Critical Analysis of Knowledge Management in Oil Company (ADCO)


Several corporations find it difficult to implement a successful knowledge management process within their corporate structure. Consequently, the consolidation of an organization’s knowledge within its precincts and availing it throughout the company presents a serious challenge for many businesses. This problem directly affects an organization’s efforts to improve output as well as the quest to increase the company’s efficiency in utilizing its resources (Al Murawwi et al., 2014). This aspect highlights the reason as to why the human dynamic represents a crucial attainment element in the knowledge administration structure. For this reason, the implementation of a successful KM system in any organization is dependent on the dedication and contribution of the company’s employees. As such, it is important to comprehend what a knowledge administration structure entails. It is crucial to understand the significance of the human role of knowledge administration and its effectiveness.

Abu Dhabi National Company (ADCO) is one of the most significant economic drivers in Abu Dhabi as well as the UAE at large (Al Murawwi et al., 2014). Based on this aspect, it provides a perfect case study in the attempt to analyze the issue of knowledge management in an organization critically. The production of oil has been a continuous activity for over half a century. For this reason, a vast majority of the oil fields in Abu Dhabi are more than a quarter a decade old pointing to a situation where they are transitioning to a mature stage of their existence. As a result, the emergence of various complications is in their management is inevitable. For this reason, there are two perspectives involved in the handling of these challenges. The first perspectives are that the ADCO group of companies requires a particular standard of experience and understanding to handle the arising challenges. The other view is related to the development of new technologies that are aimed at maintaining a consistent degree of production rates. The implication of these technologies is for the oil corporation to possess an enhanced standard of knowledge regarding the manufacturing process. Such knowledge is critical to the selection, evaluation and implementation of the new technologies in the company’s best interests (Daoud et al., 2014).

The process of managing knowledge and its dissemination is impacted by the commitment, dedication and conduct of the individuals working within an organization. According to some scholars, the spread of knowledge is considered a social deed. Based on research studies, it has been noted that one of the greatest aspects that affect employees’ conduct is their level of satisfaction with their job (Hislop, 2013). For this reason, the purpose of this study is to identify the link between employees’ level of occupation satisfaction and their knowledge sharing behavior. In attempting to establish the connection, the study will focus on the variables regarding the occupational achievement and their probable association to knowledge sharing behavior.

Aims of the Study

The research study seeks to identify the type of connection that exists between work satisfaction and workers’ behavior regarding knowledge distribution. To achieve this aim, the research study attempts to utilize a literature review as well as randomly administered questionnaires. From these tools, the research study will manage to analyze the implication of job gratification on information allotment behaviors. The individuals to be used as the subjects of the survey are the employees of ADCO. The outcomes of the analysis shall be presented followed by a detailed deduction based on the findings. Additionally, the research report shall offer recommendations and approaches that can be utilized to improve the practices of sharing knowledge to be adopted by employees (Ponte & Cheyne, 2013).

Objectives of the Research Study

This research inquiry seeks to establish the relationship between workers’ occupational gratification and its contribution to information sharing in the workplace (Phelps, Heidl & Wadhwa, 2012). The primary focus is to determine the level to which information sharing conduct is linked to job gratification. For this reason, the research objectives include:

  • Examine the correlation between workers’ professional fulfilment and their knowledge allotment conduct.
  • Outline the level to which the actions of sharing knowledge are linked to the satisfaction of staff.
  • Determine the chief features of job gratification that have a bearing on knowledge dissemination practices.
  • Offer practical recommendations for improving information-sharing practices.

