I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to my supervisor Dr Zahra Salimi, for her valuable pragmatic advice and outstanding guidance during this research.
I’m particularly thankful to all my staff for their constant support from frome work viewpoint that has allowed me to complete this research.
Many thanks to Papyrus organisation, management and employees who have participate.
Finally, I would like to thank my wife Nashmeel who has been extremely supportive and patient during the time of my studies, this is dedicated to her and my boys Ayman, Shkar, and Ahmad.
The concept of knowledge management has attracted widespread interest and has been the subject of study from numerous practitioners and researchers over a long period of time. There is strong believes among world business that knowledge management is one of the most important factor for success of organisations, Romer, (1993). Therefore as individuals fail to gain employment within both formal and informal sectors, the idea of having one’s own business becomes more competitive and attractive (Aderemi et al.2008). Business leaders and managers within the printing industry for example, face an increasing threat from the growing capabilities of the internet (and its related technologies) and their influence on how traditional business models find an alternative strategy for their business operation. (Andrew,1998) cited in, Cope and Freeman, 2002, p. 183). Managements of organisations are constantly looking for thebest ways to achieve better results and performances. In recent years the nature and sources of organisational knowledge transfer within international business have received a great deal of interest, mainly due to the huge impact thatknowledge transfers make in anorganisation’s competitive advantage, thereby knowledge transfer can be the establishment for people’s relation. Roberts, (2000) hence organisational knowledge becomes the main focus of thought for many business practitioners and academic researchers, Harrison (2009).
This research serves to explore the process of knowledge management level within Papyrus Design, and to offers recommendations to improve the level of transfer of knowledge between the organisation’s employees and its affect on organisational learning and performance. The aim of this study however is to concentrate on the adoption and use of knowledge management approaches and how these have contributed to the effectiveness and efficiency of the knowledge management process in establishing different approaches which can be adopted at Papyrus Design. Today the contexts of using Knowledge transfer within an organisation are very important and popular, there are many driving forces behind these popularities and can be explore some of those factors. Firstly, the interest of organisations in the development of knowledge management and learning of employees. Secondly, the requirement for existing methods of learning transfers knowledge to match the need of continuous development of knowledge management for employees. Thirdly, the need for flexibility’s need in terms of the employee’s knowledge development process and learning.
The Papyrus Design organisation is one of the most dynamic and trendy organisations in the North West of England. Based in Manchester and established 15 years ago, the company have over 35 employees. The main production’s company is printing and marketing advertisement, the company’s management structure is control management style The control management style is not helpful to learning organisation’s feature that’s necessary to improve organisational learning, there is main manager for all departments and each department have their own manager which are the Design department and the Production department its include finishing and packing sections.
The area to be investigated is the level of transfer knowledge inside the organisation and how this affects’ organisational learning. The fact that motivated author was in what extent knowledge management system existing within Papyrus Design, This raised the matter of whether the knowledge transfer is already exist but however not been well established and formulated, and to clarify the importance of advantage and opportunity of knowledge transfer among employees inside organisation. And how the organisation’s can be beneficial from using knowledge transfer system? The investigation outcome of existing knowledge management system within SMEs in North West of England showing that majority of them does not have the knowledge management system. Moreover the results of research presents on the extent to which knowledge management approaches were being used within UK by SMEs. The main finding is that SMEs are generally not aware of how knowledge transfer possibly be create by using of knowledge management system, Koh and Maguire (2004).
Learning organisation is an organisation skilful at generating, achieving and transferring knowledge, and adapting its performance to reflect new knowledge such as organisations can transfer knowledge successfully from one part to another and hence they are much more creative and will have a greater chance in surviving than those that do not adapt. Generally an organisation can recognise extraordinary increases in performances during knowledge transfer; however successful knowledge transfer is not easy to achieve. (Argote, et .al, 2000, cited in ,Chauvet , 2003). Organizational learning it’s a way to the process of developing performance to better knowledge and understanding. (Fiol and Lyles, 1985, p.803)
This approach is showing that organisation better with long-term results, Organisational learning is a long-term activity that can create competitive advantages over time and need management’s consideration constantly. Every organisation should be able to learn; some of them learn better than others and can survive whilst at the same time are the successful learners, but the ones that do not succeed in learning will, in the end, disappear.(Easterby-Smith,et.al, 2004). The difficulty in knowledge transfer in organisations rise above the individual rank to take in transfer at higher levels of analysis, such as the group, product line, department, or division. For instance, one manufacturing team can learn from other departments on how to better collect a product, or a geographical division may learn a different approach to product aim from its partner in another division.
We can measure knowledge transfer by the changes in performance and knowledge. when one sector becomes affected by another in an organisation therefore we can understand that knowledge transfer is happening. The conclusion is, organisation knowledge transfer shows itself by changes in the learning knowledge or performance at the time of units’ recipient.
Furthermore, the strategic importance of this research can help strengthen the PAPYRUS DESIGN in the way of clarify any strength, weakness and opportunities and can suggest recommendation which help new employees learning. By giving attention to those the research objectives were summarised as the following shows:
§ To investigate the level of knowledge transfer within Papyrus Design organisation.
§ To propose recommendation how knowledge management improve organisational performance
Knowledge management concept been put dawn as most recent development in management study (Easterby-Smith and Lyles 2005).and suggestion by( Hansenal ,1999) that knowledge management always been used by organisations however but not on purpose or systematic approach .Knowledge management during the 1990s becomes very popular by (Nonaka and Takeuchi’s,1995) Regardless of its popularity there will be still a level of confusion in term of defining knowledge management (Cong and Pandya, 2003; Vera and Grossan, 2005).
Three topics been identify within knowledge management study by Scarborough and Swan (2005), literature; performance improvement, , describing managing knowledge as resource strategy and the storage and process of knowledge .Knowledge management been summarise by Vera and Grossan (2005) as “managed learning” and assumption will result a positive effect on performance , the theories and concept of knowledge management are prescriptive in the matter of what can be doing by organisation in order to manage knowledge. Organisational learning conversely is showing as resource can provide the study and regarding competitive advantage is concerned about the process of the way knowledge is developed, created ,transferred and shared (Argote and Ingram, 2000; Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; Pisano, 1994; Szulanski, 1996), the other view about organisational knowledge is partly stored inside peoples as sort of skills, personal ability and experience , and some other parts into the organisation in the appearance of regulations ,rules and standards (Weick and Roberts 1993). Therefore can provide some definitions for knowledge management as below:
Van der Spek and Spijkervet (1997 p43) The explicit control and knowledge management inside organisation meant to reach objectives of the company.
O’Leary (1998 p34) the proper way of management of knowledge helping creation, reprocess and access of knowledge, using advanced technology properly.
Bassi (1999 p424) the creating process, using and capturing knowledge in order to improve organisational performance.
Liebowitz and Wilcox (1997 pi) the organisation’s ability to manage, value, store and distribute knowledge.
Cong and Pandya (2003 p27) the organisation’s ability to use their collective knowledge during knowledge generations process, exploitation and sharing allowed by technology to reach their objectives.
its widely recognized that knowledge has two types ; explicit, (in this type knowledge has at minimum been “captured” and expressed and has perfectly been “codified”, that is , structured, documented and disseminated) , tacit ( this types of knowledge is living in individual’s heads or “muscle memory” and it’s possible to be destined to stay there), Lynne ( 2001). Through processing of education, socialization and learning can knowledge to be transferred (Roberts J, 2000). Knowledge transfer in organizations is the process through which one unit (group, department, or section) getting affect by the experience of another. (Argote, L Ingram P, 2000). The establishment and transfer of knowledge within an organisation it has developed crucial factors in an organisation’s success and competitiveness. It is important to understand what does knowledge transfer mean? (Major and Cordey-Hayes, 2002, p. 422) cited in(Syed-Ikhsan S, Rowland F,2004) suggesting that Transfer of knowledge is a transportation of knowledge from one position, individual, ownership, etc, to another one, furthermore, there must be involvement of two or more parties and the ground for foundation and destination same time. Normally when something is transferred, someone benefits from it and someone else will lose as a result. However knowledge which is considered as intangible resources is different from tangible sources, because tangible resources expect the value to be reduced when they are used, therefore when someone transfers their knowledge, they will not lose it. As a result knowledge will grow therefore individual shares the knowledge they have (Syed-Ikhsan and Rowland, 2004). Knowledge transfer is the process during the affectation of one group member by the experience of another group, usually knowledge transfer can show itself during changes of performance or knowledge of the unit’s recipient.
Knowledge sometime can showed similar to product – something out there, it’s possible searched out, obtained ,measured ,codified and distributed across the firm , knowledge can also be view as a process, ,rising from within the people but intimately formed by relations with other peoples. However we can see knowledge as dynamic because knowledge changes when people’s interpretation of the world around them changes (Harrison R, 2009). The organization that can transfer successfully production development mad at one organization to another will be more creative than its counterparts who are unsuccessful at knowledge transfer (Goodman & Darr, 1996) cited by (Argote L, 2005).
