role of knowledge management

CHAPTERONEINTRODUCTIONKNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT in any organization in thismodern world has become more interesting and crucial since it can enhance onescompetitive advantage. Most of the companies nowadays base their productionaccording to the knowledge they have rather than their products only.

We findthat any organization that is knowledge oriented will base their activities indistributing knowledge to their employees. Due to a subjective manner of knowledge managementthere is no any common way of practicing knowledge rather than any givenorganization needs to have a critical study on their success factors. In orderto have an effective and a successful knowledge management system many issuesshould be considered and paid attention to. This include the daily activitiesthat the organization conduct, its product, its consumer and its dailyinteraction.In this research we are going to study about therole of knowledge management in organization and we are going to base ourresearch on a case study of a telecommunication company in Kenya which isSAFARICOM KENYA. In this research we hope that it will aid in clarifying theimportance of knowledge management and its effective role in any given modernorganization of today.

Backgroundof the study Knowledgemanagement as we know is one of the important aspects that help in the growthof any organization worldwide. Without knowledge the growth factor of any givenorganization is very limited and most probably it will luck any proper andbeneficial growth. For this reasons many companies nowadays ensure that theyincorporate a knowledge management department in there structure for them to beable to satisfy their customers. According to Emmanuel Mango Khaemba, “Despitethe fact that knowledge management drives the developed countries’ economies,Africa has not embrace knowledge management with a lot of seriousness itdeserve. Knowledge management in Africa is largely informal and mostorganizations have not formally acknowledge the knowledge managementinitiatives” Telecommunication companies have also not been leftbehind in knowledge management. Since they deal with a lot of data in theirdaily business they therefore have to incorporate an effective knowledgemanagement system. Some of the big organizations in the world are known to runtheir business solemnly through knowledge. Based on this research we will do a case study ofthe telecommunication company in Kenya which is Safaricom Kenya.

The companywas established in 1997 and up to date it has one of the largest call centersin the Sub-Sahara.    Statementof the problemIt is important to know factors which are criticalin knowledge management implementation in order to ensure that important issuesand activities are handled during the implementation. Through this research weaim at disclosing on ways in which the telecommunication company is able tocollect and apply knowledge management in their daily routine which enablesthem to run their business.

We intend to seek out why are they only a fewtelecommunication networks in Kenya, what are the obstacles that lead to thisfactor. How does the company relate to the market and its customers? In theresent released Communications authority report it stated that Safaricom Kenyahas had a significant profit growth and also market growth among Kenyan citizenand mainly among the youth. With this growth it is seen that competition isexpected to be elevated among the three available telecommunication companythat being Safaricom, Airtel Kenya and Telkom Kenya. Due to this report thisresearch will be trying to seek out what is the company doing that has madethem to have this lucrative growth. We want to see what are they doing that theother two competitors did not do within the same period, is it a wise movewhich will continue to have the company to stay afloat in the market or it willhave some future negativity which will impact the company badly. Through the research finding we will be able to seewhether it is wise for any prospective investor to start a telecommunicationcompany in Kenya. We will be able to also know some of the basic requirementsthat a telecommunication company need to have for them to remain relevant inthe market and make a considerable profit.

We also hope that the findings canbe of help to the future academicians for their reference in their academicwork.AimThe aim of the research is to establish howknowledge management is impacting the economy growth within variousorganization in Kenya at the present time. Objectivea)     Which structuredo the company manage the available information that they acquire through theirdaily activities.b)     To show theproper effectiveness of knowledge management.c)     Through theresearch we aim at availing important knowledge that is used by thetelecommunication companies in Kenya to various academicians.d)    To show thenecessity and importance of knowledge management in any given organization.e)     To emphasize onthe market benefits and growth strategies that an organization can acquirethrough knowledge management.

f)      To show thepotentiality that are availed through knowledge management in organizations Researchquestionsa)      Doesthe company have the management system?b)      Isknowledge management important in the organization?c)      Howdoes the company’s knowledge incorporation aid the academicians?d)     Sincewhen did the organization incorporate knowledge management?e)      Howhas the organization developed with the incorporation of knowledge management? f)       Whatis the benefit of knowledge management in the growth of the company?Assumptionof the study One of the main assumption of knowledge managementis that most people think that it is not important and one can survive andprosper without it.Knowledge management is one of the main base thathelp in the running of the telecommunication industry.Most company in Kenya in the resent past areincorporating knowledge management in their day to day running of theirbusiness.Big companies like Safaricom have their own fullbased department of knowledge management that runs independently and have chiefknowledge officers who aid in ensuring that there is an effective knowledgemanagement program.The government is trying to ensure that people areaware of knowledge management and its effectiveness.There is a low number of knowledge managers in Kenyasince it is only when most companies are seeing and learning about the benefitsand the importance of knowledge management.

