some KM success factors related to IT are prices descending. Tracking the correlations over time isrepresented as followings: important because the lack of ability to completely separate Approach - The individual who are accused of execution outcomes of knowledge sharing. By listening to consumers;KM must take the time to comprehend their users’ they will tell you how you can distinguish their needs and haverequirements. The corresponding of the KM objectives and the a successful KM enterprise [21]. This is the last imperativeKM system is critical. regarding essential success factors that can be applies to all Content - With a comparable concentrated upon users interactions and transcends KM.necessitates, determining huge content consists of havingprocesses in place to purchase, control, validate, and distribute III. Methods and Materialsrelated knowledge, where and when it is needed. Research methodology is a scheme how to achieve answers Usual platforms - A standards’ companywide architecture for the research questions. It is included the limitations such asensures the sustainability and scalability of KM attempts. By access to information, time, position and so on obvious issuesperceptive the infrastructure of organization at a high level, the of the provided questions and particular resources is contained.steering committee can advise the KM team in choosing the According to [28], a quantitative research has been done whenproper technology. Once in while organizations recognize that the findings are according to statistics and numbers that arethey need an extensive renovation of their IT infrastructure indicated in figures and graphs.sooner than they can assume their employees to share This study is administrated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia andknowledge. “A number of organizations have removed and the population will be the total number of manager who hadreplacing them with market-standard operating systems or are worked in private firms. In accord with the conveniencein the process of phasing out customized legacy systems by sampling 79 managers who had worked in private firms wereusing off-the-shelf software that was written to support these chosen randomly among the Malaysian managers. The total 70platforms based on the existing architecture”[25]. questionnaires were collected among the respondents after Simple technology - The users will get frustrated when it omitting missing values and outliers.requires more than three clicks to gain information as a result The 6-point Likert scale questionnaire consisted of 41-itemsyou have to temper with the information complexity demanded from 0 to 5 (not applicable to always) in five sections,by the users and also the amount of information being supporting quantitative analysis, covering the key factors ofdelivered. The emphasis on explicit knowledge is another KM success areas. These elements are: 1) Culture; 2)frequent mistake made in information delivery [22]. Even Leadership; 3) Strategy; 4) Effective& Systematic Processes,though technology is mainly applied to convey explicit and 5) Measurement. The questions of survey extractedknowledge clearly with no emphasis, it affects the user to be according to the other relevant studies of knowledgeunable to find the context in which the information was management, and the critical concerns for success indistributed and guides to misunderstanding on how to clarify knowledge management to examine the following researchthe knowledge. hypotheses: Adequate training - KM is enhanced in two ways, by peoplewho know how to apply it and by suitable technology. The Ha1. There are positively relationships between key successexcellent practice examples expose that after deployment, the factors for knowledge management.central group of KM must spend most of its time guiding, Ha2. The culture factor is the most significant to indicateinstructing, and coaching the users how to utilize the knowledge management in Malaysian companies.
  5. 5. ADVANCED IN MODERN MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, VOL.1, NO.1, FEBUARY 2012 8 Ha3. The leadership factor is the most significant to Effective & Systematic 8 3.185 1.053 1.110indicate knowledge management in Malaysian companies. Measurement 5 3.185 1.094 1.197 Ha4. The strategy, systems & an IT infrastructure factor is Key Success Factors 41 3.614 .921 .849the most significant to indicate knowledge management in Relationship among Key Success FactorsMalaysian companies. The five factors of key success is namely “culture”, Ha5. The effective& systematic processes factor is the “leadership”, “strategy, systems & IT”, “effective &most significant to indicate knowledge management in systematic” and “measurement”. The correlations of the keyMalaysian companies. success factors were explored through a Pearson Product Ha6. The measurement factor is the most significant to Moment Correlation analysis. Table 2. depicts the key factorsindicate knowledge management in Malaysian companies. correlation matrix. The value of Cronbach’s Alpha for all items of key success Table 2. Relationship among Items in KFSfactors of the survey (0.716) is revealed that the inter-items Key Success Factors X1 X2 X3 X4have high reliability. The data were coded and entered into theStatistical Package for Social Science [SPSS version 16 for X1.Culture 1.00Windows Vista], a statistics computer program applied to X2.Leadership .533** 1.00prepare and analyze data. X3.Strategy, Systems & IT .491** .447** 1.00 X4.Effective & Systematic .370** .514** .375** 1.00 IV. RESULTS X5.Measurement .322** .547** .623** .492**The Distribution of Key Success Factors The study concentrates on essential success factors. The As shown in Table 2, each variable is positively related tostudy indicated deviations in how knowledge is being each other as indicated by the high scores on one variablepromoted. The five sets of questionnaires were pursued to which were related with the high scores on the secondcomprehend the KM in the firm