The Relationship Between Knowledge Management Initiatives and Human Resource Capability: Towards a Competitive Firm Performance

Topics: Knowledge management, Human resource management, Human resources Pages: 23 (7342 words) Published: March 21, 2012
The Relationship between Knowledge Management Initiatives and Human Resource Capability: Towards a Competitive Firm Performance

Norhaiza Binti Ishak
Faculty of Business and Law, Melaka Campus,
Multimedia University, Ayer Keroh Lama, 75450 Melaka

Uchenna C. Eze
Faculty of Business and Law, Melaka Campus,
Multimedia University, Ayer Keroh Lama, 75450 Melaka

Knowledge is increasingly becoming a catalyst for change and creativity in organizations: enabling effective production, marketing, sales, administrative, operational and strategic activities. Existing literature in knowledge management, however, has focused mainly on generic benefits derivable from knowledge management applications. This paper examines the roles knowledge and knowledge management could play in enhancing human resource effectiveness among Malaysian firms. To achieve this objective we will conduct a detailed literature review on the implications of knowledge management on effective human resource development, and the consequences for firm performance. We propose that firms that develop strong knowledge management culture and apply lessons from this developed culture would be able to achieve high performance level compared to firms that do otherwise. In addition, when a firm is able to perform more effectively compare to competitors, there is the tendency for these firms to achieve competitive advantage. This paper could serve as a frame of reference for future researchers with respect to literature, and may enable practitioners to gain better understanding of key requirements for maintaining competitive performance via effective integration of knowledge management (KM) and human resource activities.

Keywords: Human Resource Capability, Knowledge, Knowledge Management, Competitive Performance, Malaysia

1. Introduction
For countries in the vanguard of the world economy, the balance between knowledge and resources has shifted so far towards the former that knowledge has become perhaps the most important factor determining the standard of living – more than land, than tools, than labor. Today’s most technologically advanced economies are truly knowledge-based. (World Development Report, 1999). Work in developed economies has migrated from agricultural to manufacturing and more recently to service/knowledge based. The migration is accompanied by two notable developments, both of which carry significant implications for human resource management (HRM) (Charles & Jean-Marie, 1999). The two notable developments are: 1. An evolution from rational (engineered, fragmented, bureaucratic) to natural (organic, psychosocial, humanistic) to open systems (multiply-connected) frames of meaning in the management and organizational literature (Perrow, 1973; Scott, 1987). This caused a transformation from the Old Economy to the New Economy, from an emphasis on the main forms of production being capital, land and labor to an emphasis on information knowledge and technology. The New Economy is moving beyond bulk-material manufacturing to designing new technologies, beyond processing physical resources to processing knowledge, beyond applying raw energy to applying ideas (Arthur, 1996). As a consequence of this - and in the ideal – it is commonly observed that organization designs and managerial practices are becoming more differentiated, less bureaucratic, less reliant on hierarchical authority structures and more psychosocially integrative (Charles and Jean-Marie, 1999). 2. The development involves the post-industrial revolution (Bell, 1973), which, spurred especially by the information revolution (Postman, 1993), has installed knowledge as a primary factor of production. As Drucker (1992) suggested in the early 1990s, the classical factors of production – land, labor and capital – are becoming secondary to knowledge as the primary resource for the New Economy.

In view of the...

