Saudi Telecom Context
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Saudi Telecom Company is one of the largest companies in the Arab World. STC advocates for governance framework that depends mostly on good governance. The governance is documented in many policies such as compliance program and risk management plan and strategy. According to the company, their major mission is to exceed their customer’s expectations so that by working hand in hand, they both reach the new horizons. The company has a tacit mandate of providing broadband communication services to more than 100 million subscribers in almost 10 markets Saudi Arabia inclusive. Some of its cultural attributes include trust, supervision, teamwork, innovation, and employee’s involvement in decision making.
The idea of knowledge management is growing at a tremendous rate. It is becoming an essential feature in today’s business philosophy. Knowledge means the act of knowing something through familiarities obtained through experience. Knowledge management, on the other hand, is a multidimensional plan, which involves getting the right knowledge, passing it down to the right individuals, at the most opportune time with the agenda of achieving the goals of a particular organization (Nonaka, 2005). The given article will critically analyze the article on the organizational culture impact on knowledge exchange and how the item is related to knowledge management. It is acknowledged that knowledge management is a significant part of modern management concerns.
It is beyond any reasonable doubts that, knowledge is ideal for business agility and innovation. This implies that, it is a multifaceted phenomenon that ought to be considered from different perspectives. Just to say but a few; from organizational, economic, educational, and social perspectives (Frappaolo, 2006). To sustain competitive advantages in an organization, knowledge absorption, exchange, and its creation play a tremendously crucial role. There are two types of knowledge; tacit and explicit. While the tacit one is complex and hard to formulate and transfer from one person to the other, the explicit one can be transferred through digital accessories. What matters most in this sector is how to capture, share, facilitate and manage knowledge. Moreover, facilitating knowledge sharing improves innovativeness within organizations.
The main objective of knowledge involves people with an attitude of sharing the collective knowledge in the interest of the organization. In as much as technology is considered critical, it is only a device that is employed to expedite the overall process. This idea is what has been termed in the article as knowledge exchange. This can be defined as the process of passing down understanding among individuals within a particular context or organization; with the main agenda of working as a unit with the major agenda of achieving the various goals that have been laid down by an organization. Knowledge exchange plays a particularly crucial role in knowledge management in its implementation (Raid & Muawad, 2011). In addition, it improves the overall linkage between members of a given organization. Once people within an organization are able to link in the process of organizational growth, there is the possibility of improved understanding of the organizational goals.
In a nutshell, the present society can be best described as the knowledge society. The business landscape is facing some substantial changes. The competitive world is no longer considered predictable. The varying information technologies have widened gaps in access and control of knowledge. This, therefore, calls for knowledge management as the immediate solution for realigning the firm’s technical capabilities to develop the relevant knowledge that drives the enterprise forward.
There should be change in the overall way that people work, communicate, and communicate within and across organizations. In simple terms as applied in the report giving coverage on the Saudi Telecom Company as Organizational culture. Overcoming the above limitations does not only need accessibility to technology, but also a better way of managing the available knowledge. The key questions that an organization needs to put into consideration include; “Does your company know what you know?” and “Do you have an idea of what you know?” The idea of knowledge exchange has been deeply covered in the article. In the context of the Saudi Telecom Company, knowledge exchange is brought out as one of the most contributing factors in the improvement of an organization. For a company to manage its knowledge, it has to inventory its people, systems, and decisions. Professional knowledge workers should also be identified, and their roles be well outlined. Lastly, the required technologies must be incorporated to reengineer the entire process.
Knowledge management is all about survival in a new business world. The present world is full of competition and uncertainty increases every day. It challenges the old ideas of carrying out ideas. The concentration is not only on how to get the right findings, but also on inquiring by using the correct questions. What worked the previous day might not work today. It encourages the notion of doing the right thing, as opposed to doing things rightly. Regardless of the entrepreneurship, an organization competes basing all its strength on the knowledge of its labor.
An organization also has a mindset that depends mostly on experience. It, therefore creates a new way for exchanging the present knowledge. This could be achieved via the internet, intranets, and local area network systems. Generally, people are the determinants in knowledge management success (Nonaka, 2005). Thus, the best available software in an institution might be insufficient if the people in that sector are not willing to collaborate and work as a unit. There ought to be mutual trust among the members as they share the available knowledge. Principally, trust is one among the many crucial components in the Knowledge management at large.