It’s helpful to look at some of authors view to find out what means to them knowledge management, and why they believes that knowledge cannot be managed? can be began with the “founding fathers” of the concept, possibly the founding father- Karl Erik Sveiby, in 1990 ,wrote about subject his first book under the title, ‘Kunskapledning’ in Swedish (Sveiby, 1990). Generally researchers within academic field and teachers not need to be “stuck with” whatever unsuccessful to resist to rigorous analysis, but it’s fascinating can see the founders of “knowledge management” is unhappy with the term However the following are much more individual views:
I don’t believe knowledge can be managed. Knowledge Management is a poor term, but we are stuck with it, I suppose. "Knowledge Focus" or "Knowledge Creation" (Nonaka) are better terms, because they describe a mindset, which sees knowledge as activity not an object. A is a human vision, not a technological one. (Sveiby, 2001. Cited in Wilson, 2002).
One of the first one to write about the “knowledge society” and “ knowledge economy” concept Drucker,(1969) and argue about the idea that knowledge can be managed.
Drucker, scoffs at the notion of knowledge management. “You can’t manage knowledge “ he says, 2knowledge is between two ears, and only between two ears” To that extent, Drucker says it’s really about what individual workers do with the knowledge they have. When employees leave accompany, he says, their knowledge goes with them, no matter how much they’ve shared. (Drucker, 1969. Cited in Wilson,2002).
Knowledge can be recognized as two types: tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge (Polyani, 1966). Polyani argues that tacit knowledge it’s something belong to personal but is still stay as a personified when the meeting happen between the people and culture he belong to, (Polanyi,1962, 1966) . the point of Polany’s concept about “tacit” is means “hidden” tacit knowledge is means hidden knowledge, hidden even from knower’s consciousness, this is the grounds Polanyi have the expression “We know more than we can tell” this expression even used by those they mis-use the concept and they believe this hidden knowledge , unreachable to the consciousness of knower, and in some ways can be captured.( Wilson,2002).
Tacit knowledge has two dimensions; first one is technical dimension, which is cover the type of informal personal skills or crafts often referred to as (know-how). Second one is the cognitive dimension; it based of values, beliefs, ideals, schemata, and mental models (James et. al, 1999-2000). Tacit knowledge is where people have the knowledge in their minds; it is very difficult to transfer or share with other people. Tacit knowledge is considered as very personal and strongly rooted from people’s ideas, experiences, values and emotions. The technical part is indicating with specific capability and skill it has been developed (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995), Tacit knowledge is useful knowledge can be using it to perform a task, and this type of knowledge is used as a method in order to handling what’s been concentrate on (Sveiby, 1997, p. 30). Therefore tacit knowledge within business context is: action-oriented, practical, context-linked, experience-based and personal, but the work done by tacit knowledge has to be examined for strength ,quality, and reductions in term of product costs . however , there are many argument within literature see that tacit knowledge is which diced to what degree businesses within global economy and turbulent market will be competitive (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Spender & Grant, 1996; Sweeney, 1996; Teece, Pisano, & Schuen, 1997). Furthermore tacit knowledge has a personal quality and is hard to take out from the individual’s mind thereby making it difficult to transfer and communicate. This type of knowledge is deeply rooted in action, commitment and involvement in a particular context (Nonaka, I. and Takeuchi, H. 1995).
Explicit knowledge is codified and can be precisely and properly expressed. It is much more formal and efficient, possible to communicate and easy to transfer. This type of knowledge has been described by individuals and assumed that it isuseful knowledge of individual within the firm. This kind of knowledge is likely more specific and objective, connecting to past activities (Nonaka, I. and Takeuchi, H. 1995).
Explicit knowledge is emphasised more, both in literature and practice, therefore this type of knowledge can be passed on across people formally and easily.
Cook and Brown (1999) challenging that by knowing tacit and explicit knowledge only are not enough to completely understand the knowledge concept , they see the knowledge idea have to be added to the response what someone really knows. As tacit and explicit knowledge overcomes by individuals, knowing it will be about “practice” and interconnect with the physical and social world. Mainly knowledge concern with cognitive function such as facts and skills (know what) as more knowledge concern by knowledge of behaviour as action (know how) (Vera and Grossan 2005). The other fact referring to knowledge is practical as it seats more emphasis on individual actually putting knowledge within practice instate of just its transfer, creation and storage. Brown and Duguid (1998). However they suggesting that the core capability of organisations needs the knowledge (know how) to place knowledge (know what) within practice. Cook and Brown (1999) also suggesting put the factors of knowledge and knowing inside learning perspective by proposing they are learning processes content , that learning is a change within knowledge and knowing, it will result in changes to individuals behaviour and cognition.
Organisational learning’s most important consideration is how the knowledge used Nutley and Davis (2001 p36) they suggesting that present and past management of knowledge is the organisational learning’s important part. Organisational learning concerning also about adaptation and building of knowledge (Stonehouse and Pemberton 1999), has been confirmed that one of the most important role about people’s learning is showing the way to organisational knowledge (Pemberton and Stonehouse 2000). Nonaka and Takeuchi’s (1995) .Knowledge creation model offers an understandable view about the organisational learning impact on knowledge management, clarifying the development of knowledge transfer among peoples, group, inter-organisational levels and organisation. However Alder et al (1999) recommend the role of management is to create best environment for learning that can help individuals and organisation’s interactions in order to build and share knowledge. This needs from organisations to provide a processes or system available in order to obtain knowledge to change or developing “the organisations that purposely search for developing organisational learning are most of the time describe as learning organisations” (Nutley and Davies 2001 p36). The concept of learning organisations was seeing as an important element to organisations capability to deal with continuous (Dixon 1994).
Despite the growing attention within organizational learning. Those organisations are competent learners are described as “learning organisations”, Garvin (1993) defined a learning organisation as “ an organisation acquiring, skilled at creating, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reproduce new knowledge and insights" . Organisational learning viewed by most scholars as a development, a cognitive enterprise which over time unfolds .but they different on other matters which is more important, there are some they believes that change of behavioural is necessary for learning(Fiol and Lyles 1985), but there are others believe new ways of thinking it will be enough (Huber, 1991), and some others emphasizing that tangible market , the information process systems i.e.,( dissemination and information generation ) as a instrument during which learning should happen (Sinkula, 1994), the others suggests the need for shared organizational visions, shared mental models, and open-minded approaches in order to solve the problem (Senge,1990, 1992)
Sinkula J. Baker W. Noordewier T. 1997. Journal of Academy of Marketing Science. Volume
Senge suggesting that learning organisation is the one continually peoples are develop their ability in order to gain the result they actually wish to and learn how to perform and learn together in best way (Senge,1990). This definition is more relaying on culture inside organisations and motivated people to learn. Garvin (1993 p.80) clarifying learning organisation as the one is acquires, creates, and transferring knowledge’s and adapting its behaviour in order to responses to new knowledge and insights. After this argument can summarised as fallowing:
§ There is clear link between organisational learning and knowledge management.
§ There is a link between learning process and process of knowledge creation.
§ In order to occur organisational learning its require from organisation to develop system and structures that support peoples learning but also encourage the process of social learning and as a result the subsequent creation, capturing and sharing of knowledge.
§ The establishing system is needed for organisation to use and store acquired knowledge as a main capability therefore this helps its adaptation, development and change.
There are some arguments suggesting that there must be difference be made between organisational learning and individual. Although learning of individuals is important to organisations , simply the organisational learning is not the sum each person’s learning .organisation its different than individuals, maintain and develop learning system that not just affect directly their members. However they pass on to others by way of organization histories and norms. (Lawrence &Dyer, 1983; Martin, 1982; Mitroff & Kilmann, 1976) . Hedberg(1981) suggesting that organisational learning although happens through individuals, organisations don’t have brains as a human being , however but they have memories and cognitive systems. as individuals developing their personal habits, personalities, and beliefs over the times , organizations developing ideologies and world views. organizations members come and go, changes leaderships , but the memories of organizations protecting the mental maps, certain behaviours, values and norms over time .
Argyris (1976) suggested a theory of double loop learning which is appropriate to learn how to change underlying assumptions and values. The main theory’s concentration is on problem solving that are ill-structured and complex and which change as problem-solving progress. Argyris and Schon (1978) present models for learning organisations, stand on single and double-loop learning, those types of learning have been used within organisations and recognised as adaptive and generative learning as pointed out by Senge (1990). Single-loop learning occurs when noticing errors and correcting it whilst organisations continue with their current polices and goals. Single-loop learning is the most common form of learning within firms; Senge (1990) describes this type of learning as ‘coping. The theory of Double loop outlined by Argyris & Schon (1974) and is based upon (theory of action) perspective , this point of view evaluates from human beings reality’s viewpoint as actors. Change in behsvior, values, leadership and help others. Generally there are four necessary steps in processing of learning action theory:
§ Finding of espoused and theory-in-use.
§ New meanings invention.
§ New actions production.
§ Generality of results.
Double loop learning involve making any of those steps applying to itself , assumptions underlying current outlooks in double loop learning are hypotheses and questioned about publically testing behavior. The double loop learning’s last result should be improving of decision-making’s effectiveness and enhanced acceptance of mistakes and failures. Can single-loop learning be compared with becoming affective more at what already you’re doing? Whereas double-loop learning is about searching the efficiency of the target. Or in other word (single-loop learning is making things correct, while double-loop learning is making the correct things).