References: Aghazadeh, S.M (1999). Human resource management: Issues and Challenges in the new Millennium, Management Research News, 22(12), 19-32.
Al-Atahari, A & Zairi, M (2001). Building benchmarking competencies through knowledge management capability, Benchmarking; Bradford.
Alavi, M & Leidner, D.E (February 1999). Knowledge management systems; issues, challenges and benefits. Communications of the Association of Information Systems. 1(7), 1-37.
Anonymous (1996(, The Knowledge-Based Economy, General Distribution, OCDE/GD(96)102.
Baker, M, Barker, M, Thorne, J., & Dutnell, M. (1997). Leveraging human capital, The Journal of Knowledge Management, 1(1), 63-74.
Bagshaw, M. (2001). Why knowledge management is here to stay. Measuring Business Excellence; Bradford.
Bardan, S. (2001), Human factor to K-economy success, Business Times, Kuala Lumpur.
Chase, R.L. (1997). The knowledge-based organization: An International Study. The Journal of Knowledge Management, 1(1), 38-49.
Bender, S., & Fish, A. (2000). The transfer of knowledge and the retention of expertise: Continuing needs for global assignments. Journal of Knowledge Management, 4(2), 127-137.
Bennet, R., & Gabriel, H. (1999). Organizational factors and knowledge management within large marketing departments, Journal of Knowledge Management, 3(3), 212-225.
Bhatt, G.D. (2001). Knowledge management in organizations: examining the interaction between technologies, techniques and people. Journal of Knowledge Management, 5(1), 68-75.
Bogdanowicz, M.S., & Bailey, E.K. (2002). The value of knowledge and the values of the knowledge worker : generation X in the new economy. Journal of European Industrial Training. 26(2/3/4), 125-129.
Bogdanowicz, M., & Bailey, E.K. (2002). The value of knowledge and the value of the new worker: generation X in the new economy, Journal of European Industrial Training, 26(2/3/4), 125-129.
Campbel, M.A.S., Clare, L. M., & Gitters, S.H. (1999). Knowledge management : the new challenge for the 21 st century, Journal of Knowledge Management, 3(3), 172-179.
Carneiro, A. (2000). How does knowledge management influence innovation and competitiveness? Journal of Knowledge Management, 4(2), 87-98.
Carter, C., & Scarbrough, H. (2001), Towards a second generation of KM? The people management challenge. Education and Training, 43(4/5), 215-224.
Charlie, P.R. (1998). Working knowledge: How organizations manage what they know? Human Resource Planning; Tempe.
Civi, E. (2000). Knowledge management as competitive asset: a review, Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 18(4), 166-174.
Clarke, T. (2001). The Knowledge economy¸ Education + Training; 43(4/5), 189-196.
Clarke, T., & Rollo, C. (2001). Corporate initiatives in knowledge management, Education + Training, 43(4/5), 206-214.
Despress, C., & Hiltrop, J.M. (1995). Human resource management in the knowledge age. Employee Relations, 17(1), 9-23.
Filius, R, Jong, J.A., & Roelofs, E.C. (2000). Knowledge management in the HRD office. Journal of Workplace Learning, 12(7), 286-295.
Garavan, T.N., Morley, M., Gunnigle, P., & Cillins, E. (2001). Human capital accumulation : the role of human resource development. Journal of European Industrial Training, 25(2/3/4), 48-68.
Hannabuss, S. (2001). A wider view of knowledge, Library Management, 22(8/9), 357-363.
Houghton, J.W. (February 2002). The Global Knowledge Economy. Supporting Paper No 1-TIAC
Hunter, L, Beaumont, P and Lee, M (2002), Knowledge management practices in Scottish law firms, Human Resource Management Journal, 12(2), 4-21.
Jon, C.H., & Chia, L.K. (1999). Knowledge management in learning organization, Leadership and Organizational Development Journal, 20(4), 207-215.
Kannam, G., & Akhilesh, K.B. (2002). Human capital knowledge value added. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 3(2), 167-179.
Kaye, L. (1999). Strategic human resource management in Australia: the human cost, International Journal of Manpower, 20(8), 577-587.
Lang, J.C. (2001), Managing in knowledge-based competition. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 14(6), 539-553.
Latifah, W. (1999), K-Economy advanced paper, The NITC/MIMOS Berhad
Lee, C.C
Loomis, J.E. (Dec 2000). Knowledge management and the X Generation. Rough Notes: Indianapolis.
Martinsons, M.G. (1995). Knowledge-based systems leverage human resource management expertise, International Journal of Manpower, 16(2), 17-34.
Meso, P., & Smith, R. (2000). A resource-based view of organizational knowledge management systems, Journal of Knowledge Management, 4(3), 224-234.
Othman, R., & Poon, J.M.L. (2000). What shapes HRM? Employee Relations, 22(5), 467-484.
Ryan, M. (1995), Human resource management and the politics of knowledge, Leadership and Organization Development, 16(5), 3-10.
Palmer, J. (1998). The human organization. Journal of Knowledge Management, 1(4).
Poynder, R. (1998). Getting to the nuts and bolts of knowledge management, Information World Review, Oxford.
Schewn, T.M, Kalman, H.K, Hara, N & Kisling, E.L. (1998). Potential knowledge management contributions to human performance technology, Educational Technology Research and Development, 46(4), 73-89.
Smith, A.D., & Rupp, W.T. (2002). Communication and loyalty among knowledge workers, Journal of Knowledge Management, 6(3), 259-261.
Soliman, F., & Spooner, K. (2000). Strategies for implementing knowledge management: role of human resources management. Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol 4, no 4, p 337-345.
Wee, V. (2001). Crucial move into knowledge intensive activities, BERNAMA
Witt, S.L
Svetlik, I. & Starvrou-Costea, E. (2007), Connecting human resources management and knowledge management. International Journal of Manpower, 28(¾,), 197-206.
Winkelen, V.C., & McDermont (2008). Facilitating the handover of Knowledge, Knowledge Management Review, 11(2), 2-4.
Whicker, L.M. & Andrews, K.M. (2004), HRM in the Knowledge Economy: Realising the Potential, Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources, 42(2), 156-165.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay on The Relationship Between Human Resource Management and Human Resource Development
  • Human Resource Role in Knowledge Management Essay
  • Essay on Relationship Between Strategic Human Resource Management and Firm Performance
  • Essay on Knowledge Management and the Competitive Strategy of the Firm
  • Essay on Human Resource Management Models as a Competitive Advantage for Companies
  • Human Resource Management and Profession Map Essay
  • Essay on Human Resource Management Notes
  • Human Resources Management essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free