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Title: The influence of human resource management and communities of practice on the management of knowledge : a case study of two Malaysian firms
Author: Muktar, S. N.
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2013
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The purpose of this research is to study knowledge management (KM) in Research and Development (R&D) organisations and the role of Human Resource Management (HRM) and Communities of Practice (CoP) play in facilitating access to knowledge via knowledge workers (R&D workers). The study aims to contribute to both theoretical and practical use of KM, HRM and CoP in Malaysia context at Muslim Dominated organisations. This study is first and foremost exploratory since it seeks to find out how people get along in the setting under review, what meanings they give to their actions and what issues concern them. The goal is to learn ‘what is going on here?’ and to investigate social phenomenon without explicit expectations. However, as far as it is able to reveal and describe people’s experience and views of KM, HR and CoP, it can also be regarded as descriptive. Formally phrased, the study strives to obtain new insight into phenomenon of organisational KM in Malaysian organisations and the supporting role of HR and CoP after taking into account the Islamic perspective. In this tradition of qualitative research, this study commences with a number of rather vague questions namely: ‘What’, ‘Who’, ‘When’, ‘Where’ and proceeds to suggest answers to the ‘Why’ question. The study explores and describes how a small number of people experience and perceive KM in everyday life within their respective organisations. The methodological approach included multiple case studies with in-depth interview and limited non-participant observations. Overall, 29 interviews with Knowledge Workers from two R&D organisations were conducted for the research. The Interviewees from each organisation came from various divisions, positions and service years and they were randomly selected based on a list given by the HR Department. Three chapters of analysis were presented in this thesis and each chapter has provided evidence that there are significant differences on how the two research settings manage their R&D workers, support knowledge creation, share and use as a process in communities of practice. These differences are caused by the two research settings facing with different external business operating environment. The findings from the two R&D organisations have provided evidence that the nature of work, leadership roles, organisational policies and routines within the organisations differentiated the outcomes of the process of both formal and informal knowledge sharing culture and behaviour. Analytical results from the two organisations also have demonstrated that employee perceptions of high-commitment HRM were significantly related to the creation of emotional capital such as trust, identity-construction, shared values and norms, satisfaction and many more; in which the mechanisms related to individual willingness to share knowledge. Most important, in this study the data findings suggest that in order to be an effective knowledge facilitator requires conceptualizing HRM as a vehicle for creating capabilities and capitalizing on the human factor to create a community of knowledge workers. In this study the empirical results indicate that religion i.e. Islam play an important role in knowledge sharing behaviour, in this case it can be concluded that religion can also contribute for an economic value to the organisation, which is deserves to be labelled as religious faith capital. Furthermore, this finding in this study would suggest that the transfer of tacit knowledge within the two research settings would not seem to be easily separable into four forms of knowledge conversion suggested by Nonaka and Takeuchi. Indeed, the findings also show that much knowledge is created through social construction such as direct interaction, joint activities in both formal and informal network settings. So in this study it suggests that a knowledge creation ‘construction process’ that work and worth discussion; and not a knowledge creation ‘conversion process’.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available