Double-loop learning is not just related to ability of pointing and correcting errors, but also in questioning and adapting existing norms. Double-loop learning is capable of changing anorganisation’s knowledge base, its activities or routines. This type has also been describes by (Senge, 1990) as higher-level learning (or type of learning that can expand the capabilities of an organisation) and strategic learning.
Deutero-learning occurs when the organisations are capable in carrying out single-loop and double-loop learning. It is not possible for the first two types of learning to occur if the organisations are not aware that learning should happen; however awareness of ignorance encourages learning (Nevis,1995).
There is another matter regarding what’s exactly controlling the process and in what extent these types of learning within organisations should occur , the main aims of double-loop learning is to challenge the question and norms, this type of learning if effectively not controlled and managed can lead to disorganisation and disharmony, that will resulting in failure to reach the goals of organisations, generally the organisational learning’s key part is to improving performance or efficiency of organisations. as a result double-loop learning then require to happen within limited time , which might change within organisation according to the levels inside organisation .
A primary weakness within this model is its concentrating learning of individuals. there is no any explanation or clarifying and to offer how learning of individuals is leads or connected to organisational learning. Majority models or theories of organisational learning are concentrating on the organisation’s individual activities, which ends to ‘individual action bias’ (Huysman 1999).these likely over look the playing role by institutional forces, structural conditions ,culture, history and organisational values and norms.
Double-loop and Deutero Learning focuses onwhy and how to change the organisation, whereas single-loop learning is looking at the change and accepting it with no questioning underlying assumptions.
However single and double-loop learning recognized as focusing too deeply on problem based learning.
Another idea of organisational learning being processing constantly is Learning Cycle model. Developing new skills and ability of effectiveness is not dependent on proper training only, but also about taking experience from day to day work. However learning is a continuing process which may be seen as a cycle of ongoing development. It is dependent on our favourite particular stage of this cycle we are relaxing with. We can start learning wherever within the cycle, reliance which way you learn (Dixon N M, 2000). In order for learning to occur one has to complete the cycle; however one must not cross the cycle but go around it. Therefore the learning cycle may apply to both a specific and a general level.
There are four process stages that the learning cycle has to present for learning to happen Argyris and Schon (1978):
Feeling: Learning from a particular knowledge and relating it to individuals; this can be sensitive to other peoples feeling.
Watching: Examining the information before making a decision; should be viewing the situation from different perspectives.
Thinking: Making connections between logical experience and ideas, and reacting to how these logical analyses attach and understand with other ideas or different situations.
Doing: Capability of making things happen by taking necessary action or influence people as well as taking a risk.
The Learning Cycle is attaching in a methodical understanding of learning theory. even though Robert Karplus is in general conceder of this model of instruction as the "father" , its linked go back to the learning theories development of Piaget. To some extent more model’s theoretical discussion as below provided in more psychological conditions. Piaget (1964) recognized four main aspects which he thinks applicable to cognitive reasoning abilities development. The factors are:
therefore be able of controlling physically inside their environment.
Mathematical Experience (drawn with actions which influence objects).
The significance of organisation knowledge creation in recent years as a corporate resource has created substantial attention. Many views consider knowledge creation as an important aspect of organizational learning. Knowledge creation is an increase development of interactions between tacit and explicit knowledge, the interactions among those types of knowledge will result to the new knowledge’s creation (James et. al, 1999-2000)The process of knowledge-creating is necessarily context-specific in space, time with others relationships (Nonaka and Toyama, 2003).There are arguments suggest that whilst developing new knowledge by individuals happen the organisation can play an important role in articulating and amplifying that knowledge, therefore the development of theoretical framework can provide an analytical view on the element dimensions of knowledge creation. There are two theories of organisational knowledge creation developed by Nonaka and his colleagues. The first one is epistemological dimension, which is the site of “social interaction” between tacit and explicit knowledge, and therefore knowledge is transformed from one type to another and new knowledge is produced. The second one is “ontological” dimension, which describes the way from individual to inter-organizational knowledge through group and organizational levels. However during this process an individual’s knowledge is improved and crystallized as an element of the knowledge network of an organisation and this process is described as “spiral”.
Nanaka and Takeuchi (1995) suggest that organizational learning results from a process in which individual (tacit) knowledge is transferred upwardly to the organisational level. This development is considering spiral of knowledge conversion come from tacit to explicit. There are some views which suggest that the explicitness of organisational knowledge creation came from exchanges between tacit and explicit knowledge. The exchange and process of knowledge will explain the knowledge creation development is the start and relay on individual employees; there is an assumption that individual will be committed to knowledge creation and then learning. Leadership also within an organisation requires to support knowledge sharing and manage the process of knowledge creation (Nanaka and Takeuchi 1995). However individuals are important factors of this exchange process,
thus this model made up of four different modes of process knowledge conversation that has colossal results: (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995).
Tacit to tacit
Knowledge is transferred through interactions between
individuals, which may be in an informal manner.
without the use of language.
Tacit knowledge is communicated as ‘explicit concepts’
(Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995 p 64). This may be in the
form of writing or language, often using metaphors
The concepts or models are developed through
interaction with other colleagues or individuals.
Knowledge is shared, discussed and then combined to
from new knowledge. This may be done through
conversations, meetings, emails or networks.
The newly developed explicit knowledge is converted
back to tacit knowledge with the individual. This
referred to as ‘learning by doing’ (p69). This process is
facilitated by the documenting of explicit knowledge in
the form of manuals, procedures or diagrams.
Documents help individuals internalise knowledge and
also the transfer of knowledge (p69).
Table 2: Four Modes of Knowledge Conversion (adapted from Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995) cited in Barnard S, (2008)
In recent years the idea of involving learning that deepening process in a community of practices participation has gained significant ground. Also within organizational development the community of practice becomes an important focus. The critical argument made by Jean Lave and Etinne Wenger regarding communities of practice are what we are in general involved and everywhere , whether that is at home, school, work, or in our leisure interests and civic . we are core members within some groups, but we are more at the margins in others . this practice mien a fundamental change in how the organisationacademically looking at learning process within organisation, usually learning been conceder from an information development perspective and deeply relay on the view of organisation as a cognitive systems therefore the social interaction offering peoples the opportunity to share their psychological models and make them have a meaning. (Lave & Wenger, 1991). Cited in ( Huysman M & Elkjaer B, 2006).
The community of practice expression is of comparatively recent coinage, it has been turned out the concept is to offer a helpful perspective on learning and knowing. Within a deferent sectors there are rising number of organizations and people now concentrating on communities of practice as a main factor in order to improve their performance. However communities of practice are groups of individual they share a passion or a concern for something they learn and do how better doing it while they interact repeatedly. Some time the reason community comes together is learning, or a minor result of member’s interactions, not anything named a community is a community of practice. For instance a neighbourhood is normally described as community but in reality not a community of practice. The communities of practice are not named as communities of practice within all organization. They were recognized by different names such as, thematic groups, learning networks, or tech clubs. Community of practice they comes in different forms, some of them very large, some are small, some of them local and some globe, some of them mainly meet face-to-face, some with organization, some most of the time online, some are been recognized formally and regularly get support from budget, some are informal totally and even invisible .Communities of practice have existed for as long as individual have together learned. At work, at home, at school, all of us belong to communities of practice.
In the last thirty years the learning organisation concept has been developed as attempts are made in order to recognizing the key characteristic of organisations and successful companies. Those companies over time they are successful companies, in both private and public sector. There can be arguments about that concept of learning organization which offers management of organizations and others with the image of the way things might be inside an organizations, however there are writers like Peter Senge establish some motivating dimensions that possibly be personally developmental, and that can help of raising the effectiveness of organization, particularly where the project is strongly rooted in the (knowledge economy). (Kuchinke 1995 quoted in Kerka 1995). The learning organizations is showed as a reaction to dynamic business environment and increasingly unpredictable. A learning organization it doesn’t mean more training, although training creating and develop types of skill, a learning organization engages in higher development levels of skill and knowledge. There are some definitions by key writers in this field: The essence of organisational learning is the organization’s ability to use the amazing mental capacity of all its members to create the kind of processes that will improve its own" (Nancy Dixon 1994). "A Learning Company is an organiaation that facilitates the learning of all its members and continually transforms itself" (M. Pedler, J. Burgoyne and Tom Boydell, 1991). "Organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to learn together" (Peter Senge, 1990).from these and many more been drawn to develop a definition in order to help learning organisation develop their capabilities: Learning organizations are which they have in place mechanisms, systems, and processes, that are used to repeatedly improve their abilities and those who work for it or with it, to reach uphold objectives – for the communities and for themselves which they are participating with. The important conclusion to have regarding this definitions are learning organizations are adapting to external environment which they have , changing continually the improvement of their capability, development of individual and collective learning, using learning result in order to reach better results . A great deal of the literature about learning organisation been recommended, the way organisations should be designed and managed to encourage effective learning there are identification of five key characteristics : Pedler, Boydell and Burgoyne, 1989; McGill, Slocum and Lei, 1993; Nevis, DiBella and Gould, 1995; Davies and Nutley, 2000). Cited in (Iles and Sutherland, 2001, p.64):
Organisational structure: the Learning organisations have hierarchical management that developing and improving the employees opportunities participation within organisation, they all allow to make appropriate decisions, structure support teamwork, powerful side relations, and networking across organisational margins both internal and external. these type encourage information sharing, system thinking, and directness to learning organization’s necessary information .
