Application of knowledge management within Kenya’s steel manufacturing industry
This study sought to determine the level of application of Knowledge Management in Kenya’s steel industry. Three key aspects of Knowledge Management application were analyzed; the awareness of Knowledge management in the respective organizations, the extent of implementation of knowledge management and the factors affecting implementation of knowledge management. The survey obtained information from 20 large steel manufacturers in Kenya. The primary data was collected through structured questionnaires some of which were sent by email while others were delivered by hand. The collected questionnaires were processed through SPSS and excel software. The findings of the study indicate that steel organizations recognized that knowledge was a key asset in the organization. They also acknowledge that Knowledge management is beneficial to the organization. The level of awareness is high in respect to knowledge management even though this is a fairly new concept in this part of the world. This is obviously good news since awareness is a basic requirement for application of knowledge management in any organization. Not only is awareness high but the top management recognizes this fact also and is ready to support any initiatives in this area. Despite the awareness level, the adoption of knowledge management is low due to cultural and technology barriers. The findings also indicate that most organizations are at the growth stage in their knowledge management journey. This essentially means that at least some activity in this area is being carried out albeit by a different name. Some forms of communities of practice do exist in these organizations leading to some level of knowledge sharing. The study recommends that top management in these organizations requires to be made to see the link between knowledge management initiatives and the real benefit of knowledge management. With the emergence of trade blocks and common markets in East Africa, it is only important to create a synergy where critical concepts such as knowledge management are shared across companies in this region to achieve corporate excellence that is balanced across the region.