as perceived by the variable. The (r) values vary widely, with the coefficientsemployees. ranging from .623 (the strongest) to .322 (the weakest). Five various types of questions were designed to gather dataregarding respondents’ key success factors in applying their There are positive relationships between “Culture” andbusiness. Managers were asked to self-rank their level of “Leadership” (r=.533, p<.01), between “Culture” andknowledge management from never to always. Key success “Strategy, Systems & IT” (r=.491, p<.01), between “Culture”factors were measured with five main items. As shown in and “Effective & Systematic” with (r=.370, p<.01) and the lastTable 1, the first factor is culture that the mean of this item is among “Culture” and “Measurement” (r=.322, p<.01).represented all detailed results regarding the culture factor Likewise, the results displayed in above table depicted that(questions 1 to 13) are slightly above or below a scale value of there is a positive relationship between “Leadership” and3.5 (M=3.52, SD=1.086) followed by Strategy, Systems & IT “Strategy, Systems & IT” (r=.447, p<.01), betweenfactor with the average of 3.471 and standard deviation of “Leadership” and “Effective & Systematic” with (r=.514,1.181 is one of the other factor concerning the KM. In p<.01) and the last among “Leadership” and “Measurement”addition, Effective & Systematic factor and also Measurement (r=.547, p<.01). Moreover, the result indicated a positivefactor with the same mean (M=3.185; M=3.185) have an relationship between “Effective & Systematic” and “Strategy,effective value on key success factors whereas the mean of Systems & IT” (r=.375, p<.01). “Effective & Systematic” andleadership factor was the lower than others (M=2.642, “Measurement” also showed a positive relationship (r=.492,SD=.948). In regarding the details of key success factor, the p<.01), and between “Strategy, Systems & IT” andpredominant opinion of the managers was measured toward “Measurement” (r=.623, p<.01). In accord with this result,the key factors for knowledge management (M=3.614, therefore, the first hypothesis is supported.SD=.849). In accord with the majority of factors’ results are about anaverage scale value of 3. It can be concluded that this refers To Find Out the Most Significant Factors on KM In order to see whether there is any significant indication ofthe existence of crucial procedures and practices where key success factors for knowledge management in Malaysianculture, strategy, systems and IT, effective and systematic firms, the one-way ANOVA procedure was utilized to examineprocesses and also measurement are included, which leads to the significant differences among five types of key factors andthe average scale value of 3 for almost all variables. key success factors for knowledge management and the results Table1. Mean for Key Success Factors examined. Key Success Factors Item Mean Std. Variance As shown in following tables, the ANOVA results revealed Culture 13 3.528 1.086 1.258 that culture factor is not the most significant to indicate Leadership 13 2.642 .948 .746 knowledge management in Malaysian companies at the .05 Strategy, Systems & IT 2 3.471 1.259 1.586 level of significant (F =2.60, p<.05).
  6. 6. ADVANCED IN MODERN MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, VOL.1, NO.1, FEBUARY 2012 9Table 3. The ANOVA Results for Culture Factor Table 7. The ANOVA Results for Measurement Factor Sum of Mean Sum of Mean Source df F Sig. Source df F Sig. Squares Square Squares Square Between Groups 8.082 4 2.021 2.60 .044 Between Groups 7.883 4 1.971 2.52 .049 Within Groups 50.504 65 .777 Within Groups 50.703 65 .780 6 Similarly, the same analytic tool is applied to depict the III. V. CONCLUSIONeffects among the variables. Based on the results in the Table “The choice of a statistical manner for testing the4, indicate that leadership factor is not the most significant to hypotheses was administrated by the nature of the data and theindicate knowledge management in Malaysian companies at population from where the data developed”(Hair, Anderson,the .05 level of significant (F =2.577, p<.05). Tatham, and Black,1999). So, in accord with previous chapter, there is a significant relationship with all of the success factorsTable 4. The ANOVA Results for Leadership Factor common intended in the literature of knowledge management Sum of Mean Source df F Sig. like the acknowledgment of the overall responsibility for KM Squares Square Between Groups 8.082 4 2.005 2.57 .046 or the sources devoted to KM. The considerable correlation Within Groups 50.566 65 .778 between the key success factors hypothesized in the KM literature are directly proportional that is e-business is relevant to KM. The findings of this study are also supported by the In reference to Table 5, it can be seen that there is main and other studies’ results (Bedi, 1999; Bernard & Wagner, 2001;significant effect observed based on the displayed value of p Doms et al.,1997; Pavitt et al., 1987). Therefore, managers(p<.05). Therefore, it can be concluded that the strategy, should keep away from a static/simple attendance on thesystems & an IT infrastructure factor is not the most internet and in place of pursue a further dynamic/interactivesignificant to indicate knowledge management in presence.Malaysian companies at the .05 level of significant(F=3.701 p<.05). REFERENCES [1] Alam, G.M. (2009). Can Governance and Regulatory Control EnsureTable 5. The ANOVA results for Strategy, Systems & IT Private Higher Education as Business or Public Goods in Bangladesh? Sum of Mean Afr. J. Bus. Manage., 3(10): 890-906. Source df F Sig. [2] Al-Busaidi, K.A. & Olfman, L, (2005). An Investigation of the Squares Square Determinants of Knowledge Management Systems Success in Omani Between Groups 10.869 4 2.717 3.70 .009 Organizations. Journal of Global Information Technology Management. Within Groups 47.717 65 .734 8(3) pp. 6-25 [3] Aman, F., and Aitken, A. 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