Information systems: Learning Organisations need information beyond the use of traditional organisations when generally information is used for control reasons (single-loop learning). Transformational change need more sophisticated information system that makes faster achievements of sharing and processing of rich, difficult information which facilitate successful and useful knowledge management .
Organisational culture: There are strong culture within Learning Organisations encouraging openness, creativity and experimentation between individuals, They encourage peoples to obtain, process and share information, to encourage innovation and let them try new things by providing freedom and to learn from mistakes by risking failure
Human resource practices: Individuals are known as the users and creators of organisational learning therefore human resource management concentrate on provision and support of people’s learning reward system and appraisal are concerned to measure long-term performance. In order to help gaining and sharing of new knowledge and skills.
Leadership: Same as most interventions expected at securing significant organisational development. Organisational learning depends a great deal on effective leadership, Leaders copy the openness, risk-taking and reflection required for learning, and offering the empathy, personal advocacy and support required to lead towards of others, they make sure that work groups and organisations have the capability to develop, learn and change.
Single and double-loop learning however both can be measured as concentrating too deeply on problems related to learning, a reactive learning culture development that might not be proactive. The model is reliant and believes on, organisations having an open and culture of blame free where peoples feel positive to question the norms. It has already been recognized that majority of SMEs organisations not have a culture that Supporting of transfer knowledge. The models not reacting the difficulty of larger organisations and create the supposition that employees development inside an organisation possibly be drawing against these.
In the last two decades, the world has observes the appearance of effective forces which search for reshape the organisational communities and economic in general. And has supported fundamental changes in strategy of organisations. Those forces have guide organisations and individuals to appreciate the important role knowledge play in strong competitive world market. Normally organisations have in peoples head a wealth of knowledge, work practises and system. The main organisation’s challenge is the capability of capturing that knowledge and to leverage it all over the organisation.
Corporations sit on knowledge’s wealth that fixed in individuals head and spread throughout a range of information system inside organisations. These information systems consist of documents, databases, policies, procedures as well as unarticulated expertise, and skills held by individual employees. To have connection with those spread knowledge, needed technology to join this system, furthermore a corporate culture that seek to encourage and motivate individuals to share knowledge, and to create using this system inside organisation. However in order to understand knowledge management, one need to recognize the impact knowledge on some elements, which possibly are give explanation as follows:
Corporate strategy: is concentrate on the organisation’s direction for the future, its finance, goals, and its interaction with employees and customer, assessing the profitable and non profitable products, the requirement to look forward to the threat from existing and new competitors within market, and to develop a strategic plan to deal with different threats such as the bargaining power of suppliers and the threat of competitor’s services and products. Based on those aspects the future goals and task will be established.
Corporate Culture: it’s been recognized as complicated concept to identify, known as the values, norms, and shared between workers inside organisation, Mullins () describe organisational culture as “the way things are done around hear” this refers to common practises, managerial perspective style, and organisational processes.
Systems: related to information system, directing accurate information to support the tactical, operational, and management’s strategic functions. This operation require from organisations to have the right technology, tools and capability of retrieve, share and knowledge distribution inside the organisations.
However can be see the knowledge management is the management of information through controlling three corporate elements in the following ways:
Corporate strategy: corporate strategy based on having accurate, reliable and dynamic information in term of supporting organisations in decision-making, which attaching with the argument of technologies and information systems that support them. Furthermore knowledge management impose new approach of view regarding fixed products and services. This new approach to strategy of organisations bring in innovative ways of vision regarding intellectual capital and the way can help organisations in growing profitability , increase corporate agility and free financial resources ,this involves the requirement of corporate strategies to introduce new measures of achievement that demonstrate the true value of knowledge more generally than basic balance sheet accounting.
Corporate Culture: knowledge management is connected within the organisational culture. Organisations are a collection of individual who share knowledge and information as part of their every day practice. The challenge is to creating strategy for knowledge management that concentrate on knowledge sharing system’s developments that are reliant on employees. Strategies require to be making that reward and encourage knowledge sharing. in order to knowledge market work effectively needs that trust able to be seen all through the organisation, the people within organisation need to see they get credit for their sharing knowledge. The main challenge in majority knowledge management attempts lies when people changing their work habits. The challenge comes in making people to face to face articulate and share knowledge. Communities of practise’s set up are necessary in allowing peoples to exchanging their knowledge, which support social capital’s development. Also the organisation’s structure is important and there are advantages in employing knowledge management in flatter, simpler and less complicated structures. Moreover the line of communication is most of the time shorter and direct, therefore will allow a quicker communication on the issues of knowledge management inside the organisation.
Systems: one of the most important corporate resources is Information which need a strategy support for its development and management. This demand an understanding the requirements of management , weakness and strength of the organisations threat .therefore the information systems development requires to be based on the objectives of corporations strategic planning, because the key resources is knowledge which organisations require to develop. Moreover the measures and process that support information system require being adaptable, simplified, and flexible to match the changes in user’s needs. Within global market’s places Establishing competitive advantage more demand on information system in order to provide reliable and accurate information to tactical, strategic, and operational management levels. The difficulty and investment of the information systems rely as well on the level of management and making decision that is requested.
Developing conceptual framework by using Iles and Sutherlands 5 characteristics (2001) and joint with communities of practice also with support and incorporate from Nonaka and Takeuchi’s (1995) four steps of knowledge progress will demonstrate the relationship between knowledge creation/management development and organisational learning. The key causes of poor sharing knowledge been joined in the conceptual framework in order to guarantee a position with an information system from Iles and Sutherland’s characteristics.
The conceptual framework showing the following:
The purpose of this chapter is to examine and understand the philosophical positions and matters linked with research and to ensure that the research design is appropriate to the topic in question with possibility of satisfactory outcome also related with Literature Review andcan play veryimportant role in shaping research problem (Kumar R, 2005). the advantages and disadvantages of a range of methods ,techniques, tools . also the Paradigm as fundamental idea based on Ontological, Epistemological and Methodological assumptions. (Guba E, Lincoln Y). However there are three main reasons that make understanding philosophical issues beneficial: (Easterby-Smith, M. Thorpe, R. Lowe, and L. 2004).
According to (Easterby-Smith et al, 2004) there are three main reasons why understanding of philosophical research in relation to research is useful and beneficial:
A balanced view of the different philosophical positions is important because
research problems may require a compromise design which draws from more than
one tradition (Easterby-Smith et al, 2004). There are three philosophical positions
which predominate in management research; these are positivism, social
constructionism and realism.
The term ‘paradigm’ describes the progress of scientific discoveries in practice,
rather than how they are subsequently reconstructed in books (Easterby-Smith et
The key idea of positivism is that the social world exists externally, and that its properties should be measured through objective methods, rather than being inferred subjectively through sensation, reflection or intuition. The French philosopher, Auguste Comte (1853), was the first one to summarize this view, as he suggest: “All good intellects have repeated, since Bacon’s time, that there can be no real knowledge but that which is based on observed facts” this view holding two speculation : Firstly, an ontological assumption, that reality is external and objective. Secondly, an epistemological assumption, that knowledge is only of significance if it is based on observations of this external reality.
Positivism is an epistemological position that helps the scientific methods use in order to study social reality in an objective manner (Bryman 2001). Positivism assumes that the social world externally exists (reality), is objective and should be measured through objective methods, (Bryman 2001) Explains this ontological assumption as social phenomenon and their meaning having an existence that is independent of social actors. Smith (1998) suggesting the helpful insight positivist thoughts inside social sciences by situation “Positivist approaches to the social sciences . . . assume things can be studied as hard facts and the relationship between these facts can be established as scientific laws.”
Moreover an assumption that only knowledge can be of any value if based on experiential facts (Easterby-Smith et al 2004). However, individual can be a subject to number influences on feeling, behaviour, attitudes, and perceptions that positivists would refuse as inappropriate. (Crossan 2003). A critic the positivist approach and argue that positivist is creates useful but very limited data that just present an external view of the phenomenon it examination (Bond 1993, Moccia 1988, Payle 1995).
Bryman and Bell (2007) arguing that some of the writers (including Saunders et al (2003) asking whether its suitable to apply natural science methods to social sciences or management studies and that would be wrong to look at positivism as synonymous with science due to the problems in applying scientific ideology to the society studies .furthermore they concerned that the doctrine of positivism is very difficult to pin down, research of positivist has a highly structured methodology and can be replicated very easy (Gill and Johnson, 2002) cited in Saunders et al, (2007). This philosophy’s advantage is that for researcher it would be easier to prove that they were objective and the research not been influenced by their own values, the supporters of this position’s proponent’s suggesting that the researcher will not have any affect by his own beliefs and values. It’s based on the assumption that the researcher is independent of and will not be affecting by the research’s subjects (Saunders et al, (2007). However several writers argue that it is suitable to apply natural science methods to management studies or social sciences (Hammersley M,2004).
