The Implications of Human Resources Management and Organizational Culture Adoption on Knowledge Management Practices in Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry

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INTRODUCTION

Knowledge management to facilitate the creation, storage, transfer and application of knowledge in organizations have perceived wide attention in practice and research in the past several years. It has been argued that the success of today's business increasingly depends on their intellectual assets as opposed to their tangible resources. Among other things, these assets include attitude, knowledge and skills of the workforce, according to American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), these assets are known as competencies. They are areas of personal capability that enable people to perform successfully to their jobs by achieving outcomes or completing tasks effectively. Drucker (2001) emphasizes that every organization needs one core competence, innovation further stresses that every organization needs a way to record and appraise its innovative performance.

Mohanty (2006) outlined that for an economy, or a nation to achieve preeminent position and superior status, it has to pioneer the culture of innovation. In a rapidly changing market, the only way to do either is to innovate effectively.

The knowledge based view of the firm suggests that intellectual resources are key organizational assets that enable sustainable competitive advantage (Teece, 2003). Teece noted that any organization(s) that are able to effectively manage these knowledge resources are expected to reap benefits such as improved customer service, reduced costs in people and infrastructure, better decision-making, innovation, improved corporate agility, rapid development of new product lines and efficient transfer of best practices.

Contemporary literature provides numerous examples of knowledge management success stories, organizations seeking to engage in such efforts also face a variety of challenges among the most difficult of these challenges is organizational culture. Janz and Prasarnphanich (2003) noted that organizational culture is believed to be the most significant input to effective knowledge management and organizational learning. Increased realization of knowledge as the core competence coupled with recent advances in information technology has increased organizational interest in the topics of knowledge management, human resources management and organizational culture. Following Churchman (1971), such topics are best suited for:

Well-structured problem situations for which there exists strong consensual position on the nature of the problem situation.

* Facilitating and managing organizational innovation and learning.

* Leveraging the expertise of people across the organization

* Increasing network connectivity between employees and external groups with the objective of improving information flow.

Many large organizations have resources dedicated to knowledge management, of ten as a part of information technology, human resource management or business strategy. Knowledge management is linked and related to what has become known as the learning organization, lifelong learning and continuous improvement. Hence, the emergence of knowledge management has generated new roles and responsibilities in organizations. The emergence has created an increasing presence of academic debates within epistemology emerging in both the theory and practice of knowledge management.

Studies have shown that organizations that foster strong cultures have clear values that give employees a reason to embrace the culture. A strong culture may be especially beneficial to firms operating in the service sector since members of these organizations are responsible for delivering the services and for promoting consistency and encouraging co-ordination and control within the organization. Where culture is strong, people do things because they believe it is the right thing to do.

In this study, we propose a construct for measuring the influence of organizational culture for fostering the adoption of knowledge management as a competence of an individual, ability to generate ideas, ownership to the organization and decision making competencies. …