Knowledge Management Implementation In The NTPC

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The aim of this essay is to evaluate the analysis furnished by Goel et al (2010) in "knowledge management implementation in NTPC", and also render an alternative set of decisions and significances by other authors. In carrying out such an analysis, the author observed that it is being argued that for an organisation such as NTPC to be able to achieve great success in its knowledge management, employees must be motivated in different ways so as to encourage them to participate fully in knowledge sharing which will bring about a good knowledge management thereby making it possible for individual knowledge to become organisational knowledge and by implication leading to organisational development (Stacey (2007). Goel et al (2010) on the other hand, follows Stacey (2007) argument by implying that NTPC's knowledge management method will try as much as possible to produce, organise, distribute or share knowledge, experience and wisdom of the organisation to its employees, so as to better the organisation's business performance and effectiveness.

According to Goel et al (2010) a well implemented knowledge management decision in NTPC will enable the organisation to strengthen its managerial, financial and organisational structure due to the free flow of information and knowledge between the various departments. Goel et al (2010) further implied that NTPC will use its knowledge management decisions to manage and implement knowledge management process so as to bring about an organisational culture in NTPC that will enable knowledge sharing through their organisation's knowledge management portal known as "Lakshya" which enables the organisation to catalogue knowledge, track it as well access such knowledge and it makes it possible for the organisation's knowledge to be accessible through an incorporated central source that facilitates knowledge management in NTPC. Though it is said that only few organisations can be able to achieve NTPC's kind of knowledge management because it is expensive to develop and maintain (Moran, 2011). On the other hand, Goel et al (2010) implied that there is inadequate communication in all areas of the organisation which is said to subdue the updating of knowledge, knowledge recovery problem was said to occur because there is no formal method of classifying and codifying knowledge in NTPC, also past knowledge are said not to be used adequately which affects work efficiency in the organisation negatively.

Goel et al (2010) emphasise that NTPC's aim of having such a knowledge management system is to make it possible for "NTPC" to manage its organisation's expertise through the organisation's portal so as to pass the right knowledge to the employees at the right time by connecting them to the needed knowledge. It is said that this process of knowledge management and sharing makes "NTPC" a learning organisation and also changes employee learning into organisational learning, though tacit knowledge gives "NTPC" a problem in its knowledge management because not all knowledge can be codified (Moran, 2011). Wilson (2003) implies that knowledge management goes hand-in-hand with information management, therefore knowledge management functions just like information management through the new technology used for sharing information like the internet portal. Goel at el (2010) noted that "NTPC" created an infrastructure that will inculcate knowledge management and sharing in its employees, by extending the entire knowledge management program into knowledge management implementation through creating awareness of knowledge management in its organisation by educating its employees on knowledge management, setting up technological infrastructure that will enable knowledge sharing in the organisation and also showcase the value of knowledge management. Wilson (2003) argued that knowledge management function is primarily to improve information sharing among employees in an organisation and also help to manage the information or knowledge in the mind of the employees by capturing, recording, and reproducing it as well as making it available for people to use and learn from it anytime.

Geol at el (2010) observe that "NTPC" will be faced with the challenge of capturing and structuring its accumulated knowledge base because sources of knowledge are said to be distributed widely and also they exist in so many ways, although it's also noted that this challenge can be handled by establishing a user interface which will allow access to different kinds of knowledge in the organisation. Other challenges noted by Goel et al (2010) is that learning coupled with experiences are not captured and summarised, because using past documents makes the use of past experience difficult to handle and tacit knowledge which resides with individual is not being documented as well. Goel et al (2010) further indicated that "NTPC" was faced with problem of creating knowledge sharing environment and information technology enablers which was caused by lack of enabling IT systems so as to enable speedy recovery of knowledge in the organisation. It is also said that no effort was made to convert past documents from hard to soft formats, which subdued knowledge sharing through inadequate communication within the organisation and lack of awareness as relates to current knowledge base as well as no recognition and rewards for contributions to knowledge management (Geol, 2010). Barnard (2008) on the other hand disagreed with the above and agreed with the views of Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) on knowledge creation in which its being implied that knowledge will be converted from tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge and then to tacit knowledge through socialisation, combination as well as internalisation among individual employees.