During the last half century the new paradigm by philosophers has been developed, mainly as a reactions of positivism’s application to the social sciences, the context of social constructionism is, as a development by writers such as Berger and Luckman(1966), Watzlawick(1984) and Shotter (1993) cited in (Easterby- Smith et al.2009). also there are many views that have developed within management study’s during the last century about is that reality is socially constructed and giving meaning by peoples (Saunders M, Lewis P, Thornhill A, 2009).Interpretivism is a expression given to a contrasting epistemology to positivism (Bryman, A .and Bell, E.(2007). Social constructionism concentrates on how the individuals make sense of the world specially during sharing with others their experiences (Easterby-Smith et al 2004). This view perspective identifies the relationship between socio-cultural matters and individual behaviour, external structures, attitudes (Crossan 2003). There is suggestion by Proctor (1998) that between the range of factors that affect reality construction, gender, culture and cultural beliefs are the most important, therefore the concentration of research should be related to what feeling and thinking of people are, with pay attention to the way of how the communication is between them . Verbally and non-verbally. The key purpose should be to explain and understand why individuals have different experiences rather than look for external causes to describe and explain behaviour (Easterby-Smith et al 2004).
According to Saunders et al.(2007) there are advantages and disadvantages
relating to both social Constructionism and positivism as summarised in following table:
There are many views that have developed within management study’s during the last century about is that reality is socially constructed and giving meaning by peoples (Saunders M, Lewis P, Thornhill A, 2009).Interpretivism is a expression given to a contrasting epistemology to positivism (Bryman, A .and Bell, E.(2007).
Contrasting implications of positivism and social constructionism Adapted from Easterby-Smith et al (2009, p. 59)
Positivism Social constructionism
The observer must be independent is part of what is being observed
Human interestsshould be irrelevant are the main drivers of science
Explanationsmust demonstrate causality aim to increase general
Understanding of the situation
Research gathering rich data from which
Progresses through hypotheses and deductions ideas are induced
Conceptsneed to be defined so that should incorporate stakeholder
They can be measured perspectives.
Units of analysisshould be reduced to simplest may include the complexity of
Terms “whole” situations
Generalization statistical probability theoretical abstraction
Sampling requires large numbers selected small numbers of cases chosen
Randomly for specific reasons
According to Saunders et al.(2007) there are advantages and disadvantages
1. Economical collection of large
amounts of data.
2. Clear theoretical focus for the
research from the outset.
3. Greater opportunity for researcher to
retain control of the research process.
4. Easily comparable data.
1. Facilitates understanding of how and
2. Enables researcher to be alive to
changes, which occur during the
3. Good at understanding social
1. Inflexible, direction often cannot be
changed once data collection has
2. Weak at understanding social
3. Often doesn’t discover the meanings
people attach to social phenomena.
1. Data collection can be time
2. Data analysis is difficult.
3. Researcher has to live with the
uncertainty that clear patterns may
4. Generally perceived as less credible
by non -researchers.
relating to both social Constructionism and positivism as summarised in following table:Positivism SocialConstructionism
realism position is a third philosophical viewpoint ,this assumption is based on that different observer could have different point of view and that, whatever count for the truth can be different from location to location and from time to time (Collins, 1983 p88), this can be regard as cooperation between the two extreme positions as previously discussed. According to realism philosophy is that there is a reality fairly independent of the mind. From this perspective realism is opposite to idealism, the theory that just mind and its contents exist (Saunders et al, 2009). Realism consider as another philosophical position which relate to scientific enquiry, according to (Bryman, A .and Bell, E. (2007) It’s a belief that both natural and social sciences can be appropriate to same type of approach for collecting of data and to explanation There are two types of realism, direct realism and critical realism. Direct realism positions that “what you see is what you get” (Saunders et al, 2009 page 115). Furthermore, the suggestion by Bhaskar (1989) “what we see is only part of the bigger picture” (page 115). However the argument by Critical realism suggesting that “what we experience are sensations, the images of the real world, not the things in the real world, not the things directly” (Saunders et al, 2007 page 115). Critical realism identifies that reality separately existing from process of human thought and there are some external factors will influence how the world is appearing. And there is also has some similarity to positivism in the way the recognition of requirement for similar scientific methods to support healthy data collection and measurement. Furthermore, critical realism is not restricted to the physically observed and will believe unseen social phenomena in its description (Bryan 2001). There is similarity to social constructionism in the way it recognising that individuals cannot be calculated as in the natural sciences. Therefore Realism more pays attention to identifying and exposing what is reality as different to discovering or inventing it.
Therefore it can be seen that different observer might have different point of view, the suggestion by direct realism is that the world relatively unchangeable and operating one level only within organisations (Saunders et al, 2009). However the difference consideration by critical realism is that the world operating at multiple-levels inside organisations (Saunders et al, 2009). Easterby-Smith et al (2008) suggesting that realism position is different with its own advantage and disadvantages. Saunders et al (2003) arguing and don’t regard that single research approach as fundamentally be better than any other. Each of them has advantage and disadvantages and the best approach however depends on what the question of research is.
Easterby-Smith et al (2008) set these out in tabular form in figure 3/3:
1. Can provide wide
coverage. Potentially fast
2. Easier to provide
1. Inflexible and artificial.
2. Not good for process,
meanings or theory
3. Implications for action not
1. Accepts value of
multiple data sources.
2. Enables generalisations
beyond present sample.
3. Greater efficiency
1. Requires large samples.
2. Cannot accommodate
institutional and cultural
3. Problems reconciling
1.Good for processes,
2. Flexible and good for
3. Data collection less
1. Can be very time
2.Analysis and interpretations are difficult.
3. May not have credibility with policy makers.
Strengths and weaknesses of different epistemologies Adapted from Easterby-Smith et al (2008, p.73).
Easterby-Smith et al (2004) suggesting that different number of approaches might be used on this ground, including surveying large samples of individuals and triangulation of methods. Table 6 represents the three philosophical views
discussed and corresponding methodological implications.
Social Science Epistemologies
Elements of Methods
Understanding the matters of philosophy is important because of the numbers of reasons between them is to guide the researcher recognising and making research designs outside of the past experience (Saunders et al, 2009). The measurement for selecting research philosophy was based on principle objective of this research is to Investigating the level of knowledge transfer within employees and whether knowledge management system exists or has been formulated and established within organisation. The literature review identified clearly that knowledge management and organisational learning are extremely dependent and affected by social processes that existing inside organisation, most of elements within conceptual framework also directly connected to social processes, culture is spotted as an overarching issue for all parts of the model and the leadership is important to every pyramid’s level. Communities of practice are centre of the framework; supporting the knowledge’s social development therefore this can emerge as justify a social constructionism approach to research design. It is important to have a balanced view of the different philosophical position because there is a possibility that the research problems need a combination of methods designed from more than one position (Easterby-Smith et al, 2004),
However, within framework there are a few tangible elements that would show more themselves to a positivist approach, within framework the key element are human resource practices and concerning of having proper system lay in order to support learning , these can obtain the shape of procedures, policies, and reward system or appraisal. also the key element to the framework’s success are Information systems. These could be create by “physical” system of information technology or exist as established procedures. However the impact they might have on peoples and their behaviour can propose that a realism approach is more suitable than positivism. another important element is structure at every level of the framework, in relation to structure there are tangible, clear elements exist, but however impact good or bad they have on the learning’s social elements and individual’s behaviours also require to be considered , again a realism approach is the most suitable method for research design . . Overall the combination of social processes and “real” tangible elements identified that the most suitable approach for this study is Realism approach to considering the research design.
Deduction approach (testing theory) refer much to involving research to examining and developing of a theoretical proposition by the employment and research strategy designed especially for the principle of its testing(Saunders, et al, 2009). Robson (2002) cited by (Saunders et al 2009) listed five direct stages through which deductive research will progress:
Deduction approach possesses many significant characteristic, this approach is pragmatic to clarify relationship among variables therefore its used primarily for collecting the quantitative data. Deductive / positivist approaches mainly using quantitative techniques (Saunders, 2009).
To have generalise statistically about regularities within human social behaviour it’s important to collect enough example of numerical size, there is a highly structured methodology to facilitate replication (Gill and Johnson, 2002) cited in Saunders (2009). This is concluding that the deduction approach comes from a positivist perspective and therefore it’s not appropriate to this research however this approach need the formulation of a hypothesis, there is suggestion by (Creswell, 1994) cited in (Saunders, 2009) that not unusual in research if you join together deductive and inductive approaches and the approach will be relaying on the topic of research .
Inductive approach(building theory) is the research getting involve of the development theory therefore the observation of empirical data and qualitative techniques are most of the time appropriate to inductive / interpretivist approaches (Saunders et al, 2009) furthermore this approach is suitable to use smaller numbers most likely the researchers are dealing with qualitative data and they using a variety of methods and collect them to recognize differing views (Easterby-Smith et al, 2004). However in this research can apply an inductive approach together with some basics of a deductive approach.
The inductive and deductive approaches are showing together because the research does not efficiently fit in to one group,. Therefore using approach with some of element from deductive approach and same time taking elements from the inductive approach.
Availability of the time you have is an issue, deductive research can be much faster to complete and no need for long period of time, however inductive research can be much more protracted and need more time, the ideas based on longer time of collecting the data and analyses. (Saunders et al, 2009).
