A study on the perception of POKM as the organizational knowledge sharing enabler

Pages292-318
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/VINE-09-2013-0052
Publication Date11 May 2015
AuthorSiew Hoong Angela Lee,Tong-Ming Lim
SubjectInformation & knowledge management,Knowledge management,Knowledge management systems
A study on the perception of
POKM as the organizational
knowledge sharing enabler
Siew Hoong Angela Lee and Tong-Ming Lim
Department of Information Systems, Sunway University,
Selangor, Malaysia
Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the perception of knowledge workers on practice
of knowledge management (POKM) as an organizational knowledge sharing enabler in an information
technology shared services company to understand issues faced and provide recommendations on
different technological characteristics of the system.
Design/methodology/approach – The initial stage of the research involved a preliminary review of
the existing knowledge management-related documents. This was followed by a top management
interview to understand the organization’s business goals and knowledge management (KM)
expectations. A total of 70 knowledge workers took part in the research activity. Twenty-ve
participants from nine departments took part in the preliminary interview, and 52 successful survey
forms were collected from a total of 70 respondents. The entire investigation took close to nine months.
Data compilation and research result analysis took about three months to complete.
Findings – The outcomes of the research show that the quality of POKM is stable, easy to use and
organization of the content is rated as good. However, POKM has poor response time and search
capability. The content is found to be difcult to locate in the POKM but most participants agree that
knowledge stored in the POKM is helpful, can be accessed anytime and anywhere and useful for their
day-to-day job. As for the user interface, POKM is not very pleasant to use with a weak set of functions
and features. For user satisfaction toward POKM, it is shown that users are not satised with the
efciency and effectiveness of the systems. However, employees generally are satised with the ease of
access, download and reuse of knowledge contains in POKM. In term of perceived POKM benets, users
agree that POKM is an enabler for acquiring new knowledge and innovative ideas, managing and
storing knowledge and accomplishing tasks more efciently. Lastly, knowledge users agree that POKM
functions enable knowledge networking, sharing and creation in the organization.
Originality/value POKM was launched and implemented for close to 10 years; however, the
organization has failed to achieve some of the goals such as knowledge sharing among employees,
creation of new skills and knowledge, measuring knowledge sharing activities and knowledge sharing
strategy. The importance of this study is to understand and highlight the technological perspective of
POKM from the knowledge workers. Findings will summarize issues faced by the case company for
further action and remedy. The outcomes of the study also provide a comprehensive view and guideline
to organizations who are interested to implement a KM system.
Keywords Knowledge-based systems, Knowledge sharing enabler, Knowledge worker,
Knowledge-driven organizations, POKM
Paper type Case study
The authors would like to thank Sunway ITSSC Sdn Bhd for providing the researchers with
documentations and an in-depth understanding on POKM and knowledge practices to carry out a
detailed investigation successfully.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/0305-5728.htm
VINE
45,2
292
Received 11 September 2013
Revised 1 April 2014
20 October 2014
12 February 2015
Accepted 25 February 2015
VINE
Vol.45 No. 2, 2015
pp.292-318
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
0305-5728
DOI 10.1108/VINE-09-2013-0052
1. Introduction
In the current competitive market setting, organizations agree that knowledge
contributed by employees benet day-to-day operations in numerous ways.
Organizations need to strategically position and nancially reward the knowledge
practices if they want to motivate their employees to contribute and share their
knowledge and expertise (Argote, 1999;Grant, 1996;Wernerfelt, 1984). In view of the
importance of organizational knowledge, many organizations start to evolve and
transform themselves into knowledge-centric organizations where knowledge workers
in these organizations manage to capture, utilize and share knowledge as part of their
day-to-day workow. The advancement of information technology allows one to
capture and organize dispersed organizational information into repositories for reuse to
make better decisions and improve productivity with lower cost in the job. To manage
knowledge, knowledge management systems (KMS) are used by many organizations to
better manage organizational knowledge to facilitate collaborative communication and
knowledge sharing among employees. Works on many technical aspects of KMS such
as ease-to-use, intuitively designed user interface, pervasive platforms and cloud are
some emerging technologies that support knowledge management activity. In this
research, an investigation on a tailor-made KMS, practice of knowledge management
(POKM) (Ali and Ahmad, 2006;Chong and Chong, 2009;Hamid and Nayan, 2005)
deployed by a information technology (IT) shared services company, is carried out. This
POKM is a classical knowledge management and practice system where employees use
the system to create and share knowledge in the organization. Verna (1997) said that
knowledge is an intellectual asset which needs an effective and efcient process to
capture, organize and distribute it within the organization. In this study, the quality of
the system, the quality of content organization, user interface, system satisfaction,
perceived system benets and functionality are examined and concluding remarks are
illustrated at the end of the paper.
2. KMS and knowledge workers
The terms knowledge worker and KMS have been dened and presented by many
researchers and there is a small variation among these denitions. Articles on
knowledge worker and KMS are reviewed in this paper to provide a comprehensive view
and characteristics of these two terminologies.
2.1 Knowledge workers
The revolution of knowledge workers revolves around employees migrating from
technical skilled workers to knowledge-based workers. Gone are the days where
employees are well needed in industrial automotive works where they perform
structured and routine works that are manually operated and heavy labor-intensive. A
knowledge worker has become an asset for every organization based on their
intellectual capital (Pasher and Ronan, 2011;Rogoski, 1999). In today’s new economy,
many organizations are moving toward economy-based knowledge workers.
Economy-based knowledge workers are to replace industrial mass production workers.
The term knowledge worker was rst coined and used by Drucker (1954), where he
predicted that knowledge workers will take over the traditional blue-collared employees
in 50 years to come (Drucker, 1954;Mladkova, 2011;Farkas and Török, 2011). Indeed,
this has become a reality in many developed countries. Employees who transform
293
Perception of
POKM

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