Trust and Knowledge Management
Trust plays a relatively essential part in the knowledge management cycle (Raid & Muawad, 2011). Organizations that are knowledge-based try their level best to learn human systems. The best way that is recommended for easy flow of knowledge among the members in an organization is through the establishment of environment that is conducive for the employees. This enables them to share their experiences that they have learnt from the school of life, the insights, and even their know-how. This narrows down to the issue of mutual trust among the members. Trust works hand in hand with knowledge management processes. The members are given a true impression that reciprocity and proposing innovations will be put into consideration and at long last rewarded. As opposed to that, in an organization where trust is not considered vital, the members tend not to share knowledge that they possess. In addition to that, the members also build suspicions not only among themselves, but also in the organizational processes.
Moreover, trust means integrity and the will of a company to involve its members into the decision making processes. For trust to have a strong ground in an organization, the organization itself must make an overt effort to implement trust in the overall culture of the business management (Holdt, 2003). This implies that the issue ought to be observed from different perspectives beginning from the available human resources, top management help, and lastly to proving to the knowledge employees that indeed, they belong in that company.
Once everything is put into practice, trust can work like cement. Meaning it will glue an organization together in its efforts to deal with the unpredictable competitive environment. The reason is that, in most scenarios, people tend not to have a candid dialogue with the people they do not trust. This, therefore, indicates that trust needs to be built at all levels. Trust is critical to successful knowledge management programs. At the same time, it is extremely difficult to create and maintain it in large organizations.
However, trust has a potentially lasting effect once it is well implemented and maintained within the policies that drive sense in knowledge management processes. When this is taken note of, then the knowledge management program involved might be considered successful. Success of knowledge management is, however, measured in four dimensions: impact in knowledge management, effects on business processes, management support, and lastly the knowledge content.
When people share knowledge in a company, the organization comes up with exponential benefits from the shared knowledge. This might come as a result of many people learning from the idea. This is of immense importance as it facilitates faster process in the organization. Moreover, sharing of knowledge empowers the workers in a remarkably unique way. Knowledge management theories, therefore, encourages organizations to capture the tacit knowledge that might be of immense importance in running a given process then advice knowledgeable workers to share it with their colleagues. Those who share knowledge are well positioned to arrive at conclusions about the most effective or least effective processes.
The greatest set back in Knowledge management is the initial capture of the required information. The benefits are, however, innumerous when the given organization can easily capture the necessary information and disperse it appropriately. Knowledge hoarding should be done away with, as it limits the necessary information required for the smooth running of organizations. Knowledge exchange as a key player in knowledge management will be of significant importance in the future. It is recommended that a company should capture and preserve the knowledge of its senior members. This places the younger staff members to be in a better position. They only have a tacit mandate of making it into immediate use and improving to make the entrepreneurship run smoothly and more efficiently.
In the recent future, there have been developments on knowledge-based systems. The systems do not only facilitate knowledge sharing, but they also enable less trained brokers to achieve performance levels that are associated with experienced professionals. Moreover, the system also captures and disperses knowledge concerning transactions, trading rules, yields, tax considerations, and new offerings in the market. Sharing of the knowledge thereby, allows brokers to serve a large number of clients in the whole world with sophisticated investment advice. In summary, knowledge sharing acts like an instant training vehicle.
Anderson Consulting has also provided another brilliant example of a well-developed knowledge sharing system. The system is referred A Net (Mertins & Heisig, 2003). It is an electronic system that connects the various employees in an organization and encourages them to share the knowledge. A Net, plays an extremely prominent role in the overall market. It enables an employee to use the knowledge of Accenture to solve customer’s problems across the world. They do this by using electronic bulletin boards and following them up with visual and data contacts. It also expands any knowledge available to the customers according to the entire organization. Furthermore, the system improves employee’s problem solving approach by looking carefully at the available files in the organization.
To create participation in an organization, changes in incentives and culture need to be put in place. In the real sense, companies that fail to embed viable knowledge management operations end up suffering in the long run. Some of the basics things that should not be ignored include failures to make changes regarding compensation system that deals with rewarding people who work as single teams and constructions of the massive database that are suppose to cater to the entire company. The old fashioned way of compensating people results into information hoarding (Mertins & Heisig, 2003). This practice does not, therefore, auger well in an environment where knowledge is shared. Bonuses or rather merit increments should be focused on the overall team contribution and team's performance, as opposed to the initial mode that majorly concentrated on the quantity of the total production. Many researchers have demonstrated the importance of creating incentives and motivation within the company. This enables them not only to come up with new knowledge, but also to reuse it.
