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Title: Knowledge management in Malaysian secondary schools : implications of the "Smart School" initiative
Author: Awang, Marinah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2684 2003
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2009
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Knowledge management is a response to the growing realization of knowledge as the deliverer of organizational success. Because much attention has been given to the private sector, knowledge management initiatives in educational settings seem to be lacking. Considering that knowledge activities – capturing, creating, sharing, applying and storing – are important activities in education, particularly schools, the failure to fully appreciate the potential of managing knowledge within education is surprising. A review of the literature suggests that factors such as management, technology and culture contribute differently to managing knowledge in many organizations. The management factor, for example, was a catalyst in providing a conducive work environment, whereas technology provides the mechanism as an enabler for knowledge management initiatives. Culture was important for the knowledge context and could play a significant role in the uptake of managing knowledge. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between these contextual factors – management, technology and culture – and the knowledge activities. The study took place in Malaysian secondary schools and highlighted the Smart School Project as one of the seven flagships of Malaysia Multimedia Super Corridor. A mixed method approach was used as a strategy of inquiry in order to explore the knowledge management contextual factors in relation to knowledge activities. The quantitative method focused on collecting data based on a survey instrument. There were 1313 respondents and Smart Schools and non Smart Schools participated in responding to the questionnaire. As for the interview method, the study focused on 21 individuals who were purposely selected based on their special implementation roles in the schools – school principals, information technology coordinators and teachers. The survey data were analysed by using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. There were three types of statistical application used, namely the descriptive statistics, the t-test and regression, whereas the interview data were analysed manually by looking and searching for noticeable patterns to be connected to the research framework. The findings suggest that although there is no explicit knowledge management system used in managing knowledge in the educational sector, there are a lot of elements and positive practices of knowledge management already in place that could help schools to develop and encourage activities such as knowledge sharing. As far as the contribution of the contextual factors to knowledge activities, technology was an important instrument in all of the knowledge activities, but it was certainly not the only or the most prominent one. The culture factor played a more significant role in all knowledge activities particularly when knowledge sharing was considered as a social and spiritual obligation in the communities of practice. Despite this, there were also barriers in the uptake of knowledge management initiatives in schools which seemed to limit knowledge activities due to time constraints and teacher workload.
Supervisor: Fincham, Robin ; Curry, Adrienne Sponsor: Government of Malaysia ; Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Knowledge Management ; Education sector ; School ; Malaysia ; Knowledge management ; Education Malaysia