role of knowledge management

CHAPTER
ONE

INTRODUCTION

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KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT in any organization in this
modern world has become more interesting and crucial since it can enhance ones
competitive advantage. Most of the companies nowadays base their production
according to the knowledge they have rather than their products only. We find
that any organization that is knowledge oriented will base their activities in
distributing knowledge to their employees.

Due to a subjective manner of knowledge management
there is no any common way of practicing knowledge rather than any given
organization needs to have a critical study on their success factors. In order
to have an effective and a successful knowledge management system many issues
should be considered and paid attention to. This include the daily activities
that the organization conduct, its product, its consumer and its daily
interaction.

In this research we are going to study about the
role of knowledge management in organization and we are going to base our
research on a case study of a telecommunication company in Kenya which is
SAFARICOM KENYA. In this research we hope that it will aid in clarifying the
importance of knowledge management and its effective role in any given modern
organization of today.

Background
of the study

 Knowledge
management as we know is one of the important aspects that help in the growth
of any organization worldwide. Without knowledge the growth factor of any given
organization is very limited and most probably it will luck any proper and
beneficial growth. For this reasons many companies nowadays ensure that they
incorporate a knowledge management department in there structure for them to be
able to satisfy their customers. According to Emmanuel Mango Khaemba, “Despite
the fact that knowledge management drives the developed countries’ economies,
Africa has not embrace knowledge management with a lot of seriousness it
deserve. Knowledge management in Africa is largely informal and most
organizations have not formally acknowledge the knowledge management
initiatives”

Telecommunication companies have also not been left
behind in knowledge management. Since they deal with a lot of data in their
daily business they therefore have to incorporate an effective knowledge
management system. Some of the big organizations in the world are known to run
their business solemnly through knowledge.

Based on this research we will do a case study of
the telecommunication company in Kenya which is Safaricom Kenya. The company
was established in 1997 and up to date it has one of the largest call centers
in the Sub-Sahara.   

Statement
of the problem

It is important to know factors which are critical
in knowledge management implementation in order to ensure that important issues
and activities are handled during the implementation. Through this research we
aim at disclosing on ways in which the telecommunication company is able to
collect and apply knowledge management in their daily routine which enables
them to run their business. We intend to seek out why are they only a few
telecommunication networks in Kenya, what are the obstacles that lead to this
factor. How does the company relate to the market and its customers? In the
resent released Communications authority report it stated that Safaricom Kenya
has had a significant profit growth and also market growth among Kenyan citizen
and mainly among the youth. With this growth it is seen that competition is
expected to be elevated among the three available telecommunication company
that being Safaricom, Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya. Due to this report this
research will be trying to seek out what is the company doing that has made
them to have this lucrative growth. We want to see what are they doing that the
other two competitors did not do within the same period, is it a wise move
which will continue to have the company to stay afloat in the market or it will
have some future negativity which will impact the company badly.

Through the research finding we will be able to see
whether it is wise for any prospective investor to start a telecommunication
company in Kenya. We will be able to also know some of the basic requirements
that a telecommunication company need to have for them to remain relevant in
the market and make a considerable profit. We also hope that the findings can
be of help to the future academicians for their reference in their academic
work.

Aim

The aim of the research is to establish how
knowledge management is impacting the economy growth within various
organization in Kenya at the present time.

Objective

a)     
Which structure
do the company manage the available information that they acquire through their
daily activities.

b)     
To show the
proper effectiveness of knowledge management.

c)     
Through the
research we aim at availing important knowledge that is used by the
telecommunication companies in Kenya to various academicians.

d)    
To show the
necessity and importance of knowledge management in any given organization.

e)     
To emphasize on
the market benefits and growth strategies that an organization can acquire
through knowledge management.

f)      
To show the
potentiality that are availed through knowledge management in organizations

Research
questions

a)      Does
the company have the management system?

b)      Is
knowledge management important in the organization?

c)      How
does the company’s knowledge incorporation aid the academicians?

d)     Since
when did the organization incorporate knowledge management?

e)      How
has the organization developed with the incorporation of knowledge management?

f)       What
is the benefit of knowledge management in the growth of the company?

Assumption
of the study

 

One of the main assumption of knowledge management
is that most people think that it is not important and one can survive and
prosper without it.