Knowledge management can also be influenced by the kind of leadership offered in the organization (Raid & Muawad, 2011). It has been found out that, managerial support is CFS and a necessity in sustenance of knowledge management success. Leadership is a clear indicator of knowledge management support. It avails the required managerial environment that tries its best to, not only creates the necessary knowledge, but also encourages its spread among the members of an organization. This therefore, provides the needed resources for the knowledge management success initiatives. In summary, leadership is an antecedent to knowledge management success because successful knowledge management gives considerations for leadership (Mayburry & Thuraisinggham, 2002). This was covered in the article under the subtitle of supervision. For the knowledge to be well dispersed, the overall head should be well managed.
The information should flow from the top to the grassroots without the slightest alterations. Just like any other high priority project, Knowledge management is championed by determined supervisors. In addition to that, a high commitment of the top management is also required. This is because organizational culture gives considerations for ideas that are raised beginning from the least to the highest level in the given company (Holdt, 2003). This places the respective company into a position to utilize the employees input and knowledge, which result into a strategic advantage. This therefore, implies that the information needs to be integrated and channeled in the correct manner.
The article on the Saudi Telecom Company also gives a wide coverage on the issue of organizational cultures. Generally, in the Arab world, Muslim faith plays a pivotal role in their ways of living. They also believe in large power distance and uncertainty avoidance. In the context of the ongoing discussion, however, organizational culture refers to the basic patterns, beliefs, and values that an organization considers being the best procedure that can be used when dealing with the challenges facing an organization. This idea is immensely challenging in that it becomes significantly difficult to change the ways in which a particular organization carries out its activities. Furthermore, it is to some extent remarkably difficult to quantify the measurements of changes in a particular culture.
Most industry analysts are in total agreement when it comes to the idea of the importance of organizational culture in relation to knowledge management (Mertins & Heisig, 2003). They believe that corporate culture is the greatest impediment to knowledge management. In most scenarios, corporate cultures that do support knowledge sharing end up achieving their goals. In this case, cultural issues are viewed as the major challenge in the implementation of success in an organization. Knowledge management failures are often attributed to the fact that, an organization failed to pay attention to the cultural issues within the company (Mayburry & Thuraisinggham, 2002). Maybe they gave so much interest to the technical obstacles. There are some cultures in which sharing of knowledge are limited or prohibited. These are normally done by official policies. In this case, knowledge management technology does not augur well with the operational efficiency at their best.
In hierarchical organizations, knowledge sharing is not given much consideration. This is because; the employees tend to compete for the decreasing positions. In contrast, in flat organizations knowledge is encouraged. This is brought about in that these organizations advocate for teamwork. Additionally, personal knowledge is viewed as potent to promotion. To develop the right culture that encourages knowledge exchange, a number of factors should be put in mind; the current organizational environment, business climate of the geographical location, and the indigenous culture within the organization.
The next procedure acknowledges that knowledge sharing within an organization is of enormous importance. Once all those have been established, knowledge sharing then becomes part of everything within the cultures of an organization. Cultures of an organization can, therefore, impact either positively or negatively on the issue of knowledge exchange. In the analysis of the effects of culture on knowledge exchange in the Saudi Telecom Company, it was vividly brought out that culture had a significant role to play in the implementation of knowledge management (Mayburry & Thuraisinggham, 2002). However, Knowledge management theories that have succeeded in other areas might not work for the Saudi Telecom Company. The reason is that cultural beliefs vary depending on the people and regions. Even though they may need to change some of their cultural beliefs within the company, they need adequate assessment of their present culture.
From the foregoing discussion, it is true that the modern world is the knowledge world. The methods that were used in the case study were appropriately chosen. For instance, the descriptive correlation and the web survey helped the study to obtain accurate results. According to the research, the findings had it that cultural attributes of supervision, trust, information flow, and innovation have great influence on knowledge exchange within Saudi Telecom Company context. Knowledge management has become a hot topic for discussion. The reason is that its prospects that encourage dramatic improvements in company effectiveness. Organizations need to have much skilled workers in order to survive the skills that work closely under the banner of knowledge management. This is the moment that organizations need to be more agile than ever before. The complexity of the new century has rapidly changed the business sector. Unfortunately, those who will not adapt to the new challenges will not survive. Saudi Telecom Company for instance needs to make changes in its cultural beliefs that might hinder free knowledge exchange within the organization. The company needs to promote a trustworthy environment, reward orientation culture, and more effective information flow. It is only through implementation of programs that support trustworthy environment that an organization can ensure continuous renewal of knowledge and skills in a sustainable manner.
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