It is implied by Goel at el (2010) that the inability of some individuals to share their knowledge hinders knowledge sharing and its application in knowledge management, such is said to occur when reports concerning the organisation's work is not being shared adequately in the organisation, also some manual ways of storing documents makes the sharing of such documents difficult. In considering the learning organisation, Barnard (2008) reviews Iles and Sutherland (2001) emphasis on how learning organisation will be planned and handled so as to bring about effective organisational learning, which is said to be by structuring the organisation so that all employees will be involved in knowledge sharing through teamwork, networking and also provision of information in the learning organisation for efficient knowledge management. It is argued that notwithstanding the challenges faced by "NTPC", knowledge management will help them to develop into a learning organisation by making it possible for "NTPC" to have a culture of knowledge sharing in its organisation, build an organisational environment where trust and openness will exist and NTPC's knowledge management model can reduce cost by sharing of ideas and best practices in its organisation (Goel et al, 2010). Barnard (2008) noted that human resource management practices will enable the learning organisation to improve its employee learning and encourage knowledge acquisition as well as sharing, also learning organisations with good organisational culture will support employees to acquire and share information freely in the organisation, and good organisational leadership will direct the learning organisation which is necessary for effective knowledge management in an organisation.

Goel at el (2010) further expressed that NTPC's knowledge management will take advantage of external knowledge so as to enable it identify ways of accumulating more revenue for the organisation, try to reduce the efforts of employees in seeking knowledge and experience, helps to improve employee efficiency by making it possible for employees to spend less time in searching for information and more time in analysing the work, and also it is said that knowledge management will help in bringing down the time period needed for the process of the organisation's business and its daily activities. However in general terms, NTPC' knowledge management portal will make it possible for knowledge to be used again and again, because the portal will provide an integrated knowledge for all sources and allow also for the assessment of those knowledge stored in the portal. It is said that the website/portal will also help in evaluating the depth and breadth of knowledge management in "NTPC" by serving as an inventory of knowledge assets so that its users can search through it and know the availability of knowledge sources and it also serve as a tool for planning knowledge management (Goel at el, 2010).

On the other hand, it is contended that knowledge management implementation can be used while handling other organisation's knowledge management portal, provide a mechanism through which an organisation can develop its knowledge management strategy and also establish a method of building knowledge management system in an organisation (Goel et al, 2010). McAdam and McCreedy (1999) argued that since knowledge is a resource consisting of intangible assets, its management will involve managing intellectual capital. It is being indicated that the major problem encountered in implementing knowledge management plan is the change management component which involves how to inculcate knowledge sharing activities into employees' everyday work life (Goel et al, 2010). McAdam and McCreedy (1999) emphasise that tacit knowledge can be transferred to other people through socialisation process which can change to explicit knowledge by externalisation process, also explicit knowledge can be changed to tacit knowledge by way of internalisation and transferred to others, while explicit knowledge can be transferred to others as explicit knowledge through combination process and this transformation process is said to take place in an organisation through socialisation among employees, externalisation which involves validating a body of knowledge and making it formal, internalisation which makes theory to become practice, as well as combination of the existing theories. It is being argued by Gourlay (2000) that Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) illustration of tacit and explicit knowledge exchange/sharing in form of expression is lacking clarity/understanding. It is further indicated that words cannot be used to transfer tacit knowledge to tacit knowledge in expressing the knowledge itself, unless tacit knowledge will be transferred to explicit knowledge, it may not be used by others (Gourlay, 2000).

McAdam and McCreedy (1999) indicated that social model of knowledge management connects knowledge with social and learning process of an organisation via explicit programmes through social exchange before the knowledge is then disseminated all over the organisation and its environment for use, and intellectual model of knowledge management is said to fit objective measures to subjective components which emphasise that knowledge can be handled/seen as every other asset in an organisation, while knowledge model is said to involve using socialisation to carry out knowledge sharing or transformation process. Gourlay (2000) argued that internalisation cannot possibly be the only way through which tacit knowledge can be acquired; instead it shows knowledge in form of idea or image, hence the implications of knowledge management through tacit and explicit knowledge conversion will rely on socialisation, internalisation as well as representation process which will focus/rely on employee/individual interactions with one another and the organisation in general. This is said to make it possible to manage tacit knowledge, thereby leading to information management which calls for acquisition of information, representing such information and storing it so that such information and knowledge can be managed (Gourlay, 2000).

Martensonn (2000) stressed that knowledge management plays a critical role in helping an organisation to survive by the sharing of information that relates to the organisation, through the use of knowledge management tools which focus on gathering of information, storing and organising such information so that it can be easily accessed and shared. Gorman (2011) argued that knowledge management is seen as being unique in different organisations and to different employees, because though an employee maybe employed in a particular organisation will not guarantee that such an employee will share all the knowledge/ideas gathered in such an organisation with orders. It is being emphasised further that these knowledge/information will be made accessible to every employee in the organisation through technological media like the internet, in which tacit knowledge will be converted to explicit knowledge in order for the information to be utilized in the organisation and sometimes through a social interaction process between employees (Martensonn, 2000).