Statement of the Problem

The global economic downturn had a significant impact on many corporations around the world. Prior to the recession, the global oil prices went up. The increase in the oil prices prompted oil firms to diversify their activities to areas that had not been economically attractive initially (Muhairi, Obaid & Montes, 2014). The implication of this diversification was an increase in the demand for professionals to work in the oil sector. Therefore, a substantial number of employee turnovers were witnessed across the petroleum industry. The controlling factor was the level of experience that an employee possessed. A highly skilled employee had the prospects of landing a better paying job in a different organization. Consequently, the issue of employee turnover led to most corporations losing both knowledge and experience regarding the company’s culture and operations as the more experienced workers swapped one organization for another. From this understanding, the significance of knowledge to any organization cannot be overstated. This view is based on the element that certain organizational practices and operations are dependent on a particular kind of knowledge and expertise (Al Murawwi et al., 2014).

Similar to all the other oil corporations, ADCO also faced the challenge of losing the knowledge that is central to its operations with the likely loss of some senior staff members. In response to this probability, the company instituted a number of knowledge management systems in the various businesses that are affiliated to ADCO. It is an acknowledged fact that knowledge management frameworks assume a serious part in the management of knowledge within a business. However, the most important variable that determines the effectiveness of any knowledge management system boils down to the human participation and contributions (Wang, Noe & Wang, 2014).

The issue of job gratification has been found to have a substantial bearing on employee conduct. Various research studies carried out by a range of scholars have shown that this factor determines employee output, retention, and dedication. For this reason, the changes in the global economic conditions prior to and after the credit crunch were considered to have had an impact on the extent to which employees were content with their jobs (Tiwana, 2000). The projected changes in workers’ job gratification and the significance of knowledge sharing resulted in the need to identify the type of relationship that exists between these two variables. Therefore, this research study shall seek to address the impact of occupational contentment on knowledge distribution activities. This is among staff in the petroleum industry in Abu Dhabi.

Reasons for the Survey

Despite its relevance and probable effects on knowledge management systems, the relationship between occupational contentment and knowledge dissemination conduct among employees has been poorly addressed in most literary works. However, a proper research in this area is required since the oil industry in Abu Dhabi is viewed as one of the biggest contributors to the United Arab Emirates’ Gross Domestic Product (Von Krogh, Nonaka & Rechsteiner, 2012). For this reason, the economic performance of the oil organizations in Abu Dhabi is of utmost significance. As a result, the comprehension of employees’ willingness to allot their knowledge and skills has a bearing on the formulation of the appropriate knowledge management systems. Additionally, it has an influence on the human resources policies and issues regarding employee contentment within an organization. As a result, this paper will seek to tackle this problem within ADCO and its affiliate companies.


The goal of the research survey is to investigate the kind of link that exists between job satisfaction and knowledge dissemination. Consequently, the research study comprises the various companies affiliated to ADCO with the target population being the employees working for these firms (Wang, Noe & Wang, 2014).

The methodology will provide the characteristics of the data sample, the model of the study and the variables, the hypothesis, data gathering techniques as well as the limitations of the research study. To gather the required date regarding the objective of the study, questionnaires shall be administered randomly to the employees of these companies. The queries contained in the questionnaires shall be divided into three distinct sections. The three parts include the section that seeks general information of the participant while the second one entails their level of satisfaction with their occupation (Tiwana, 2000).The last part involves the collection of data concerning the issue of knowledge sharing.

After the collection of data from the respondents, processing will be done by utilizing the SPSS software, which is used for statistical analysis of data. Additionally, Microsoft Excel will also be employed in the handling of the collected data.

Study Sample

The data to be used for the requirements of the research study will be obtained from the workers of the various companies that operate under the flagship of ADCO. These companies include ZADCO, ADMA, and GASCO. The three selected companies possess a substantial number of employees working for ADCO that would ensure the findings of the study are credible (Muhairi, Obaid & Montes, 2014).

The questionnaire for the data collection purpose will be distributed unsystematically to employees who work full-time for the companies under ADCO. The cover sheet of the questionnaire details the goals of the study and requests the respondent to be frank, impartial and candid regarding the information they will provide (Ponte & Cheyns, 2013). Additionally, the cover sheet assured the participants that no person will be victimized for their response and no confidential information has been sought in the questionnaire. Another aspect concerning the questionnaire is that it will be prepared in both Arabic and English languages to reduce instances where the respondents misinterpret the questions asked in the survey. Furthermore, in some parts of the questionnaire, the participants will be requested to reveal the extent of the concurrence with specific statements. The measure of their agreement ranges from strongly concur, concur, undecided, dispute to dispute strongly (Hislop, 2013).