According to (Saunders et al 2009) the selection of research strategy will be guided by your research questions and objectives, choosing research strategy is effected by different factors.Robson, (2002:178, cited in Saunders, et, al.2009.p145) giving the definition of case study as a “strategy for doing research which involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence” According to (Saunders et al 2009) that the selection of research strategy will be guided by research questions and objectives. Howeverthere are a range of research strategies that exist together with experimental, longitudinal, cross-sectional, and fieldwork. A case study design has been recognized as best suitable because the research aims to concentrate on a particular area within organisation, for a particular case or topic Bryman (2001) suggest that case studies relate to location, community, or organisation through an emphasis on the comprehensive assessment of the setting , the case study also design to show as a more middle position between the two extremes of experimental (positivist) and (social constructionism) (Easterby-Smith et al 2004), case study are also regard as closer to action research, through bigger concern to bring change inside the research setting (Stake 1995). Case study design has some other important concern is that of generalisability and external validity. It is known that the research will just have external validity to the organisation and is not possible to be used to generalise about other printing companies.
The case study strategy will be of specific interest to researcher if they try to achieve and rich understanding of research subject and idea (Morris and Wood 1991, cited in Saunders, et, al. 2009).Also the case study strategy is significant capability to create answers to the questions. Therefore the case study strategy is most of the times used in exploratory and explanatory research, the data collection techniques engaged may be a variety of and probably to be used in combination. If the researcher using the case study strategy then researcher possibly require to use and triangulate multiple sources of data. (Saunders, et al. 2009).
The case study design is normally connected with qualitative , but same time qualitative and quantitative methods are regularly used (Bryman 2001), ones more showing the intermediate perspective of (Easterby-Smith et al (2004).quantitative research is usually linked to a positive approach and is affected by quantification in the analysing and collecting of data. quantitative includes:
A deductive approach to the association between research and theory, the norms and practice of the natural scientific model particularly of positivism ,and express a vision of social reality as an external, objective reality (Bryman 2001). This type of research likely to be mathematical in nature with low validity and high reliability.
Qualitative research is usually much focus on meaning and words and those research strategy that concentrate on an inductive approach to the communication between research and theory, demonstrate a vision of social reality as a continually changing the development of individuals’ creation property (Bryman 2001).this sort of research likely to be subjective using non-standardised data, with the progress of classifications and theory. The results are likely to have high validity but low reliability
Realism approach already has been established for this research project and case study design is suitable, to use combination of both quantitative and qualitative methods is necessary for the research methodology in order to reach methodological triangulation. Todd (1979) suggests that this is the useful way to have maximum data collection; the mean of processing this methodology is to make sure that both results are valid and reliable. Husey and Husey (1997) suggesting that triangulation also help the personal bias’s elimination and decrease the risk of an unproductive study. For gathering data three different techniques have been recognized for this research study: secondary analysis, self-completion questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.
According to Curran and Blackburn (2001;151) and Tashakkori and Teddlie (2003:151 cited in Saunders et al 2009) clarify that the period quantitative and qualitative techniques for management and business research been replaced with the mono (single data) and multi-method (more than one data) terminology. However it look’s there are agreement among authors about how they diced between two research methods .however qualitative research vary from quantitative research in different ways, In general quantitative research using measurement and data quantitative method, is been used to collecting data impartially through using structured procedures and getting involvement by using huge number of samples.
same time the qualitative research does not using measurement ,The combination methods research approach described by Cresswell (2003), that possibly can offer a wider perspective on the subject of research however the mixture of the two strategy will further guarantee to high reliability and validity therefore the mixed methods approach is been choosing by the author for this research study. There has been establishment for a comparative research approach already therefore a case study design been selected for study of the organisation and using in the research study mixture of both qualitative and quantitative collection of techniques has been recognized as multi-methods to achieve triangulation.
Secondary analysis is the data that different researcher collected it usually as part of a different research study project. The other organisation’s data such as national statistic also may be used as a secondary data. Some advantage can be seen in this method such as improved time efficiency, high quality potential data and more time to concentrate on the analysis. But there are some disadvantages includes; lack of strong connections with the data, lack of control over quality of data (may possibly too old) and it might not be satisfactorily context specific.
A self-completion questionnaire was designed to investigate quantitatively the conceptual framework’s element, also the questionnaire was used to investigate more any areas of attention or investigate from analysis of secondary data’s.
A self-completion questionnaire have some advantages and disadvantages the advantage including ; time efficient and cost, lake of interviewer variability in term of in different ways asking questions, and also convenience for respondents. There are as well some disadvantages that include closed questioning could limit of the data been collected or limit the questioning deepness that unable to guide or respondent, it’s not easy to ask many questions and potentially the response rate will be low.
Semi-structured interviews were used as a qualitative method of validating and cross-checking the data been collected by self-completion questionnaires and secondary analysis including achieving better understanding the area of the study, selected interviewees from across different departments inside the area under investigation . Also the interviews provide opportunity to asking further open questions and to make better flexibility in the questions direction and the interviewees responses , it was recognized that number of the interviewees could have thought unwilling to be completely honest and open while they answering the questions due to different reasons. All attempt was made in order to make sure that the interviews were as comfortable as possible and made clear to interviewees and understand the process was confidential and that the data been collected would be anonymised. The interviews were set thirty mints for every interviewee, the majority of them completed on time, also it has been used digital recorder for recording the interviews and also been taken notes. there are some advantages of Semi-structured interviews such as allowing better interest in the views of interviewee’s; recognizing what is relevant and important to them. It providing the capability of interview free from the questioning set line which could provides depth and richer answers. On the other hand, may interviewee make reluctant to be honest due to a face to face interview? The interviewer as well need to have a degree of ability in order to make sure that the interview does not go out to far from the matter of the study .
This study will deploy a multi-method approach to certify triangulation, reliability and validity within the design of research. There is suggestion by (Saunders et al, 2009) that multiple methods can give better understanding of questions of research therefore the result can be trusted. Furthermore the triangulation allows the researcher to validate a particular result by investigating those different sources been offered matching the information (DePoy and Gitlin, 2005). Triangulation refer to the use of more than single approach to the research question study to improve confidence in the ensuing findings .triangulation proposes the viewpoint of better confidence, and it’s one of the few rationales for multimethod research. The triangulation’s idea is extremely related with measurement practices in behavioural and social research. Denzin (1970) extended the triangulation’s idea beyond its strong communication with research methods and designs. Therefore suggested four shapes of triangulation:
The triangulation’s idea has been criticized on many grounds. Most of the time blamed of involving subscribe to naive realism and can be the only perfect social world’s account. The realism come under attack from those writers aligned with constructionism and they argue that research findings must be looking at as the only one between many possible social life’s renditions. However in unlike view those working in a constructionist framework don’t reject the triangulation’s potential, they rather showing the usefulness in addition a sense of credibility and richness to investigations. The other criticism that triangulation suppose sets of data gaining from dissimilar research methods that can possibly be unmistakably regarded and compared as alike in their capability to design a research question.
The aim of this chapter is to present the findings from the selected research methods explained in chapter three. The findings will be presented and structured by the conceptual Framework’s elements, and then by research method, using the following headings:
§ Element of Conceptual Framework
§ Secondary Data Results
§ Self-completion Questionnaire Results
§ Semi-structured Interview Results
§ Commentary in relation to the objectives and secondary literature
Of the 25 respondents, 72% were (18) male and 28 %,( 7) female. The number of years that the respondents had worked for the company was as follows:
Of the 6 interviewees, 83% were (5) male and 16 %,( 1) female. The number of years that the interviewees had worked for the organisation was as follows:
The number of years that the respondents had worked for the organisation was as follows:
The number of years that the interviewees had worked for the organisation was as follows:
Q.10: Do you think establishing knowledge management beneficial for the company and staffs?
From SCQ responds 80% indicated staffs agree that by installing knowledge management system in organisation will improve sharing of knowledge, also there will be better opportunity for develop personal learning and more transfer of knowledge. But only 12% disagree.
Q.3: What is the challenge the organisation’s facing in developing Knowledge management systems?
From the interviewees majority suggested that this is ongoing operation still working with its not perfect and trying to develop and improve better systems, generally within industry the challenges organisation face in to maintain education and maintain people with interest to what they do and better understanding the bigger pressure company facing in the future ,furthermore the interviewees indicated that knowledge management system is the only way to give individuals knowledge to react quicker and catching up with issues with challenges within organisation and they felt this system absolutely sensational.
It appears that from SCQ responds 80% of them suggesting that by establishing knowledge management systems the learning and sharing of knowledge within organisations will improve and only small number of them disagree which is 12% , and very small number had nothing to say which is 8% , The semi-structured interviews indicated that the knowledge management systems helps staffs have better understanding for problems and issues within organisation also and better understanding who faster react and deal with those matters and fix them quickly and also they indicated they trying to install and establish proper knowledge management systems , the reason beheaded is the best way to provide workforce better and more learning .
Q.3: Does culture of organisation support the sharing of knowledge between the employees?
Its appear from the SCQ result majority of staffs 72% agree that culture in organisation does not supporting sharing of knowledge, however small number of respondent agree which only 20%.
Q.9:Does the culture in organization supporting the transfer of knowledge?
