Effect of knowledge management practices on performance of mobile telephone companies in Kenya
Knowledge management is a concept that comprises a set of strategies and practices in order to capture, create, store and spread knowledge and experience within the organization. One of the major challenges of knowledge management is failure to form and develop a culture that embraces learning, sharing,changing and improving of knowledge in an organization. As mobile telephones improve and become easier to use, the importance of support and customer service departments like call centers, in developing and delivering relevant knowledge efficiently and effectively to meet evolving customer needs is also gaining momentum. The main objective of this study was to examine the effect of knowledge management practices on organizational performance of mobile telephone companies in Kenya. The study employed a descriptive survey as its research design. This design was preferred because very large samples are feasible, making the results statistically significant even when analyzing multiple variables. The study population in this case was all the 21 mobile telephone companies in Kenya. The study adopted census sampling technique to identify the respondents. The study utilized a questionnaire to collect data. The respondents in this study included atleast 2 staffs in the management level from each mobile telephone companies. Data was coded, categorized, ordered, manipulated and summarized to obtain answers to the research questions. This was done by entering data into a computer through an excel spreadsheet to enable manipulation of the data before entering the data into SPSS after which analysis was done using the statistical package (SPSS). Descriptive statistics, frequency tables, mean and standard deviation were used to present the research findings. Regression analysis was used to link the relationship between knowledge management practices and performance of mobile telephone companies in Kenya. The study found out that the management of mobile telephone companies in Kenya understand the term „knowledge management‟, as an alternative strategy by organizations to improve competitive performance. Knowledge management is used for acquisition, sharing and application of management knowledge in the institution so as to better manage and apply organizations tangible and intangible knowledge assets, especially the professional knowledge, experiences and competencies of staff. The study concluded that knowledge management practices in general influences organization performance in various ways including, knowledgeable employees, better decision making in the organization, improved service offering to clients, reduced operational costs and improved organizational competitiveness. This is mainly so because there is increased awareness of information that is critical to achieving the organization‟s mission. The order of significance of the effect of knowledge management practices on performance of mobile telephone companies in Kenya starting with the most significant to the least is; knowledge creation, knowledge sharing, knowledge acquisition, knowledge implementation and knowledge storage respectively. Based on the findings, the study recommended that to enhance understanding of knowledge management on perception of staff in performance of organizations, management should undertake in house trainings on knowledge management. This would enable application of staff knowledge in organization so as to better manage and apply organizations‟ tangible and intangible knowledge assets, especially the professional knowledge, experiences and competencies of staff to improve organization‟s performance.