Model and Variables of the Study

The core variables for this research inquiry comprise the issue of job satisfaction as well as the issue of knowledge sharing. The two variables are influenced by specific factors. In the case of job satisfaction, the underlying factors include remuneration, workmate relationship, duty, chances of being promoted and the kind of supervision administered. On the part of the knowledge sharing, the underlying factors comprise the collection of knowledge and the donation of knowledge (Hislop, 2013).

However, certain assumptions will be employed to ensure that the study achieves its objectives. The first assumption is the acknowledgment of the existence of a correlation between the workers’ job contentment and their sharing of knowledge. The second assumption is that job satisfaction has an impact on the exchange of knowledge among employees making it a dependent variable. The final assumption is that the underlying factors of job satisfaction have a bearing on the factors determining knowledge sharing which are dependent factors (Daoud et al., 2014).

Measures of the Study

The questionnaire to be administered will be made up of 42 items. These items are put into three distinct categories. The first category of the questionnaire will seek to obtain general data regarding the respondents. On the other hand, the subsequent categories will try to gather information needed to assess the variable of interest formulated for the purpose of the study. As such, the second section will comprise 21 items related to the job satisfaction variable while the while the third section will be made up of 13 items. The scale to be utilized in the questionnaire has five steps with the first step denoting strong concurrence and the final step indicating strong opposition (Andreeva & Kianto, 2012).

Hypothesis of the Study

With the overall objective of the study being the need to reconnoiter the connection between occupational fulfilment and allotment of knowledge, several premises are generated that need to be addressed in the study (Andreeva & Kianto, 2012).The hypotheses include:

  • The connection between job gratification and knowledge sharing concerning this hypothesis, the aim is to identify whether or not there is statistical evidence to show a link between job gratification and knowledge allotment.
  • The relationship between occupational gratification and knowledge donating, the aim of this hypothesis is to test whether or not; there is statistical evidence to prove that there is a correlation between professional consummation and knowledge giving.
  • The link concerning career gratification and the collection of knowledge
  • The association between an individual’s job and knowledge sharing
  • The connection between the type of supervision administered and the sharing of knowledge within the organization

Data Collection Techniques

The headquarters of ADCO provide the site for this research study because they guarantee the participation of employees from a diverse range of departments and companies (Rubenstein-Montano et al., 2001). The administration of the questionnaires will be done through delivering them to various departments that represent the different ADCO companies. Additionally, the attached coversheet stipulated the provisions offered to the participants. They include the guarantees that their identity will be kept anonymous; there is no right or wrong response and the data to be collected will be for study purposes alone. Furthermore, the coversheet assures the respondents that they will not be required to provide confidential information as well as the fact that the outcomes of the analyzed data will be limited to the objectives of the study alone. Another aspect of the data collection techniques utilized is because the questionnaire was prepared in both English and Arabic (Phelps, Heidl & Wadhwa, 2012).

Limitations of the Research

Similar to any other research study, this research is subject to certain limitations regarding the collection of data. One of the factors that may have an impact on the quality of the data to be obtained concerns the issue of respondents tending to have a prejudice towards individual assessment or the need to sound politically correct (Rubenstein-Montano et al., 2001). The two variables, job gratification, and knowledge dissemination have close ties to human conduct. For this reason, a respondent may opt to offer responses pertaining to what they should be doing as opposed to the current practice.