Hence making people to startacquiring education on the matter in order to feel the available positions.Significanceof the studyThrough the research we know that each and everyorganization will be able to establish and know the importance of knowledgemanagement. Through it the organizations will also see the ways through which aproper and efficient knowledge management is incorporated within theorganization. The downfalls/challenges of lacking knowledge management willalso be shown effectively in order to boost the concept of knowledge managementin a given county. By this we can say that the study will be of significance tothe organization, its customers, the government, education sector and theindustry at large. In terms of the organization we can state that thestudy results will be used to show more of how they use their availableknowledge and whether it is enabling them to gain more profits or not. Withthis the organization will be able to see and recheck their knowledgemanagement system and if there is away in which they will find that they needto change for betterment of their services then they will make the necessarychanges. Through this research the organization will be able to be understoodby many learners and at times they will be used as a source of reference by theacademician hence enabling them to have a significant level of growth in theirmarket in which they well dominate without a lot of competition as of the presentmoment.

The study will be of great importance to thecustomers of the communication company in that they will be comfortable becausethey will have at least a mere knowledge on how their information is handled bythe company. They will know how they can interact with the company if they everhave any challenges that they will encounter while they are using the services.Through the study the customers will also be able to know about theorganization’s structure and how it is ran all throughout.As for the government they will benefit from the studyin that they will be able to understand what benefits knowledge management hasin industries development therefore making them to try and enforce theindustries to incorporate knowledge management in their structure. Through thestudy we also hope that the government will see the importance of knowledgemanagement hence making them to increase their focus on knowledge managementwhich later will increase the government’s economic growth.In the education sector the study is aiming atimproving the understanding and importance of knowledge management to any givenperson who is partaking knowledge management.

The study will try to provide afuture reference material to the future researchers. It will be impacting moreknowledge understanding of knowledge management based on the local Kenyancontext. Learners will be able to know what main role does knowledge managementhave on the Kenyan industries and try to clarify on how they are implemented.

As of the industry in itself the study hopes to makethe benefits of knowledge management be known by the other companies runningthe same business. By it we hope that most company will see the advantages ofknowledge management and start incorporating it in their company hence leadingto 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 toincorporate it for the first time will know what they should expect.  This study is of great importance because through itthe role of knowledge management in organizations will be unearthed and will beknown.  Justificationof the studyScopeand limitation ScopeFor this research we will be conducting a case studyof Safaricom Kenya which is one of the leading telecommunication company inKenya and east and central Africa. LimitationSome of the limitation that we seem to encounter inthe study is the availability of the correct information that we need in orderto conduct this research.

The willingness of the necessary people to give usthe required information is also a challenging factor that we need to mainlyconsider in our research.Time is a limiting factor that we will encounter inour research since our area of study will require taking up some time from thecompanies employees and also our own time which will need the researcher tolimit his research to a restricted time guide.Funds to carry out the proper suggestive research isalso a factor that will pose a limitation to our end result since the researchwill solemnly mainly rely its funding from the researcher and not any otherbody.Definitionof key termsSafaricom –Knowledge management –Organization – CHAPTERTWOLITERARATUREREVIEWIntroductionLiterature reviewsection is aimed at making clear the theoretical context of the problem underinvestigation and how it has been studied by the other scholars. It attempt toreview the concepts of knowledge, definition of vital terms, some empiricalstudies related to knowledge sharing and conceptual framework.