Also observed by Martensonn (2000) is that the problems of having a successful knowledge management plan in an organisation may come in form of lack of knowledge creation and dissemination model, no lay down process used to support and evaluate knowledge management effectiveness. And to take care of these problems, Martensonn (2000) implied that the organisation in preparing its knowledge management plan will make provisions for creativity, time, culture and people, incentives, communication, knowledge sharing, evaluation, management support as well as purpose as they relate to the organisation's employees. On the other hand, it's being contended that organisations knowledge sharing may not always be positive and good in the sense that it may provide sustainable competitive advantage for an organisation but may not be able to provide much value for an organisation to build its competitive advantage (Martennson, 2000).

Gorman (2011) maintains that knowledge is an intellectual property which makes it possible for the owner of such knowledge/idea to decide on whether to share or not to share the knowledge. According to Kumar and Ganesh (2011), the problems of tacit knowledge sharing can be overcome through personalisation strategy which will try as much as possible to transfer tacit knowledge between employees. It is further implied that though employees may be reluctant to share their knowledge with others because of fear of not being recognised as the owner of such knowledge/idea, this will restrict the sharing of knowledge because attention is being drawn to cultural and social issues (Kumar and Ganesh, 2011). Furthermore, Gorman (2011) illustrated that the emphasis surrounding the uniqueness of knowledge management is that knowledge managers function like information managers, who also do the work of librarians, and this is said to be as a result of the responsibility bestowed on the knowledge managers, which include communicating with all employees by sharing ideas through formal and informal networks, storing information and making it possible for the information to be retrieved by employees as well as selecting a method of sharing information either through organisational learning or in collaboration with other institutions.

Barnard (2008) contend that organisational learning will bring into consideration an efficient information management which will allow an organisation to adjust to its external environment through knowledge management, by encouraging employees to have the habit of learning and also develop a mind-set shaped towards achieving the vision of the organisation. It is being argued that organisational learning is functional when there is interaction among employees of an organisation through tacit knowledge sharing that leads to individual and collective learning in the entire organisation, though this type of learning or knowledge sharing is said to be affected by culture (Barnard, 2008). On the other hand, Kumar and Ganesh (2011) observed that loss of employee may lead to losing of valuable and complex tacit knowledge which can be stored by codification through retaining of employee and personalisation strategy, because codification and personalisation are said to be unique in nature, provide different kinds of gains and also provide solution to take care of its knowledge sharing limitations.

Barnard (2008) also noted that there is a great link between organisational learning and knowledge management, which made it possible for organisational learning process to link to the creation of knowledge, by enabling employee to know the knowledge being shared so as to ensure that such knowledge is in action/working, and organisations should try as much as possible to create avenue that will encourage employee learning through gathering and sharing of knowledge as well as encouraging social learning. This is being contended by Szulanski (1999) by emphasising that the power of an organisation to share "best practices" is necessary so as to enable the organisation develop competitive advantage by managing its internal knowledge properly so as to make it possible for such knowledge not to be copied by other organisations. Szulanski (1999) also argued that this process of knowledge transfer in an organisation will be faced with some difficulties in form of employee inability to understand the knowledge being shared which may be due to the relationship existing between the employee receiving the knowledge and the person sharing the knowledge.

Hase et al (2006) observed that the barriers faced by knowledge sharing in organisation is the non-adaptive behaviour of the individual employee as well as organisational culture that makes it possible for knowledge not to be seen as something that is to be shared and managed, and these barriers may come in form of psychological or social behaviour from either the employee or the knowledge managers. Collison (2006) further illustrated that these difficulties may result from a situation in which employees will not want to share their knowledge due to the fear of being criticised, when employees are not too sure and may not believe on the knowledge they want to share with their colleagues, when codification is to be used in sharing the knowledge, when knowledge is being left unattended to over a long period of time which makes such knowledge out-dated, when people/organisation believe that they are unique both in culture and organisation and will not be in need of any external knowledge, when an organisation rely so much on its abilities and don't want to seek and share knowledge from elsewhere, and also when people don't seek or share knowledge because of what others will say about them. It is also argued that these barriers or organisation's back side will tend to have negative effect on individual employee in relation to knowledge management practice because it relies on positive attitude, trust, confidence, culture as well as knowledge sharing, though it is started that to overcome these barriers, employees should be encouraged to share their knowledge by building a knowledge sharing culture in the organisation as well as communities of practice which will not be compulsory for all employees but it will be approved and supported by the organisation ( Hase et al, 2006).

According to collison (2006) during knowledge sharing in an organisation, there will be some unexpected difficulties that are supposed to be prevented from occurring so that an organisation can achieve an effective knowledge sharing that will promote ideas and also allow employees to acquire more experience. Hase et al, 2006) also argued that these barriers or organisation's back side will tend to have negative effect on individual employee in relation to knowledge management practice because it relies on positive attitude, trust, confidence, culture as well as knowledge sharing. Therefore in avoiding these barriers to knowledge seeking, sharing and management, Collisson (2006) advised that employees should always ask for help when they need it and also be willing to share their knowledge with their colleagues.