The second drawback concerning this research study is connected with the time when the study is to be carried out. At ADCO, a large proportion of employees are on leave at the start of the year. The large number of employees on leave is informed by the company’s policy, which stipulates that all leave carryovers from the previous year should be cleared in the first quarter of the year. As such, if an individual fails to clear their leave carryover during this period, they lose the privilege altogether. Therefore, most employees tend to prefer to clear their carryovers at the turn of the year since it offers a perfect opportunity for them to extend their festive holidays. For this reason, this aspect may present a challenge concerning the number of employees that will participate in the study through responding to the questionnaires. This aspect is a limitation in the sense that the data collected will be deemed less credible (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

Literature Review

The importance of knowledge as a resource to an organization is highlighted by the fact that it provides a competitive advantage to any company in a manner that is sustainable. Consequently, efficient dissemination of the knowledge resources belonging to a company ensures that the appropriate knowledge is made available to the relevant individuals, at a particular time, which in turn improves the quality of decision-making in the company (Al Murawwi, 2014). However, literary work regarding the link between knowledge management and the issues concerning human behavior has been limited.

In many instances, individuals join organizations as employees and at some point in their career; they choose to leave the organization. At the time when an individual joins a company, they are only equipped with educational knowledge and limited experience in their line of work. However, when an individual resigns from their job or for some other relevant reasons, they depart with vast amounts of knowledge and experience regarding how the company operates as well as its culture. The standout feature of employee turnover is that departure of long-serving employees is significantly felt compared to those that have served the same organization over a short duration (Andreeva & Kianto, 2012). This aspect is informed by the fact that long-serving employees amass valuable experience concerning the organization, technical expertise and vast networks of professional contacts. The resulting effect is a notable knowledge gap once such employees leave.

Most organizations have strived to ensure that they consolidate the core knowledge resources within their precincts by enacting various knowledge management frameworks. However, the key area that determines the effective implementation of any knowledge administration framework is the human aspect of the organization. For this reason, this research proposal aims to identify the impact of human characteristics on the knowledge sharing practices among employees in Abu Dhabi (Wang, Noe & Wang, 2014).

Action Plan

‘How do you fit the Design?’

The manner in which I handle myself within the school and the competence I possess based on the minimum qualifications needed for the course are adequate.

I have a high level of personal esteem that emanates from the fact that I can manage to deal with the pressure of attending leadership and management course while dealing with periods where I do not get adequate sleep. The assessor stated that I was collected during the practical tasks and gave explicit directions when required (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

The school offered me the opportunity to act as a role model for other students. This opportunity came at a time when the schools was facing challenges in finding good students for the course since most students were posting poor grades. However, I demonstrated exceptional leadership in guiding other students in a manner expected of me as a role model (Alavi & Leidner, 2001).

I possess strong networking skills that put me in a high position in creating rapports with both my junior and senior students at the school.

Areas of Interest

I am aiming to demonstrate to my peers that focused and coordinated studying results in excellence in the handling of the course requirements. Furthermore, I need to show that I possess the required skills in overseeing a more structured way of assessing the challenges related to the learning process in the university. These skills will put me in good stead to handle the future problems that may arise in relation to the management of knowledge in a company (Murawwi, 2014).

The quest to ensure that my focus and drive is maintained will help me to remain rejuvenated in a demanding learning environment. As such, I will manage to attain an enhanced school/life equilibrium that makes certain of me being energized and reinvigorated throughout my studies.

The school’s official annual assessment framework will provide the basis for positive criticism.

Setting Objectives

Short Term Aims (Next 12 Months

Enroll for a library-studying program to ensure that I have the necessary knowledge required for the completion of my course.

The other short-term objective is to create study groups with my peers whose aim is to help each other out with the module requirements.

Middle Term Aims (2-3 Years)

The middle-term aim of my master’s course is to ensure that I engage in an internship at a reputable company to test my management skills. The placement will also help me identify the quality of training that I have received from my institution of learning.

Long-Term Aims (Beyond 3 Years)

The first long-term strategy is to make sure that I gain promotion to high-level management and work in any capacity that utilizes the skills that I have acquired throughout my master’s course. The preferable option would be to start as a junior manager tasked with the responsibility of handling various strategic management obligations in a reputable firm.

