Knowledge management: issues, preparation and implementation

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

The combined macro-environmental effects of globalisation, technological change, increasing competition, new legislation and increasingly demanding consumers have created pressure within organisations to remove inefficiencies.

Today, organisations are challenged to be more creative and innovative, to constantly improve performance, to form new partnerships and alliances and to undertake new ventures outside traditional organisational boundaries. Factors that led to organisational success in the past, no longer meet the rising expectations of consumers for cheaper, higher quality goods supplied in faster, broader markets. These intensive demands have led to organisations seeking new avenues for success. Knowledge Management has emerged in recent years as a management tool, offering organisations the opportunity to exploit their most valuable asset - knowledge.

This thesis attempts to demystify some of the confusion that currently surrounds the Knowledge Management field. An extensive literature review highlights various stands of the subject that are open to investigation. Critique of these tenets facilitates the construction of a conceptual Knowledge Management model, known as the MeCTIP model. This model provides useful insight into the role of Knowledge Management within organisations. Development of the MeCTIP model led to further research activity for theory testing.

Findings from exploratory research, administered using a multi-method approach, support development of the MeCTIP model. To further test the value of the model, empirical research is conducted; this is operationalised through the development of a new measurement tool.

Instrument development and validation was undertaken through a structured process that has found general acceptance in the literature. The process includes a literature review, pre-testing, expert review, piloting of a questionnaire, calculation of reliability coefficients, descriptive statistics and factor analysis.

The measurement tool is tested and applied within three industrial sectors across the United Kingdom. The responses are analysed to ascertain Knowledge Management contribution to organisational improvement, development and sustainability. The analysis was achieved through the application of traditional regression analysis and the use of t, F and goodness of model fit statistical significance tests.

Results from statistical analysis sustain the MeCTIP model. Knowledge Management is found to be a strong mechanism for organisational change within the current, unstable economic climate.
Date of AwardJan 2001
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorRodney Mc Adam (Supervisor) & Stephen Parkinson (Supervisor)

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