This chapterreviews literature on knowledge sharing strategies in technical institutions inorder to identify research gaps, form and justify the questions this researchendeavored to answer. Literature review attempts to locate and synthesizecompleted research reports, articles, books and other materials about thespecific problem of the research topic. Thetypes of literature review include: self-study reviews, context reviews,historical reviews, theoretical reviews, methodological reviews and integrativereviews.Theoreticalframework   CHAPTERTHREERESEARCHMETHODOLOGYIntroductionThis section includes various sub-sections which areinvolved in the proper running of this research. Those sub-section includeresearch design, targeted population and sample selection, data collectioninstruments and data analysis procedures.

ResearchdesignResearch design can be defined as a systematic planto study a given problem. We can say that research design is the frame workthat has been developed to come up with answers for a given research question. Welearn that design focuses mainly on pragmatic and solution driven out comesrather than testing theories. There are many ways to classify research designsbut sometimes the distinction is artificial and other times different designs arecombined. Some of the design types include; 1.      Descriptivedesign which include sub types such as case study, naturalistic observation andsurvey.

 2.      Correlationaldesign includes case control study and observational study. 3.

      Semi-experimentalincludes field experiments and quasi experiment as its sub types4.      Experimentalresearch design is just a design which constitutes of experiments with variousrandom assignment 5.      Reviewconsists of literature review or systematic review of a given research study.6.

      Meta-analyticdesign uses statistical methods for contrasting and combining results from differentstudies to identify patterns among study results, sources of disagreement amongthose results or other interesting relationships that may come to light in thecontext of multiple studies.From our research we hope for the research design toaid us to increase the amount we learn from the experience.For our research we are going to conduct a casestudy research design which is a sub-type design under the category of descriptivedesign. According to Burns and Grove (2003; 201) descriptive research “isdesigned to provide a picture of situation as it naturally happens”. Therefore forour case we will conduct a case study of a telecommunication company in Kenyawhich is the Safaricom Kenya.

We can define a case study as an in depth study of aparticular research problem rather than a sweeping statistical survey or a comprehensivecomparative inquiry. For example our case it’s going to narrow down a verybroad field which is the telecommunication industry in Kenya into a one easilyresearchable area which is Safaricom which is one of the telecommunicationcompany. The case study research design is useful for testing whether a specifictheory and model actually applies to a given phenomenon in a real world. In ourcase it is going to be very useful because not much is known about the role ofknowledge management in most of the Kenyan organizations and especially in thetelecommunication companies.This is an effective design because it will be ableto make us or bring us to an understanding of the knowledge management issuethrough detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events and their relationshipsin perspective to Knowledge management.Case study is the best because through it we can beable to apply a variety of methodologies and also rely on a variety of sourcesto investigate on our research problem.Through case study design we are assured ofextending our own research experience and also add content to what to what isalready available through the previous conducted research on the given field.Since the role of knowledge management in thetelecommunication company plays a big part in the running of the daily activityof the company then the method will aid us to be able to examine the situationin a real life context and it will be able to provide a basis for theapplication of knowledge management and its extent.

Through this case study research design we know wewill be able to attain a detailed description of the role of knowledgemanagement in the telecommunication sector in Kenya and particularly SafaricomKenya.     Targetpopulation and sample Target populationThe target inhabitantis a set of individuals or items the researcher needs to generalize the resultof the study Borg and Gall, 1989. A population can also be distinct as all personsor substance with the trait one wish to understand. A population is a completeset of individuals, case or objects with some common observable characteristics.For our researchthe targeted population comprises of the safaricom Kenya staff and itsusers/customers Sample size As for the samplesize we can state that thesample size is a representation from the portion of the target population. .There are no specific rules when determining an appropriate sample size inresearch. Sample size may best be determined by the time allotted, resourcesavailable, and study objectives (Patton, 1990).

As for this research we aim atadopting a scientific research which will use at least 10% of the sample size. Thissample size will be used in order to avoid a high size of the sample and also inorder to have a marginal error which has confidence and accuracy interval of thetotal population. This will also increase the accuracy of the research and wewill be able to minimize time wastage, wastage of money to conduct the researchand any other resource that might be required in order to conduct an effectiveresearch. Sampling techniqueAs for the sampling techniquewe can state that sampling is the process of selecting a portion of thepopulation to represent the total population. Since our research willconstitute of only two defined group which is the safaricom staff and theircustomer we will use a purposive sampling technique for the Safaricom staff.