From the interviewees two points appeared concerning this question, formal and informal knowledge sharing , regarding formal viewpoint it was emerge at an operational level that the culture wasn’t supporting knowledge sharing, there was an idea that knowledge was regularly shared between staff and managers but there was no feedback for it .However it appears that there was commitment to an open and fair culture within operational environment, the management seen as supportive in connection to personal matters but less effective relating to complicated issues within organisation. Majority of interviewees mentioned that staff meeting as a useful factor to encouraging staff in order to share knowledge. It was appeared to be dissatisfaction felling regarding poor knowledge sharing within management.
Regarding an informal viewpoint, most of interviewees believed there is a strong culture of sharing of knowledge exist mainly by operational staff, for instance “room chat and staff waiting area outside” when staff come into the chat room they happy to begin discussion concerning what just happened to them, most of the staff regularly hang about outside while having a lunch or drink and chat to each other in relation to their problems.
There is some prove of the existence of blame culture. 72% of the respondents from SCQ believed the Papyrus did not support the sharing knowledge between staff and to propose new ways of working or ideas to have a culture of learning and working together. Iles and Sutherland (2001) suggesting that within strong culture is necessary to encourage staff to work together and share information with an honesty learn from mistakes and to try new things. Dodgson (1993) describes culture as main important element in term of encouraging collective learning and the establishment of the link with improvement of organisational performance. However the management’s from lower level having the idea that development of knowledge and learning is not their responsibilities.
At an informal level appeared that Papyrus not have proper knowledge system in relation to learning however they concentrating on learning at a very individual lower level with keeping it as a strong emphasis on privacy. This makes the process of transfer knowledge limited in to the organisation as a general. This is same as challenges that knowledge conversion facing in process of Nonaka and Takeuchi’s (1995) Knowledge Conversion’s Four Modes; mainly the way organisation is able to develop their systemic knowledge.
From the SD last 12 months result indicating that 68% disagree that management supported staff in order to share knowledge and only 32% agrees, regarding more that 12 months ago 73% indicating that management did not support them to making staff more sharing knowledge.
Q.5: Do the managers or leaderships of organization support the sharing of knowledge?
Large number of respondent 80% disagrees that the leadership of organisation is encouraging or providing support knowledge sharing, but only 8% respond agree that management is supporting sharing of knowledge.
Most of the interviewees thought that managers did not support knowledge sharing, generally many of staff did not share knowledge between each others, this is going back to the nature of the work and lack of capability between staff resources, the main reason was just small numbers of employees on duty at one time that create too much presser and was very hard for staff to efficiently share information or knowledge between each others.
From SCQ 80% of respondents agreed that the leadership from Papyrus did not support sharing of knowledge properly. However only 8% of respondents agree the idea of leadership supported knowledge sharing and learning , also the result from SD showing that last 12 months 68% suggested that management did not provide them with any encouragement to share knowledge between each other and only 32% agrees, but in the more than 12 months ago 73% disagrees about support by management to share knowledge and 27% agrees, but however seen as a poor sharing of knowledge therefore the idea of reflection been supported following this poor sharing knowledge which been identified as the ability’s that every efficient leaders have to supported (Iles and Sutherland 2001).
The semi-structured interviews indicated that generally managers were supporting learning, even though the quality of support and learning for it were doubtful. The main reasons mentioned was lack of investment and capability by the organisation in order to support this working system, the leaders from learning organisations have to support the idea of team learning, openness and shared vision when thinking of change (Senge 1990; Iles and Sutherland 2001). The management don’t emerge to support sharing of knowledge effectively therefore that can be going back to the leaderships work environment natures .During the knowledge sharing Leadership seen as key support, mainly when processing new systematic knowledge from joint explicit knowledge (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995).
Q.4: Do you think the structure support team working and interaction to develop learning and knowledge?
From the result of SCQ 60% indicating that the organisations structure not supporting team working and interaction between staffs to develop organisation’s learning knowledge, only 28% responded agrees that the organisations structure did support of interaction between staff and team working.
Q.8: Do you think the management structure helping the sharing of knowledge?
Majority of interviewees agreed that structure of management’s was not supporting staff’s team working or interaction, but some of them point it this is due to services nature, that most of the workforces they working along , and there was very little and limited opportunities to formally interact with each others. Another idea been recognized by manager was lack of capability inside current structure to encourage staff have opportunity of team working or involvement in networking.
The data from SCQ indicating that 60% of the responded not agreed that team working been supported by structure, also 28% agreed that the staff had formal opportunities in order to share information between each others. Only 12% of staff had nothing to discuss about sharing information between each others. The explanations by SCQ showing that because of work presser it was very limited or little opportunity’s available for team working. Learning organisations need structures which support networking and team working (Iles and Sutherland 2001). some time cross managerial working does happen. With flatter structures can support stronger cross relation which will support better team learning and systems thinking (Iles and Sutherland 2001; Senge 1990). Team require to be firmly connected with larger management structures to make sure that team members don’t get disruption in learning. Structure conceder as a mechanism that can support the individual’s interaction in systematic knowledge development as part of the process of knowledge conversion (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995; Santoro and Gopalakrishnan 2000). There is another idea from managers indicating that lack of capability inside the existing structure to let staff share and involve in opportunities of team working or networking.
Q.6: Does management of human resource providing staff any learning improvement programs or courses?
From SCQ 64% indicating that the human resource systems within organisation not providing any program to improve learning .However only 20% suggesting that human resource did support and provide suggestion of learning program.
Q.7: Does Papyrus have human resource system in place to encourage staff to learn and develop new skills or knowledge?
Majority of interviewees indicated that the policy did not offer or arrange any program to support learning and sharing knowledge’s. However some others suggested that there is some support by management for knowledge improvement and development but they were narrow and very limited , the learning team which belong to human resource section suggested by the interviewees as an important facility in order to encourage and support knowledge and learning development, some of the staffs indicating that lack of support from manager to permeate staff from duty making it hard to get courses or opportunity for learning development, Also the manager recognized that the development and learning systems not been giving too much attention appropriately by top leadership of organisation.
The respondents from SCQ 20% indicating there were appraisal systems they supported new skill development and learning. also some others from SCQ respondents that there was motivation to share and develop new knowledge or learning but 64% responds disagree, the semi-structured interviews indicated there is very little opportunities for developing career were suggested by some of the staffs as a negative impact on learning and sharing knowledge, and some of the interviewees indicated the lack of career and systems of pay having little affect on the individual’s motivation for development. The human resource practice must support learning of individuals, with reward systems and appraisal to support the knowledge sharing and new skills development (Iles and Sutherland 2001).
From the SD result showing that in the last 12 months 65% agrees that staff hade support from organisation regarding information technology, only 35% disagree. However more than 12 months ago 53% of responds agree that company provided learning development program, and 47% disagree about the idea of staff had support by organisations in term of learning program and development.
The responds from SCQ 84% indicating that management of organisation providing information technology extensively to support sharing knowledge between staffs, but only 12% of respond disagree.
The outcome of interviewees suggested that mainly the staff verbally shared information between each others, using email been indicated but considerably was very little access to computer system available , they indicated also that most of the staff not have email addresses for work. Also the managers provided a number of examples how they should share knowledge or information between each other, email was the main normal cited technique .however there are some other methods as;
Management Brief Meetings.
Company’s Intranet site.
Majority of interviewees suggested that organisation provided information perfectly but there was concerning about how effective that information was communicated to them. Also some of interviewees agreed that the organisation supplied technology systems. The interviewees also mentioned that most general way they had familiarity with was paper-based systems such as the company’s main instructions, the packs of self direct learning, handbook, however the main problem was not all staff could read or see the information, because easily could be missing and there was no checking system in place to make sure everyone reading those information’s.
The result from SD indicating that generally the organisations supported and provided with development of information technology skills which in last 12 months 65% agree and more than12months 53% ,the respondents from SCQ 84% indicating they have been provided with information technology facilities to use. However majority of interviewees considered that handbook and self direct learning packs were most effective ways staff get all learning information. However there was no proper checking system to make sure staff had advantage and used the information appropriately. The limited capability or lack of staff’s feedback cerate’s major concern to the impact on organisation’s learning process and its information systems. Knowledge conversion process of Nonaka and Takeuchi’s (1995), where explicit knowledge is jointed to shape systemic knowledge, and stand also on the capability of organisations to mobilise knowledge. Iles and Sutherland (2001) suggested that the organisation’s requirement is to be able quickly obtain and process information. The responds from interviewees indicated that lack of access to facilities of information technology as an important factor to disrupt rising the information’s communication between levels of organisations.
The SCQ result 68% agrees that communities of practice been supported by management to create activity helps sharing of knowledge, and only 20% of responded and suggested that communities of practice did not provide any activities of knowledge sharing.
Some of the staff referred to company’s regular meeting as example of how the organisation encouraging peoples gathering together to share and develop their knowledge’s. However some interviewees expressed their concern, the company’s practice trainer referred to the study of day activity as an opportunity the company creating environment for staff to come together. Also some of the staff from meeting indicated that there is opportunity for staff to meet with management. The manager also thought that the organisation supported the individual’s interaction’s principle to knowledge development. And suggestion from human resource management perspective that there are many example of how organisation supported the individual’s interaction.