Knowledge management is one of the main base that
help in the running of the telecommunication industry.

Most company in Kenya in the resent past are
incorporating knowledge management in their day to day running of their
business.

Big companies like Safaricom have their own full
based department of knowledge management that runs independently and have chief
knowledge officers who aid in ensuring that there is an effective knowledge
management program.

The government is trying to ensure that people are
aware of knowledge management and its effectiveness.

There is a low number of knowledge managers in Kenya
since it is only when most companies are seeing and learning about the benefits
and the importance of knowledge management. Hence making people to start
acquiring education on the matter in order to feel the available positions.

Significance
of the study

Through the research we know that each and every
organization will be able to establish and know the importance of knowledge
management. Through it the organizations will also see the ways through which a
proper and efficient knowledge management is incorporated within the
organization. The downfalls/challenges of lacking knowledge management will
also be shown effectively in order to boost the concept of knowledge management
in a given county. By this we can say that the study will be of significance to
the organization, its customers, the government, education sector and the
industry at large.

In terms of the organization we can state that the
study results will be used to show more of how they use their available
knowledge and whether it is enabling them to gain more profits or not. With
this the organization will be able to see and recheck their knowledge
management system and if there is away in which they will find that they need
to change for betterment of their services then they will make the necessary
changes. Through this research the organization will be able to be understood
by many learners and at times they will be used as a source of reference by the
academician hence enabling them to have a significant level of growth in their
market in which they well dominate without a lot of competition as of the present
moment.

The study will be of great importance to the
customers of the communication company in that they will be comfortable because
they will have at least a mere knowledge on how their information is handled by
the company. They will know how they can interact with the company if they ever
have any challenges that they will encounter while they are using the services.
Through the study the customers will also be able to know about the
organization’s structure and how it is ran all throughout.

As for the government they will benefit from the study
in that they will be able to understand what benefits knowledge management has
in industries development therefore making them to try and enforce the
industries to incorporate knowledge management in their structure. Through the
study we also hope that the government will see the importance of knowledge
management hence making them to increase their focus on knowledge management
which later will increase the government’s economic growth.

In the education sector the study is aiming at
improving the understanding and importance of knowledge management to any given
person who is partaking knowledge management. The study will try to provide a
future reference material to the future researchers. It will be impacting more
knowledge understanding of knowledge management based on the local Kenyan
context. Learners will be able to know what main role does knowledge management
have on the Kenyan industries and try to clarify on how they are implemented.

As of the industry in itself the study hopes to make
the benefits of knowledge management be known by the other companies running
the same business. By it we hope that most company will see the advantages of
knowledge management and start incorporating it in their company hence leading
to the growth of the sector. The study will enable them to know about the ups’
and downs’ of knowledge management and for those who will be trying to
incorporate it for the first time will know what they should expect. 

This study is of great importance because through it
the role of knowledge management in organizations will be unearthed and will be
known.  

Justification
of the study

Scope
and limitation

Scope

For this research we will be conducting a case study
of Safaricom Kenya which is one of the leading telecommunication company in
Kenya and east and central Africa.

Limitation

Some of the limitation that we seem to encounter in
the study is the availability of the correct information that we need in order
to conduct this research.

The willingness of the necessary people to give us
the required information is also a challenging factor that we need to mainly
consider in our research.

Time is a limiting factor that we will encounter in
our research since our area of study will require taking up some time from the
companies employees and also our own time which will need the researcher to
limit his research to a restricted time guide.

Funds to carry out the proper suggestive research is
also a factor that will pose a limitation to our end result since the research
will solemnly mainly rely its funding from the researcher and not any other
body.

Definition
of key terms

Safaricom –

Knowledge management –

Organization –

 

CHAPTER
TWO

LITERARATURE
REVIEW

Introduction

Literature review
section is aimed at making clear the theoretical context of the problem under
investigation and how it has been studied by the other scholars. It attempt to
review the concepts of knowledge, definition of vital terms, some empirical
studies related to knowledge sharing and conceptual framework. This chapter
reviews literature on knowledge sharing strategies in technical institutions in
order to identify research gaps, form and justify the questions this research
endeavored to answer. Literature review attempts to locate and synthesize
completed research reports, articles, books and other materials about the
specific problem of the research topic. The
types of literature review include: self-study reviews, context reviews,
historical reviews, theoretical reviews, methodological reviews and integrative
reviews.

