Knowledge Transfer Problem Statement Management Essay

Knowledge is viewed as human ability that evolves from combination of data, information, experience and individual interpretation (Syed-Ikhsan and Rowland, 2004). It is the most deliberate input to maintain the competitive advantage of any given firm. Knowledge is known as intangible assets where it develops when used and decrease in value when not used unlike tangible assets. Knowledge transfer can be described as transportation of knowledge from one place, person or ownership to another. It involves two or more parties with the presence of source and destination or sender and receiver (Syed-Ikhsan and Rowland, 2004). Knowledge transfer requires the willingness of a group or individual to work with others and share knowledge to their mutual benefits. The development and transfer of knowledge in an organization has become a critical factor in an organization’s success and competitiveness. Many organizations are now concentrating their efforts on how knowledge can be transferred across the organization. Although knowledge transfer is very important in an organization, the actual transfer and effectiveness of knowledge within organization still remains a problematic issue. Effectiveness means degree to which objectives are achieved and extend to which knowledge has been transferred accurately. The effectiveness of such exchange depends on the strength of the tie between source and recipient (Syed-Ikhsan and Rowland, 2004). The effectiveness of the knowledge transfer essentially depends on the determinants or factors that influence knowledge transfer.

1.2 Problem Statement

Knowledge transfer (KT) does not only act as a medium for creativity and innovation but also provides the means by which helps the firm to evolve and grow through new ideas. Organizations should embed knowledge transfer in everyday business processes in order to get the right benefit from a knowledge transfer. Organization should build a knowledge transfer strategy, identify knowledge reservoirs, develop knowledge sharing proficiencies, encourage networking, capture best practices, ensure content management, define and communicate knowledge performance (Szulanski, 2000). Knowledge transfer basically affects working relationships, patterns of influence, distribution of power, and alters how individual define their responsibilities (Argote, 1999). A KT initiative needs motivational and change management in an organization. Therefore when launching a KT initiative, it is important to recognize what are required to achieve successful outcomes. The firm may need to change employees’ behavior, increase employees’ motivation, redirect attention or build loyalty and social cohesion. In other words, the organization needs to promote a sense of commitment or influence employees’ behaviors and feelings. One way to encourage acceptance of KT initiatives is to examine the rewards, appraisals and recognition structure to ensure that knowledge transfer principles and behaviors are aligned (Darr, Argote, and Epple, 1995). Organizations can be classified based on their degree of complexity, variability and business process. Different organizations are influenced by different kind of knowledge transfer determinants. Thus, it is important to study the organization’s business process, culture, environment, management, technology and people before implementing the strategies. Telecommunication companies deal with lots of difficult tasks, which reckon the need of knowledge transfer in the company (Waren and Davies, 2000). Knowledge transfer is highly encouraged in Telecommunication companies because the changes are drastic in this kind of high technology firms. One of the great challenges of today’s organization is on how to collect more data and turn them into valuable knowledge for the firm. Majority companies are quite worried that they are not fully making use of the knowledge that exists within their organization. What factors affect knowledge transfer in Telecommunication companies or how to encourage employees in such organization to share their knowledge, skills and expertise is still a fundamental question. This research firstly deals with the concept of knowledge transfer, knowledge transfer reservoirs and the critical success factors of knowledge transfer, which includes socio-psychology, management, organization and technology. The research reviews the previous studies done by researchers and organizations on knowledge transfer in various organizations including some Telecommunication companies like British Telecom. The study was done on the diverse aspects of knowledge transfer in Malaysian Telecommunication Company named Telekom Malaysia. Survey was done to understand the employees’ view towards knowledge transfer. Finally, organization determinants of effective knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia have been identified and suggested.

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1.3 Research Questions

Knowledge transfer basically involves everyone in the organization and it requires the involvement of employees from all levels. Sharing the skills and experiences is a necessity to evolve knowledge in business operations. This research examines the critical success determinants for a knowledge transfer within Telekom Malaysia which includes socio-psychology, management, organization and technology. Following are the research questions of this study, which has been conducted in Telekom Malaysia.

What is the current state of knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia and is the overall environment of Telekom Malaysia is favorable for effective knowledge transfer implementation?

What are the determinants that affect knowledge transfer and management to commence effective knowledge transfer implementation in Telekom Malaysia?

What is the perception of employees’ on knowledge transfer and how easily they can overcome the resistance to change as well as transfer their knowledge within Telekom Malaysia?

Research Objective

There are number of important issues that have been debated in order to identify the factor that affect the effectiveness of knowledge transfer. Question that strikes are: What is the current state of knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia and is the overall environment of Telekom Malaysia is favorable for effective knowledge transfer implementation? What are the determinants that affect knowledge transfer and management to commence effective knowledge transfer implementation in Telekom Malaysia? What is the perception of employees’ on knowledge transfer and how easily they can overcome the resistance to change as well as transfer their knowledge within Telekom Malaysia? This study focuses mainly on determinants of effective knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia. The study helps Telekom Malaysia in terms of the managerial, technical and organization strategy to identify methods that can be used to enhance Knowledge Transfer. Moreover, this study reveals the importance of socio-psychology in Telekom Malaysia. The objectives of the research are to study and identify if the knowledge has been transferred to the right person at the right time via right tool. It also helps to study the effectiveness of transferred knowledge in Telekom Malaysia. The study will also further explore the employees’ perception on knowledge transfer and the degree of resistance to change in Telekom Malaysia.

