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CMI - Knowledge Management

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Executive Summary To leverage global competitiveness, organisations need radical changes. Management change is brought about by global market which evolves constantly. Most changes come in the form of technological advancements, management styles and infrastructure. Management change theories concentrate on both hard and soft approaches whereby hard approaches look into the infrastructure while soft approaches focus the human element. Knowledge management (KM) is a form of organisational change. KM has been defined as the transfer of knowledge from one to another. The current technological advancements have helped organisations to carry out KM successfully. However, change managers have to be aware that this advancement is only an infrastructural improvement which needs to work hand in hand with the human element. Organisational, country and individual culture can be the deciding factor in the success on KM. When managed efficiently, organisational change can result in success. This is apparent at Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) which successfully transformed its organisation from an ordinary public library to a regional hub for research and development in the palm oil industry. Furthermore, MPOB's transformation has been accredited with awards locally and internationally. Organisational change can also fail as seen in Taylor's Business School's (TBS) attempt to transform its educational institution into one of knowledge-based business school. This failure is recognised as due to the inefficient implementation of change strategy. The stance taken by TBS to implement the change did not take into consideration the soft elements of management change. In conclusion, though change is important to organisations as oxygen is to life, the implementation stage is crucial where a balance between hard and soft elements of change is needed. ...read more.


The resilience and resourcefulness of its manager with dynamic and supportive organizational leadership highlights the importance of the palm oil industry in the Malaysian economy. Leadership is just one of the ingredients in this organizational transformation. The library implemented MS ISO 9000 and TQM standards as the next route to organizational excellence. These resulted in MPOB being awarded the Prime Minister's annual quality award. This is a testament that TQM had helped to position the library as center of excellence in their distinctive areas of competence. Since 2001, MPOB benchmarked itself with other national libraries and world class organizations in areas of competency development programme for its library and library personnel. In response to the challenges in the technological and knowledge economy era, the library established a national digital library network with strategic partnership while digitizing its extensive local resources. The implementation of these strategies by MPOB provides an insight into the vision and challenges facing the transformation process. While there are obviously major differences between organizational make-up and background of MPOB library and Southeast Asian libraries, there are some common threads that was drawn and used effectively. It can be discerned that the drivers of change in MPOB include cultural and organizational imperatives such as: * rapid development of technology; * concern for quality and excellence; * growing national consciousness; * concern for preservation of heritage; * development of learning infrastructures; and * E-literate society. MPOB's successfully change is due to its seriousness and efficiency in implementing change. The leaders managed to recognize the need for innovation, creativity and adaptability to successfully manage the change without employees' resistance. ...read more.


Using Beer & Nohria's theory O, it used a soft approach by introducing new technologies slowly. The leaders understood the employees' capabilities and implemented changes with the right mix of innovation and co-ordination. TBS, on the other hand, implemented KM using Beer & Nohria's theory; changes were made quickly using structural changes, expecting employees to understand. The new leaders failed to understand the organisational culture where many employees have been working for more than ten years, transferring their knowledge. They were unable to understand the need for change in designations and names of facilities in the pretext of KM, when the programme delivered come designed in Australia. The education industry in Malaysia is very competitive hence it stipulates the need for quality institutional and professional services in order to sustain a competitive advantage (Kumar & Idris 2006). However, the use of "knowledge" for designations and facilities does not necessarily translate into quality. 4. Recommendations KM will significantly help industries to compete locally and globally (Chong, Chong & Heng 2006). However, knowledge transfer requires the willingness of individuals to work with others and share knowledge for mutual benefit (Syed-Ikhsan & Rowland 2004). As such, organisation should consider having a strategy on how knowledge could be maintained and shared amongst employees and communities of practice without any culture barriers. Organizations can act intelligently when managing change to secure their viabilities and overall success by fostering a better understanding of the importance of the change towards enhancing organizational performance. Globalization has affected the viability of production-driven strategies in substantial ways. Organisation and country culture play a significant role in implementing change, requiring leaders to understand them before introducing the change. Hence, successful change programme management requires the integration of quality leadership and strategy. ...read more.

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