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

As for theircustomers we will use stratified random sampling because they are sparse and weare trying to enhance our research accuracy. Stratified sampling technique isapplied in order to obtain a representative sample.Data collection techniquesAs for our researchwe will have to use a number of different data collection instruments in orderto have a proper and effective research that can be well relied on.Since the organizationthat we are conducting the research on is a big well known organization we willdeploy the use of; questionnaires, interviews, document reviews and case study.Questionnaires The research willgreatly rely on questionnaires as one of the data collection techniques. This isbecause through questionnaires we will be able to attain a lot of informationfrom our targeted population and the time which we will take to conduct theresearch will be less. The accuracy level of our collected information willalso be of high level since the respondent will be giving the information underhis/her privacy hence the level of fear of information with hold will beminimal.   Validity is theavailable approximation to the truth or falsity of a given inference,proposition or conclusion while reliability is the consistency of measurementor degree to which an instrument measurers the same way each time it is usedunder the same condition with the same objects.

The questionnaires hence forthwill be piloted by distributing them to one staff members working in eachdepartment in every level and at least ten customers. The staff and the tencustomer will not be included in the final study, underthe same condition with the same objects. The questionnaires helps to acquirethe important data. In order to increase the validity and reliability all thequestionnaires answered by respondent and afterwards will be collected in a requiredand appropriate time without any biasness.   InterviewsIn order for us to fully understand the Safaricom Kenyastaff impression to knowledge management we will have to conduct genuineinterviews with some of them. This will also aid us in understanding andlearning more about the answers that we will achieve from our questionnaire. Inother terms we can say that the questionnaires will be able to allow us to havea more comprehensive understanding of the role of knowledge management atsafaricom Kenya.For reliability and validity of the interviews theinterviews will be conducted on the stipulated time and only the collectedanswers from the respondent at the given time will be considered.

The testpilot interview will be conducted on at least five telecommunication user.Documentreviews The use of document review will also come in handyin data collection. This is whereby we will know how the organization operatesin relation to knowledge management without interrupting any normal basic organizationalactivity. The document review can be conducted through the review of memos, minutesand various application forms.The validity and reliability of document review willbe attain by only considering documents that will be provided by the organizationwhich is under study that is Safaricom Kenya or ones that are available ontheir official online website. As for a test pilot the yearly organization reportwill be used to see and show the role of knowledge management in Safaricom. Andto check whether they have a position of knowledge manager and the departmentat large.

CasestudyIn order for us to full understand Safaricom Kenya’sknowledge management role, we will need to conduct an effective case study. We willtry and have an effective comparison between their use of knowledge managementand its role with other telecommunication companies both in Kenya and worldwide.This will aid the research to powerfully portray the role of knowledgemanagement in various organization.The organization case study will be compared withother telecommunication organization that have operated for more than eightyears in order to be considered valid. This will enhance the level of reliabilityin comparison in order to come up with a better case study. EthicalconsiderationEthics are moralprinciples that governs a person or groups behaviors in the code of conduct.

Conducting a research requires not only expertise and attentiveness, but alsohonesty and integrity should be observed. This is done to recognize and protectthe rights of human subjects. To render the study ethical, the rights toself-determination, privacy, confidentiality and informed agreement will bemaintained.

The samples will beinformed of their rights to voluntarily agree or decline to participate, and towithdraw participation at any time without penalty. Interviewees will beinformed about the purpose of the study, the procedures that is used to collectthe data, and assured that there will be no potential risks or costs involved. Privacy and confidentiality will be maintainedthroughout the study regardless of what information is given even if it seems unimportantto the study.Data analysisData analysis is theprocedure of gathering, modelling and transforming data with the goal ofhighlighting useful information, suggestions, conclusions and support decisionmaking. Analysis of data according to Yin (1989), involves organization,manipulation and consideration of their meaning. Descriptivestatistics is used because it is simple to understand and easier to make theresults known to a variety of readers Bell (1993).With our research the study is qualitative in nature hence, data is analyzed usingqualitative data approach.

Results of the analysis will be presented in tables,graphs and charts. Results of qualitative analysis are presented in narrativeformat.    

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