Knowledge Management and Operational Excellence in Kenya's Brewing Sector
This study sought to determine the level of knowledge management existing in the brewing firms and explore the relationship between knowledge management and operational excellence in Kenya’s brewing sector. Based on literature review, a hypothesis was suggested that knowledge management has a positive relation to operational excellence. Five firms that form the entire population of legally recognized firms were chosen for the study. Two are large brewing firms with 99 per cent market share and three are craft breweries. Questionnaires were used to collect data on knowledge management level and operational excellence status in the firms. The mean was calculated and regression analysis done to establish the relationship. Chi square test on knowledge management levels were done to determine association of how and with who knowledge is shared across the firms. Further to the regression analysis, correlation analysis was performed as well since the sample was too small. The research revealed that there is average application of knowledge management among brewing firms in Kenya. The study found that there is a strong positive relationship between knowledge management and operational excellence. It was noted that most knowledge is shared informally through personal and social interactions. Hence there is a need for the firms to cultivate and nurture a culture of openness and trust. It was concluded that knowledge management can be used to predict operational excellence in Kenya’s brewing firms. Consequently, firms that extensively practice knowledge management should expect equally high levels of performance in their operations.
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