The second objective is to develop myself in terms of acquiring a high level of training such that I improve my analytical and problem-solving expertise.

Action Plan

My aim is to have a better comprehension of what is required for the efficient completion of my master’s program in the university. As a result, my plan is to utilize all the available avenues of gaining knowledge regarding my course such that I post good grades in the various assignments aimed to test my progress as a student (Andreeva & Kianto, 2012).

The resources required for the enrollment of this course include scheduling my time, such that set aside two weeks in which I will visit the library and groups discussions regarding the course. The other resource required for this objective is to engage with the lecturers for consultation and guidance on what needs to be done for success in the course.

The measure of success for this goal is obtained from the evaluation tests conducted during the course. The appraisal of the course tutor that includes the half-annual employee evaluations will be another measure of success regarding my initial objective (Wang, Noe & Wang, 2014).

The middle term goal requires two different approaches. The first approach is to ensure that I understand what constitutes strategic management. The second approach is to evaluate the current market and identify the company that will offer the best ground for me to grow my knowledge and expertise in strategic management.

The resource required for these objectives include the senior managers and the employees of the company for the first approach and the line manager for the second approach.

The success of the middle-term objectives will be provided by the evaluation reports obtained concerning my performance in the company. As such, the feedback from employees will be critical. The second approach’s effectiveness will be provided by the feedback from a cross-section of the team participants and the individuals funding the task I will be involved in within the firm (Andreeva & Kianto, 2012).

Regarding the long-term aims, it is imperative for me to enhance my expertise on the practices of managing knowledge within an organization as well develop strong analytical and problem-solving skills. As such, it is important for me to employ the gained experience in a work environment to increase the rate at which I can make critical decisions under pressure.

The resource to be used in attaining this objective entails the successful use of learning opportunities and the application of skills acquired beforehand.

The evaluation tests and report offered by the leadership and management course will play a significant part in providing a measure of the progress made towards attaining my long-term objective (Tiwana, 2000).

Personal Reflection

In providing a personal reflection on the task of producing a master’s dissertation, I would like to talk about my role in writing the essay and then highlight how the module content has helped me in the process. I am a student and as such, I am required to carry out all the required tasks and assignment to fulfill the requirements of my course. For this reason, the completion of my tasks is critical to completing my studies as well as in my career prospects. Consequently, as a student, my biggest challenge is to ensure that assignments are done correctly and promptly.

In achieving my aims of being a good student, I have to utilize my strong networking skills to make sure that I approach the right people who will help in fulfilling my course requirements. As such, I form study groups with like-minded students and consult my lecturers whenever the need arises. However, time is a major limitation in this aspect. In Campus, the module content is vast with limited timeframes to cover it entirely. Furthermore, most lecturers are on busy time schedules meaning that finding them for consultation can a serious challenge at times.

Based on this understanding, I have sought to use other avenues in ensuring that I meet my course requirements regardless. The module content provided acts as a guide for my learning process. For this reason, I have created a personal timetable in which I create time to visit the library and go through the course-related material. This endeavor places me in a good position to handle my dissertation since I have adequate knowledge on the topic to be addressed. Additionally, the module content informs me of what is expected of me at the end of the learning course. As such, I put significant effort into ensuring that my study methods and aims are in line with the expected outcomes of the course.

My success in my course work can be attributed to the fact that am a goal-oriented individual while a vast proportion of students are always inclined to post good grades. My objectivity enables me to engage in self-directed learning approaches to allow me to widen my knowledge levels past the module content alone. The aim of this approach is because the working environment is dynamic and requires an individual who are motivated and willing to gain new knowledge every single day. For this reason, as much as I require good grades, I need to be inventive to survive in the contemporary workplace. As a result, the module content has enabled to become alive to this fact and motivated me to identify strategies that will allow me to become an all-round individual once I complete my Master’s program.