Theoretical
framework

 

 

 

CHAPTER
THREE

RESEARCH
METHODOLOGY

Introduction

This section includes various sub-sections which are
involved in the proper running of this research. Those sub-section include
research design, targeted population and sample selection, data collection
instruments and data analysis procedures.

Research
design

Research design can be defined as a systematic plan
to study a given problem. We can say that research design is the frame work
that has been developed to come up with answers for a given research question. We
learn that design focuses mainly on pragmatic and solution driven out comes
rather than testing theories. There are many ways to classify research designs
but sometimes the distinction is artificial and other times different designs are
combined. Some of the design types include;

1.      Descriptive
design which include sub types such as case study, naturalistic observation and
survey.  

2.      Correlational
design includes case control study and observational study.

3.      Semi-experimental
includes field experiments and quasi experiment as its sub types

4.      Experimental
research design is just a design which constitutes of experiments with various
random assignment

5.      Review
consists of literature review or systematic review of a given research study.

6.      Meta-analytic
design uses statistical methods for contrasting and combining results from different
studies to identify patterns among study results, sources of disagreement among
those results or other interesting relationships that may come to light in the
context of multiple studies.

From our research we hope for the research design to
aid us to increase the amount we learn from the experience.

For our research we are going to conduct a case
study research design which is a sub-type design under the category of descriptive
design. According to Burns and Grove (2003; 201) descriptive research “is
designed to provide a picture of situation as it naturally happens”. Therefore for
our case we will conduct a case study of a telecommunication company in Kenya
which is the Safaricom Kenya.

We can define a case study as an in depth study of a
particular research problem rather than a sweeping statistical survey or a comprehensive
comparative inquiry. For example our case it’s going to narrow down a very
broad field which is the telecommunication industry in Kenya into a one easily
researchable area which is Safaricom which is one of the telecommunication
company. The case study research design is useful for testing whether a specific
theory and model actually applies to a given phenomenon in a real world. In our
case it is going to be very useful because not much is known about the role of
knowledge management in most of the Kenyan organizations and especially in the
telecommunication companies.

This is an effective design because it will be able
to make us or bring us to an understanding of the knowledge management issue
through detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events and their relationships
in perspective to Knowledge management.

Case study is the best because through it we can be
able to apply a variety of methodologies and also rely on a variety of sources
to investigate on our research problem.

Through case study design we are assured of
extending our own research experience and also add content to what to what is
already available through the previous conducted research on the given field.

Since the role of knowledge management in the
telecommunication company plays a big part in the running of the daily activity
of the company then the method will aid us to be able to examine the situation
in a real life context and it will be able to provide a basis for the
application of knowledge management and its extent.

Through this case study research design we know we
will be able to attain a detailed description of the role of knowledge
management in the telecommunication sector in Kenya and particularly Safaricom
Kenya.     

Target
population and sample

Target population

The target inhabitant
is a set of individuals or items the researcher needs to generalize the result
of the study Borg and Gall, 1989. A population can also be distinct as all persons
or substance with the trait one wish to understand. A population is a complete
set of individuals, case or objects with some common observable characteristics.

For our research
the targeted population comprises of the safaricom Kenya staff and its
users/customers

Sample size

As for the sample
size we can state that the
sample size is a representation from the portion of the target population. .
There are no specific rules when determining an appropriate sample size in
research. Sample size may best be determined by the time allotted, resources
available, and study objectives (Patton, 1990). As for this research we aim at
adopting a scientific research which will use at least 10% of the sample size. This
sample size will be used in order to avoid a high size of the sample and also in
order to have a marginal error which has confidence and accuracy interval of the
total population. This will also increase the accuracy of the research and we
will be able to minimize time wastage, wastage of money to conduct the research
and any other resource that might be required in order to conduct an effective
research.

 

Sampling technique

As for the sampling technique
we can state that sampling is the process of selecting a portion of the
population to represent the total population. Since our research will
constitute of only two defined group which is the safaricom staff and their
customer we will use a purposive sampling technique for the Safaricom staff.

Purposive sampling
is type of sampling technique that enabled the researcher to use judgment to
select the case that were best for making possible research questions to be
answered. The goal of Purposive sampling is to select a reasonable number of
respondents which represented the targeted population of the safaricom staff.
It was used to collect focused information from the staff. The purposeful
sample of the staff was 10% of the targeted population.

