Algahtani, Khaled (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-09-20)
After a decade of sustained oil-based growth, KSA is at a transition towards knowledge based economy. Today, achieving that goal has become essential. To address these change challenges, knowledge is increasingly accessed and shared across different functional departments and professionals. This knowledge interdependence creates new management challenges resulting from the risks and difficulties of knowledge transactions across boundaries. Providing access to key tacit and explicit knowledge to decision makers during potential changes seems to be critical for effective decision-making. Recent technological developments have made a significant and positive impact on the ability and desire to manage knowledge. These challenges have made the government think to adopt Knowledge Management (KM) initiatives. There is, however, a paucity of empirical research on the key KM practices that have been implemented in the public sector organisations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) – which is the core rationale for this study. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate how KSA public sector organisations are managing knowledge to gain sustainable competitive advantage. A web based, online questionnaire survey method was employed to collect data. Descriptive and inferential analysis was used to analyse the data obtained from the 107 completed and usable questionnaire for inference and conclusion.
The survey revealed that to improve access to key knowledge is most important driver for managing knowledge in KSA public sector organisations. The extent of implementation of KM initiatives is relatively low in the KSA public sector organisations. Furthermore, study revealed that conventional, simple and cost effective KM techniques and technologies are effective and extensively used. Lack of government support for using new technologies, lack of awareness of knowledge, and lack of leadership support are key challenges for managing knowledge in the KSA public sector organisations. KM strategies have a very high positive impact on improving citizen relations.
The study concluded that the challenge of managing knowledge is a daunting task for any organisation. An organisation’s knowledge resources are complex and multifaceted, ranging from tacit components to knowledge that is explicitly represented. The ultimate key to organisations successfully embracing KM initiatives into daily operation is leadership. Therefore, the KSA government should take a greater leadership role in shaping the information environment and the role of emerging technologies in society that have significant impacts. It is necessary for KSA public sector decision makers to recognise and use a blend of ICT and non-ICT based KM techniques and technologies. Before embarking on a KM journey, decision makers have to understand what it is that they would like to achieve with KM and what value it needs to add to their organisation in the context of Saudi Vision 2030. The scarcity of knowledge and expertise a huge challenge for many KSA public sector organisations. Therefore, training and education related to the management of knowledge will help leaders, managers, and change agents to better understand on how to craft and implement various KM strategies for competitive advantage.
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