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Authors: Kushwaha, Pooja
Keywords: KM infrastructure
Individual competence
Huber‟s Learning constructs
KM strategy
Issue Date: Nov-2015
Abstract: “Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it” this quotation by Lao Tzu appears to be highly consistent with the present globalized context, where most of the organizational activities are centered on knowledge capabilities and resources. Nowadays, intense competition and precarious changes in business environment have caused the volatility and uncertainty in the market. Under such circumstances, potential opportunities and threats can be identified and managed through knowledge driven capabilities to sustain competitive edge and long-term business survival. The act of practicing knowledge embodies the inclusion of knowledge capabilities such as KM infrastructure, KM process and needs a comprehensive outlook of strategic dimensions to manage knowledge across the organizations. On the other hand, human resource possesses the key role in practicing knowledge due to their intellect, decision-making capability, and personal competence. The emergence of knowledge economy paves the way to organizational success with the several preconditions that indicates toward optimum utilization of resources, managing knowledge and most remarkably on managing people to utilize their competence and enable them to practice knowledge activities effectively within and across organizational boundaries. As a result, managing individual competence has become a significant issue. This study aimed at examining the influence of knowledge management (KM) elements mainly, KM infrastructure, KM strategy and KM processes on employees‟ individual competence in the context of Indian IT sector. The present study explored the linkages of KM infrastructure, KM strategy and Huber‟s Learning constructs and attempted to find out the role of Huber‟s constructs (acquisition, distribution, interpretation, organizational memory) in enhancing individual level competence. This study provides a holistic framework, which includes sub-dimensions of KM infrastructure i.e. culture, structure, people and technology, KM strategy i.e. personalization, codification, KM processes i.e. acquisition, distribution, interpretation, organizational memory and individual competence i.e. modeling personal development, modeling self mastery in learning and seek learning activities. Further, this study proposed and tested a model linking KM elements and individual competence by examining the mediating role of KM processes between the relationships of (KM infrastructure, individual competence) and (KM strategy, individual competence) subsequently. Additionally, an effort has been made to explore the linkage between KM strategy and KM infrastructure. Several hypotheses were drawn on the basis of previous literature annotations. Data were collected from 379 employees of Indian Information Technology (IT) sector. The organizations chosen for this study were located in National Capital Region (NCR) comprising Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida region in India. For administering research questionnaire, the organizations and sample has been selected following a convenience sampling technique. The statistical techniques used to test the proposed hypotheses includes descriptive statistics, correlational analysis, multiple regression and conditional process analysis (PROCESS) macro using regression based approach. Data were analyzed with the help of SPSS 20 and AMOS 20 software. After analyzing collected responses through data screening process, the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted to test the factor structure of the study constructs. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to assess the reliability and validity of the research instrument in Indian context. In the next phase, multiple hierarchical regression technique was used to test the hypotheses and mediation effects using an add-in macro PROCESS developed by Andrew Hayes (2013). Following the multiple hierarchical regression, the impact of KM infrastructure and KM strategy on KM process and subsequently its impact on individual competence were tested. The impact of KM strategy on KM infrastructure was determined using the regression technique. Using PROCESS macro, mediation effect of KM process on the relationship of (KM infrastructure, individual competence) and (KM strategy, individual competence) was examined. The results of the study provide empirical evidence toward the significant influence of predictors KM infrastructure and KM strategy on KM process and its subsequent impact on outcome variable i.e. individual competence. The mediation effect of KM process on the relationship of (KM infrastructure, individual competence) and (KM strategy, individual competence) was also found significant and indicated as an antecedent to enhance individual competence of employees. The results of this study indicated the significant relationship between KM strategy and KM infrastructure variables. From the viewpoint of Huber‟s Learning constructs, the results were found significant to predict the relationship among KM infrastructure, KM process and individual competence. The study has many key implications. First, the study offers an insight into the linkages between KM elements and individual competence. The study suggested that competence development is a key to increase overall performance and organizations need to ensure proper facilitation of knowledge infrastructure i.e. collaborative culture, decentralized structure, technological support and skilled people to gain competitiveness. This study also emphasizes on adopting a balanced strategic orientation in the view of previous research findings. Second, the study provides an insight in to the Huber‟s Learning constructs i.e. knowledge acquisition, knowledge distribution, knowledge interpretation and organizational memory and suggests practitioners to promote knowledge activities for acquiring, sharing and creation of new knowledge that will be helpful in enhancing employees‟ competence and expertise. Second, drawing on knowledge-based view, the researcher found that KM process as a mediator predicts the enhancement of competence at individual level. The results are valuable in establishing empirical, valid and strong evidence that KM elements are essential to develop individual level competence. Several important recommendations for future research were also discussed. This study contributes to existing literature on knowledge management and individual competence by examining and reporting the influence of KM infrastructure and KM strategy on KM process using Huber‟s Learning Constructs as an underlying mechanism and its subsequent impact on individual competence.
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