As for their
customers we will use stratified random sampling because they are sparse and we
are trying to enhance our research accuracy. Stratified sampling technique is
applied in order to obtain a representative sample.

Data collection techniques

As for our research
we will have to use a number of different data collection instruments in order
to have a proper and effective research that can be well relied on.

Since the organization
that we are conducting the research on is a big well known organization we will
deploy the use of; questionnaires, interviews, document reviews and case study.

Questionnaires

The research will
greatly rely on questionnaires as one of the data collection techniques. This is
because through questionnaires we will be able to attain a lot of information
from our targeted population and the time which we will take to conduct the
research will be less. The accuracy level of our collected information will
also be of high level since the respondent will be giving the information under
his/her privacy hence the level of fear of information with hold will be
minimal.   

Validity is the
available approximation to the truth or falsity of a given inference,
proposition or conclusion while reliability is the consistency of measurement
or degree to which an instrument measurers the same way each time it is used
under the same condition with the same objects. The questionnaires hence forth
will be piloted by distributing them to one staff members working in each
department in every level and at least ten customers. The staff and the ten
customer will not be included in the final study, under
the same condition with the same objects. The questionnaires helps to acquire
the important data. In order to increase the validity and reliability all the
questionnaires answered by respondent and afterwards will be collected in a required
and appropriate time without any biasness.

 

 

 

Interviews

In order for us to fully understand the Safaricom Kenya
staff impression to knowledge management we will have to conduct genuine
interviews with some of them. This will also aid us in understanding and
learning more about the answers that we will achieve from our questionnaire. In
other terms we can say that the questionnaires will be able to allow us to have
a more comprehensive understanding of the role of knowledge management at
safaricom Kenya.

For reliability and validity of the interviews the
interviews will be conducted on the stipulated time and only the collected
answers from the respondent at the given time will be considered. The test
pilot interview will be conducted on at least five telecommunication user.

Document
reviews

The use of document review will also come in handy
in data collection. This is whereby we will know how the organization operates
in relation to knowledge management without interrupting any normal basic organizational
activity. The document review can be conducted through the review of memos, minutes
and various application forms.

The validity and reliability of document review will
be attain by only considering documents that will be provided by the organization
which is under study that is Safaricom Kenya or ones that are available on
their official online website. As for a test pilot the yearly organization report
will be used to see and show the role of knowledge management in Safaricom. And
to check whether they have a position of knowledge manager and the department
at large.

Case
study

In order for us to full understand Safaricom Kenya’s
knowledge management role, we will need to conduct an effective case study. We will
try and have an effective comparison between their use of knowledge management
and its role with other telecommunication companies both in Kenya and worldwide.
This will aid the research to powerfully portray the role of knowledge
management in various organization.

The organization case study will be compared with
other telecommunication organization that have operated for more than eight
years in order to be considered valid. This will enhance the level of reliability
in comparison in order to come up with a better case study.

Ethical
consideration

Ethics are moral
principles that governs a person or groups behaviors in the code of conduct.
Conducting a research requires not only expertise and attentiveness, but also
honesty and integrity should be observed. This is done to recognize and protect
the rights of human subjects. To render the study ethical, the rights to
self-determination, privacy, confidentiality and informed agreement will be
maintained.

The samples will be
informed of their rights to voluntarily agree or decline to participate, and to
withdraw participation at any time without penalty.

Interviewees will be
informed about the purpose of the study, the procedures that is used to collect
the data, and assured that there will be no potential risks or costs involved.

 Privacy and confidentiality will be maintained
throughout the study regardless of what information is given even if it seems unimportant
to the study.

Data analysis

Data analysis is the
procedure of gathering, modelling and transforming data with the goal of
highlighting useful information, suggestions, conclusions and support decision
making. Analysis of data according to Yin (1989), involves organization,
manipulation and consideration of their meaning. Descriptive
statistics is used because it is simple to understand and easier to make the
results known to a variety of readers Bell (1993).

With our research the study is qualitative in nature hence, data is analyzed using
qualitative data approach. Results of the analysis will be presented in tables,
graphs and charts. Results of qualitative analysis are presented in narrative
format.

 

 

  

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