The impact of organisational climate on information communication technology support for knowledge management

Dawoud, I. (2010). The impact of organisational climate on information communication technology support for knowledge management. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)

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Abstract

Knowledge management (KM) has emerged as a vital concept for improving organizational performance through better use of knowledge and for minimizing the loss of valuable knowledge when employees leave. Information communication technology (ICT) is often seen as a key enabler of KM. However, ICT alone cannot make organizations more 'knowledgeable'; nor can it create the necessary trust and interpersonal environment necessary to achieve an optimally effective network. Thus, KM 'solutions' may fail to meet their expectations. Much of the literature in this field addresses the question of why the relationship between ICT and KM is so problematic. Many authors identify 'culture' as the most significant barrier to effective KM implementation. Only a few authors identify the right organizational 'climate' as the key to persuade people to create, reveal, share and use knowledge. However, too little attention has been paid to the impact of climate on technological support for KM; hence, the objective of this study is to explore the relationships between organizational climate, ICT support and KM.

This study utilizes a mixed method that would capture an 'overall picture' of knowledge management in the case of one Saudi Arabian organization. While chiefly a qualitative study, quantitative data were used to assist in answering the research question that concerned the diagnosis of organizational climate. Because our understanding of the development of knowledge management is incomplete, particularly in the context of Saudi Arabia, the research reported here is exploratory in nature.

At the heart of this thesis is a detailed analysis of the overarching aim of this study: to examine the impact of the organizational climate on information communication technology support for knowledge management. This issue is of considerable importance for the contemporary business environment and practice. The empirical investigation focuses upon the extent and utility of knowledge management activities and information communication technologies in an R&D centre located in Saudi Arabia. This investigation was supported by a survey that asks respondents to reflect on their current work climate, and to elaborate on their perceptions of the climate regarding knowledge management activities. Of 150 people who were invited to take part, 77 participants completed the questionnaire in 2007. Alongside this, 34 interviewees took part in the qualitative semi-structured investigation; the interviews were carried out to explore the research question above in more depth. In 2008, an additional 17 semi-structured qualitative interviews were undertaken with the aim of understanding in further depth the impact of organizational climate on information communication technology support for knowledge management. This brought the total number of interview participants to 51.

The empirical findings of this study indicate that organizational climate plays an important role in affecting the dynamics and ease of access of knowledge management initiatives through the use of ICT support. This can be done by shaping employees' attitudes, behaviour and feelings, which characterize life in the organization. Results also identify the methods through which ICT supports knowledge management. Based on the findings, the results of this study further suggest some improvements for knowledge management practices. This study provides a better understanding of the relationship between organizational climate, information communication technology and knowledge management practices.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management
City University London PhD theses
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/19606

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