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1.5 Research Gap

Several reviews on journals were done in order to identify the research gap. Previous research was mostly done knowledge transfer strategy, knowledge management, knowledge stickiness and knowledge transfer determinants on several firms. Organization’s determinant of effective knowledge transfer varies depending on the firms’ business process. Prior research shows that knowledge transfer in a given organization seems to accomplish well when suitable determinants are implemented. However, no research has been thoroughly done on knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia. Thus, the research gap is identifying the determinants of effective knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia.

1.6 Review on journals

Journal

Citation

Review

1

Journal on knowledge transfer stickiness

Gabriel Szulanski

Process model of knowledge transfer.

Measure of knowledge stickiness

Difficulty to transfer knowledge

2

Journal on competitive advantage of knowledge transfer

Linda Argote

Why knowledge transfer is difficult

Identify the kinds of knowledge that are difficult to transfer in firms

3

Journal on learning through others experience

Linda Argote

Factors affecting knowledge transfer in firms

Barriers to facilitate knowledge transfer

4

Journal on knowledge development cycle

Ghanesh D. Bhatt

Knowledge development process and framework

5

Journal on relationship between knowledge transfer and knowledge stickiness

Chia Ying Li

Increase in knowledge stickiness may have a positive and significant influence on knowledge transfer

6

Journal on knowledge transfer mechanism

Sajjad M. Jasimuddin

Exploring knowledge management and knowledge transfer on Global Corporation

7

Journal on knowledge management

Syed Omar

Indentify the relationship between organizational elements and the performance of Knowledge Transfer

Identify the independent variables that may affect knowledge transfer

9

Journal on knowledge management at British Telekom

Paul Warren and Graham Davies

Case study on knowledge management in British Telecom

Table 1: Reviews on Journals to identify research gap

Table 1 shows the summary of the journals which have been done in order to identify the research gap. Nine main journals were thoroughly reviewed to have a better understanding on knowledge transfer issues. These journals basically help to draft the guidelines for this research.

1.7 Research Model

Concept

Construct

Variables

Socio-psychological factor

Management factor

Organizational factor

Influence of socio-psychological factor on effectiveness of KT

Influence of management factor on effectiveness of KT

Influence of organizational factor on effectiveness of KT

Influence of technology factor on effectiveness of KT

1) Social identity

2) Social capital

3) Social dilemma

4) Social exchange

5) Social identification

1) Posting

2) Staff Turnover

3) Work Design

4) Staffing

5) Training

6) Performance Appraisal

7) Personal rotation

1) Organizational Culture

2) Organizational Structure

1) Information Technology

2) ICT Infrastructure

3) ICT Tools

4) ICT know-how

Organization Determinants of Effective Knowledge Transfer in TM

Dependent Variables

Independent Variables

Technology factor

Technology factorFigure 1: Research Model

An organization should take into consideration everything the organization does to make knowledge obtainable to the business. Successful knowledge transfer entails combination of many organizational elements such as technology infrastructure, people, management process and organizational culture. There is relatively little information or findings on knowledge management in Telekom Malaysia. It is very important to create a knowledgeable society in Telekom Malaysia where important information embedded within the organization should be shared and transferred efficiently. Sharing the embedded knowledge is a competitive advantage for Telekom Malaysia. There are plenty of knowledge transfer research done on organizations such as British Telecom, PETRONAS and several public organizations. Yet, different organizations will be influenced by different factors of knowledge transfer. Findings shows that there are no studies has been conducted on knowledge transfer determinants on Telekom Malaysia. Based on the study from several researches, four determinants have been identified and tested on Telekom Malaysia. Those determinants or factors are socio-psychology, management, organization and technology. Figure 1 basically explains the research model of this study. It explains the construct, concept, independent variables and dependent variables.

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1.7.1 Dependent Variable

The aptitude to transfer knowledge from one point to another can basically lead to organizational performance. The knowledge that is transferred between individuals not only benefits the organization but also benefit the individuals itself. There are many factors engage in the knowledge transfer process in order for the process to take place efficiently. The dependent variables in this study are organization determinants of effective knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia.

1.7.2 Independent Variables

There are four independent variable involve in this study. Firstly, socio-psychological factor was discussed where the construct developed is influence of socio-psychological factor on effectiveness of knowledge transfer. The concepts were further subdivided into social identity, social capital, social dilemma, social exchange and social identification.

The hypothesis tested:

AH1 : There is a positive relationship between socio-psychological factor and effectiveness of knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia.

0H1 : The relationship does not exist between socio-psychological factors and effectiveness of knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia.

Secondly, management factor was identified and reviewed. The construct developed is influence of management factor on effectiveness of knowledge transfer. The concept was further subdivided into posting, staff turnover, work design, staffing, training, performance appraisal and personal rotation.

The hypothesis tested:

AH2 : There is a positive relationship between management factor and effectiveness of knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia.

0H2 : The relationship does not exist between management factors and effectiveness of knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia.

Thirdly, organizational factor was reviewed with the construct developed as influence of organizational factor on effectiveness of knowledge transfer. The concept is further reviewed by organizational culture and organizational structure.

The hypothesis tested:

AH3 : There is a positive relationship between organizational factor and effectiveness of knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia.

0H3 : The relationship does not exist between organizational factors and effectiveness of knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia.

Fourthly, technology factor was identified and the construct developed is influence of technology factor on effectiveness of knowledge transfer. The concepts are further explained as information technology, ICT infrastructure, ICT tools and ICT know-how.

The hypothesis tested:

AH4 : There is a positive relationship between technology factor and effectiveness of knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia.

0H4 : The relationship does not exist between technology factors and effectiveness of knowledge transfer in Telekom Malaysia.

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