Determinants of knowledge management systems success in the banking industry

Publication Date08 February 2016
Date08 February 2016
AuthorTat Huei Cham,Yet Mee Lim,Boon Liat Cheng,Teck Heang Lee
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Knowledge management,Knowledge management systems
Determinants of knowledge
management systems success in
the banking industry
Tat Huei Cham and Yet Mee Lim
Faculty of Accountancy and Management,
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Selangor, Malaysia
Boon Liat Cheng
Department of Marketing, Sunway University, Selangor, Malaysia, and
Teck Heang Lee
Faculty of Business, Economics and Accounting, HELP University, Malaysia
Purpose – This study aims to examine the impact from technical and social aspects on knowledge
management system (KMS) success. Moreover, this study also attempts to examine the
interrelationships between KMS success and user satisfaction.
Design/methodology/approach A questionnaire survey was used to collect data from the
commercial bank ofcers to test the proposed KMS success model. All the measurement scales adopted
in this study were adopted from the existing literature. The data collected in this study were analysed
using both SPSS and structural equation modelling approach via AMOS.
Findings – The research results indicate that both technical (knowledge quality, system quality and
service quality) and social factors (user trust and management support) play a signicant and positive
role in system user satisfaction. The results also show that user satisfaction have a direct inuence on
the success of KMS and vice versa.
Originality/value – This study is one of the few studies on KMS which include both the technical and
social perspectives in examining KMS success. This research study raises the importance of social
factors, which have been earlier neglected by many studies on KMS success models. Moreover, the
interrelationships relationship between KMS success and user satisfaction also been examined in this
Keywords Applied knowledge management, Knowledge management success factors, KM
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
In the highly competitive business world, the success of one’s organization depends on
how well the top management utilizes its corporate assets to achieve business goals.
These assets can be categorized into tangible (e.g. nancial capital, buildings and
employees) and intangible form (e.g. knowledge, corporate image and branding).
Conventionally, most of the rms have prioritized on the tangible aspects in their
day-to-day operations. However, this trend seems to have taken a change where
majority of the business entities have begun to emphasize on the intangible aspect
especially the management of the organization’s “knowledge” (Vorbeck et al., 2003).
Knowledge itself has become a critical resource. It is an imperative element for
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Received 21 March 2014
Revised 6 November 2014
10 March 2015
28 May 2015
Accepted 5 July 2015
VINEJournal of Information and
KnowledgeManagement Systems
Vol.46 No. 1, 2016
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/VJIKMS-03-2014-0021
businesses to solve operational problems and to make decisions to support business
strategies (McFayden and Canella, 2004). The importance of KMS is gradually
recognized in line with the increasing need of rms to achieve sustainable competitive
advantages (Turban et al., 2008). As a result, knowledge has been treated systematically
much like other tangible resources, and many organizations are exploring the eld of
knowledge management (KM) to sustain their competitiveness.
In today’s business environment, knowledge-based technologies such as micro-
electronics, computers, telecommunications, man-made gadgets and robotics have been
deployed to cater for knowledge management initiatives by forming a system known as
knowledge management system (KMS).KMS makes internal knowledge available to the
employees and provides information for organizational learning (Damodaran and
Olphert, 2000). Moreover, Galandere-Zile and Vinogradova (2005) explained that
knowledge in the business context was considered a form of actionable information and
KMS is a form of information system (IS). Hence, IS and KMS have often been used
interchangeably by various authorities in the eld (Halawi et al., 2007;Nattapol et al.,
2010;Tsai and Chen, 2007;Wilson, 2002). Thus, the concepts and discussion of IS are
equally applicable to KMS.
Since the inception of KMS, many rms have engaged actively in KMS to obtain
benets from the use of the system. The use of KMS is especially needed in nancial
institutes such as banks, which rely heavily on information (knowledge) to develop their
products and services. The effective use and management of knowledge has been
recognized as the most signicant aspect for understanding the market conditions,
investment strategies, customers’ requirements and their expectations. Knowledge has
been seen as the determinant of quality service performance especially when banking
products are virtually perceived as identical to one another (Silver and Berggren, 2010).
Although knowledge management-related issues have received fairly extensive
attention in previous research (Akhvan, 2008;Halawi et al., 2007;Wasko and Faraj,
2005) and huge resources have been invested in developing and introducing KMS to
employees, little effort has been given on nding out what factors contribute to the
success of KMS. These factors could be signicant indicators for banks and any other
high-calibre industries to adopt KMS in their business operations.
With regards to the models on the success of KMS, the past studies have looked into
the success in relation to users’ satisfaction and their intention to use the system
(DeLone and McLean, 2004;Halawi et al., 2007;Kulkarni et al., 2007). However, these
models may not be applicable to the banking industry. According to Lucas (1978) and
DeLone and McLean (1992,2002), the intention to use should only be considered as a
predictor of KMS success when the adoption of the system is on a voluntary basis. When
KMS users are made compulsory to utilize the system as part of their job requirements,
user’s intention to use KMS is no longer appropriate in addressing the success of KMS.
In the banking industry, most of the bank employees are not given a choice by their
employers whether to use or not to use KMS. The bank employees have to use the
system, as it is an essential tool for them to execute their jobs and to fulll their job
descriptions. Therefore, the intention to use the system as an antecedent for the success
of KMS seems to be inappropriate in this case.
In addition, previous research studies have emphasized on the technical aspects of
the system in examining their success (Agourram and Ingham, 2007;DeLone and
McLean, 2003;Jennex and Olfman, 2003;Halawi et al., 2007;Nattapol et al., 2010). The

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