The result from SCQ indicating that 64% of the respondents agreed the organisation encouraged individual’s interactions and also supported sharing and developing knowledge. However, the semi-structured interviews also indicated large number of staff respondents that they can have discussions confidently with others or in groups meeting in an open manner. The knowledge’s systematic developments for Nonaka and Takeuchi’s (1995) knowledge conversion process indicating is highly rely on the individual’s interaction inside organisation .the SCQ showed some of the staff responded that the management supported staff to attend groups meeting, with some others agreed the management provided them with support to attend groups meeting, Those support including the overtime payment on days off and helping with shifts swap. the manager indicated that staff been provided informal opportunities in the meeting room and outside company to develop and share knowledge. The ability of altering knowledge in to practice is thought to be as a main capability for learning organisations (Brown and Duguid 1998)..
The semi-structured interviews also showed that there was support from management for attending staff to groups meeting, however, but there were discrepancy of that support level been offered. (Wenger and Snyder 2000) ,there is
Suggestion that also management plays huge role of supporting communities of practice cultivates. The SCQ respondents indicated the idea of inquiry, reflection and experience been used between groups meeting, majority of interviewees agreed that this idea were used and supported by management and only 20% were disagree .Also the semi-structured interviews indicated this was only to be at an individual level, also management should encourage the individual’s interaction and organisation to develop and share knowledge (Alder et al 1999).
Individual learning culture has been one of the most important finding points in this study, which made it hard to identify in what extend exactly the knowledge has been transferred between staffs and it has been pointed on single loop learning primarily. Evidence been found regarding blame culture between employees while open and fair culture within managements. It’s emerged that the structure, culture and leadership as elements of framework they strongly connected to each other. Lack of support from leadership and the management structure within work environment does not help learning and team working , also it appears the open and fair culture been encouraged by management which creating ineffective communication. Also the framework clarified that there is not full understanding of the associations between improvement of organisational performance and organisational learning. This study showing also the information systems as a significant factor in supporting every part of this research development and the two way information system as importance finding which in conceptual framework was stressed out , the management’s structure also had an impact considerably on information systems, establishing a learning culture within organisation been affected negatively by organisation’s limited capability in term of providing staff with positive feedback , personal development and learning support has been showed by human resource element of framework. Furthermore it’s not very clear the connection between organisational learning and individual learning, that’s why the element of human resource showing too much relay on information systems and effective leadership in order to support the connection between organisation and individuals.
This study also recognized that the development of knowledge conversion does fit with the different part of company’s management, again this is highly relay on leadership and structure both supporting the activating of knowledge from staffs. During a culture of openness, and staffs opportunity to develop and learn knowledge collectively. Also the communities of practices concept appear to encourage the process of knowledge development .However is different with primarily workforce.
The significant of vision to encourage organisational learning is identified and examined inside research. However there was prove that was not properly linked or communicated inside the culture, which was attributed partially to an overarching concentrate of staff’s performance. Visions inclusion as a conceptual frameworks element can prove advantageous.
In research findings brightness is been required to modify and review the conceptual framework. Now the framework shows that structure, leadership and vision affecting the culture, then that culture has very important role in every stages enabling. Also the culture and information systems identified as a key in visions communication of organisation in order to collectively learn and developing knowledge.
The following conclusions have been made from findings showed in chapter four and the explanations related to how important the six elements of the conceptual framework.
There is still a level of doubt between staffregarding the prove of organisation support to an open and fair culture, with evidence of blame culture. In relation to learning the organisation’s policy create an environment of privacy culture which affected negatively developing knowledge or share any learning between the management and staff. Moreover the plan for change reduced staff’s confidence and had negative effect in order to motivate staff for more developing or learning knowledge. Also it has been prove of sharing and learning knowledge culture among the staff at an informal level. The organisation’s capability of knowledge capture was very limited, its appear that systems thinking culture exist at management level in organisation. However there is no strong culture generally within the organisation to support and encourage sharing knowledge.
There is prove of leadership’s effectiveness inside organisation at management’s level, lack of investment by organisation and lack of organisation’s capability in term of development and educating managers had an impact on the level of respect from staff toward manager and changing manager’s behaves, therefore this led to incapability for more development and learning .also lack of face to face opportunity of staffs with manager appear to be main reason why management at an operational level not showing to be effective.
Generally structure played very important part in relation to organisational learning achievement. However there is lack of ability within the existing structure to show the effectiveness of leadership in term of allowing staffs have some time off from work duty in order to improve their knowledge. And give them opportunity to have more participating in the activities of organisations to work more efficiently as a team. Its appear the existing structure support only communication process in one way direction which is from management to staff, therefore lack of ability from management’s level can create a limited effect on developing and sharing knowledge within employee’s. Moreover it does appear that the current structure slowing down the process of developing and sharing knowledge among staff also between staff and management. The quality of existing structure is unknowing by most of the staff which creates delay and limits the information sharing; moreover there is suggestion that the working and communication systems as whole require huge improvement in organisation.
Generally information systems from working perspective are effective, is easy systems to access and use, there are strong suggestions for requirement of an electronic learning systems as a best solution in order to improve and faster information transfer. However, staffs had very little access to information technology that create a limited capability of staff in order to develop from systems of paper-based to an electronic technique , furthermore , at managements level information systems been used to support knowledge sharing. But at work levels the information systems are less affective with there was no systems to encouraging information transfer, its appear there is lack of capability of information systems to support growing communications feedback. By improving use of electronic learning solution and improving the access to information technology may possibly overcome some matters been recognized before. Its emerge that the information systems effectiveness is been influenced by the leadership and structure inside organisation.
The nature of human resources policy and managements emphasis of individuals does not encourage knowledge sharing and organisational learning, human resource management does not explaining well enough their independent role to staffs, that mad a negative imagination and reaction with their involvement .the development of knowledge and learning is supported by human resource policy at an individual level. There are some prove of appraisals been carry out and encouraging staffs to access to more development and training, but this has limited affect by lack of ability inside organisational structure in term of releasing staffs. Generally more work is needed in order to develop the policy of organisation to make sure all staffs been supported effectively in term of releasing them to participate in developing and learning. The plans for change, the lack of career opportunity and systems of pay had a negative effect on most staffs to motivate them for more skills development and learning.
There was prove of groups establishment by organisation in order to support staffs interaction to develop ways of working or sharing new knowledge, this showing to be helpful , also there was some prove of organisational learning or knowledge development from staffs meeting or working groups, however lack of communication about groups role to develop knowledge or learning was not satisfactorily. The nature of work considerably created limited capability of staffs to have self meeting regularly, lack of capability inside organisational structure credited an environment with no proper support by manager existing to establish groups meeting, also its appear staff acting confidently in an open and honest manner in groups meeting attendance. The community of practices principles are noticeable inside staffs meeting and working groups, however these principles are possible to be use in development of new learning and knowledge. However it’s appear the requirement for improving or increasing the capability inside organisation’s structure of further efficient information systems to improve the information quality in order to gain maximum benefits from those meeting and working groups.
Further research is necessary in relation to the aspect of organisational culture with specific concentration on understanding orientated culture of main working performance and failing to connect this with different parts of organisational performance.
Furthermore deepness in research in connection to the needs of information for organisation and also recognition of appropriate communication technique would offer excellent benefit to the learning organisation context.
Further research is needed also in relation to deeper understanding and identifies the factors that influencing the motivation of staffs is suggested in order to support personal learning and organisational learning.
Finally further research is recommended to other areas of the organisation, using the conceptual framework in order to clarify and provide correct understanding of the entire learning capability of organisation.
These significance following recommendations is offered:
A requirement for total review of the management structure within organisation in order to provide manager with greater power to be more effective and supportive leadership to staff, also need for flattening the structure of management style in organisation and giving more flexibility to have better contact with staff, tackling and fixing the causes that delays information’s transferring and sharing of knowledge, should large part of review concentrate on responsibilities and power by providing management of lower level more authority in term of decision making.
The review should give consideration to releasing staff more from work to participate in activities in order to develop and improve their personal learning and organisational knowledge.
A review should focus on need for developing of managements capability and knowledge including offer and providing appropriate learning education to developing the effectiveness of leadership.
The organisation should offer and provide an electronic learning systems, this will help to work alongside paper-base system. Also management can use electronic learning systems to transferring the information from paper-base which will help to faster transfer of knowledge and information between deferent organisations parts, also electronic learning systems help both management and staff with power to monitor the development of learning process and sharing of knowledge, furthermore to improve the poor feedback by paper-base systems.
The company need to developing a policy and strategy for organisational learning, which this will be the indications of organisation’s commitment to develop an excellence systems connected with organisational learning. This can prove to the company a vision that culture is influences positively at all levels inside organisation
The company should provide staff with facilities then they can send their idea and suggestions about new way of learning and sharing knowledge include producing monthly or weekly newsletter regarding “knowledge and learning” for staff.
The organisation should carry out checking of existing IT tools availability for staffs include email addresses for work and provide computer training to staffs those are need it.
Improvement of doorways quality on the company’s entrance in order to encourage staffs of sharing information between themselves , the main aspect of this that staff can have discussion about their issues with each other’s and with manager, this will provide organisation opportunity’s to know about staffs concerns and can make an urgent responses when is require. The other aspect of this can be as a “one stop” for staffs to benefit from those information sources.
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