An investigation of the effects of human based knowledge management on staff productivity in Kenyan banks
In Kenya, the business of banking is competitive, and within a 1 kilometre radius in Nairobi’s Central Business District, all 43 banks have a presence. However, with Bank’s offering the same products and services in a competitive banking sector, knowledge and its application is one way to diffuse culture and create a forum to enhance competitive advantage. The 21st Century path for knowledge management has traditionally been viewed from an input-based point of view, leading many organizations to fail in their quest for economic gain from knowledge management. This research explores the effect of human based knowledge management, where often the tacit knowledge that resides in productive individuals is most productive where applied and exchanged within the organisation. This resource based, output based view of knowledge looks at applied knowledge as most productive, compared to explicit knowledge that lies in repositories. The challenge of institutionalization of tacit knowledge, together with a framework to institutionalize this knowledge, are the focus of this exploratory research. A common challenge across banks is a high turnover of employees, hence tacit knowledge can easily move to the next organization once a valuable staff member exits, or simply remains dormant and is not used, eventually turning obsolete. The effect on this on a new staff member is to make the learning curve a long and difficult journey, which could be easier with a strong organizational human based knowledge management culture. This research thus explores a framework to use for organizations as Banks, in view of the possibility that indeed there is knowledge management activity in commercial banks, but these efforts would need to be coordinated through a simple human based knowledge management framework that is easy to use and validate.