Haldin-Herrgard (2000) noted that tacit knowledge is stored in individual talents, experience or reflection which makes it difficult to be managed or shared unlike explicit knowledge which can be stored or recorded in information systems or books, thereby making it possible to be shared easily among individuals in an organisation. Not minding the difficulties in sharing tacit knowledge, Haldin-Herrgard (2000) argued that tacit knowledge makes it possible for an organisation to do its work easily due to effective decision making process with the use of tacit knowledge by its employees, tacit knowledge helps an organisation to save time in the day to day running of its business, also tacit knowledge is said to make it possible for coded knowledge to be used because without tacit knowledge it will be difficult to understand what is written on books. Kumar and Ganesh (2011) emphasise that managing knowledge through codification and personalisation strategy will make it possible for knowledge to become an organisation's property because it will extract explicit knowledge from employees, store it and make it possible for its reuse by other employees that needs it. The author observed that this is difficult to achieve without information technology system which is cost-effective and it shows the reason why "NTPC" built its portal so as to handle proper information sharing in its organisation. It is being argued by Kumar and Ganesh (2011) that this may slow down the process of search and retrieval of information due to unprocessed documents, and to cope with this problem, there is need to always recreate as well as maintain the organisation's information technology system.

Furthermore, Haldin-Herrgard (2000) stated that tacit knowledge can be shared and transferred to others through a process of socialization between colleagues in an organisation, then comes externalisation coupled with combination and internalisation which tries to reduce or breakdown tacit knowledge so that it can be documented, stored and shared in the organisation. According to Haldin-Herrgard (2000) the difficulties encountered in diffusing and sharing tacit knowledge comes from individual perception which may result from the inability of individuals not being able to know the level of their knowledge, and since tacit knowledge involves little use of language, it will be difficult to express it so that others can understand and benefit from the knowledge, also time is another difficulty that is said to hinder tacit knowledge transfer/sharing because the conversion of tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge through internalization requires a long period of time which the individual and organisation may not possess.

Haldin-Herrgard (2000) also contend that value and distance are other barriers in tacit knowledge diffusion and sharing, by implying that tacit knowledge cannot be valued due to its intangible nature and distance will make the sharing of tacit knowledge difficult because there won't be an avenue for face-to-face interaction through which tacit knowledge can be shared. In general terms, it is being observed that these difficulties in sharing tacit knowledge can result to a competitive advantage to an organisation in the sense that their tacit knowledge belong to them and cannot be imitated by their competitors (Haldin-Herrgard, 2000). Chen et al (2010) argued that organisation circumstance influences knowledge management in connection with innovativeness, because the context of an organisation impacts on its work environment as well as the behaviour of its employees. And to cope with this situation, it is said that organisations can make its employees create and share knowledge by putting in place a favourable organisation context through innovation that will enhance knowledge sharing/management as is being done by "NTPC" (Chen et al, 2010).

Chen et al (2010) also noted that tacit and stickiness knowledge cannot be easily spread or shared among employees and transferred to organisational memory. It is then said that knowledge management and innovativeness can be controlled by organisational structure and climate that are said to be complimentary in nature because the structure of an organisation is intangible while the climate is tangible and they work hand-in-hand to achieve a good knowledge management and innovativeness in an organisation not minding the problems involved in the organisation's knowledge management (Chen et al, 2010). It is being indicated by Lilleoere and Hansen (2011) that barriers to knowledge sharing may result from not knowing where knowledge is available in the organisation, not knowing how to get valuable knowledge, lack of access to knowledge, inability to differentiate tacit knowledge from explicit knowledge, the belief of some people that knowledge is power which makes them not to share their knowledge because they believe it's their power that they are sharing, also some physical and social barriers makes knowledge sharing difficult.

Holste and Fields (2010) argued that the inability of employees to share and use tacit knowledge will be based on how much trust that exist between the employee receiving the knowledge and the source of the knowledge since tacit knowledge is said to be personal in nature and difficult to share unless the person that possess it wants to share the tacit knowledge. McDermott and O'Dell (2001) noted that for an organisation to overcome cultural barriers during knowledge sharing, such an organisation will try as much as possible to plan and enforce its knowledge management so as to match with organisation and employee culture. Furthermore, the author observed that organisational learning will help an organisation to store and use the knowledge gained as its core competence which involves those activities an organisation uses to maintain its competitive advantage that cannot be imitated easily, and it will enable the organisation to adapt to organisational change and development, though it may be expensive to execute and maintain, therefore every organisation cannot afford it. It is also observed by the author that knowledge sharing through organisational learning occurs when employees have trust on each other which enables them to share their knowledge in the organisation that will on the other hand benefit the organisation in general.