Knowledge Management at Al Salam Bank, Bahrain
This research document is based on models with references. The feasibility study will be conducted on the working systems of Al Salam Bank, Bahrain in order to identify their process of knowledge management and to implement a knowledge management model to be effectively captured and process the information to new knowledge and grow to be innovative.
This knowledge management model aimed to provide the support and implementation within an organizational culture which is focused on the organization environment; it also reveals the active participation of the process leader, head of center and area manager.
Knowledge currently exists within all the organizations and even customers or users, in other words, with the stakeholders. However, only those companies that want to be competitive, sustainable, stay to generate value and want to become innovative in their processes and services will have to integrate intellectual, human and organizational capital (Serrat, 2010). In addition, the company has to be committed, and all its partners must throw in their knowledge and experiences as well as work towards optimizing processes so that it can be used as a valuable resource and be active within the organization, and allow integration and use.(Boom, 2005)
Knowledge is the only unlimited resource of organizations and also the only one that increases with use (Maryam Bidmeshgipour et. al., 2012). In this research, we focused on devising a model to be used in the Al Salam Bank, Bahrain, to capture, document, manage, transfer and transform knowledge and above all to share what has not yet been published. Before implementing the new model, first we have to focus on the bank’s current environment, and then we should focus on the human capital and take adequate time to make clear to them the importance of implementing the new model in order to apply the model in a tranquil and appropriate way.
In this research, it shows and justifies what was the process for choosing the most appropriate method to implement the Knowledge Management at Al Salam Bank, Bahrain, based on different theories of Knowledge Management model, and description and feedback of models already in place in different organizations.
Al Salam Bank, Bahrain as the local organization in banking services in the Kingdom of Bahrain, each day must adapt to the rapid changes required by the current information society and knowledge. This adaptation is possible only through the employment of a tool that make way for invaluable management and administration of these factors.
The proposed tool to facilitate this adaptation is a model of knowledge management that contributes to the objectives, mission and vision of the bank, (through the knowledge recovery, documentation and information management) to support the improvement of processes within the organization.
Needless to say, a model of Knowledge Management implemented in the Bank, should lead, in the medium term, to convert the group into an organization that transforms knowledge through innovation, although it is clear that the core business is not knowledge, becomes critical when considering a special situation resulting from the globalization of markets, which is facing new dynamic knowledge-based skills, which in turn will generate situations of sustainability and competitiveness over time, the above was path to achieve the financial objectives of the bank. Moreover, to accomplish all this, it requires the participation of all employees of the organization through mass collaboration techniques, such as research groups, communities of practice and even customers or users.
The Procedure of Data collection
As mentioned above, the study was intended as a Proposal of knowledge management model for Al Salam Bank, Bahrain. The steps covered in the study were:
- A literature review on the topics of interest.
- Questionnaire design.
- Data collection.
- Analysis of results.
The analyzing of data in this project will be done in the IBM SPSS Analysis software to provide an accurate data analyses.
The enormous amount of information available on any aspect that might interest the man, today becomes an obligatory for different companies dealing improvement of knowledge management; it should not be understood solely as the result generated by scientific research, but should include all human elaborations, intending to develop around life experiences that lead to the discovery and mastery of the world for the good of humanity.
The author (Hasanzadeh, 2013) has defined five aspects to define knowledge: philosophical aspect, with epistemology on the theory of knowledge; the scientific aspect, with discovering how to ask nature to know and understand; the aspect of engineering, computer engineers with the task of designing software for encoding information; the aspect of accounting, with the determination of the value of knowledge as an intangible asset of the organizations; and the fifth aspect of modern organizational theory, learning organizations.
2.2. Types of knowledge
The author (Cader, Yoosuf et. al., 2013) discussed the type of knowledge as per the below description:
- Generative, productive and representative knowledge: knowledge generative is the result of the creation of new knowledge. The productive knowledge is the result of the application of knowledge generative processes. Knowledge is the representative process explicit knowledge transfer to partners of the organization.
- Organizational knowledge: it represents the general ideas and important to the organization, such as mission, vision, objectives, policies, etc. the result of the transformation processes between different types of knowledge. It is also considered knowledge explicit.
There are countless ways to try to define the knowledge, but for this research it will be taken as a definition established by (Boom, 2005) who define knowledge as a mix of experiences, values, information and know-how that serves as a framework for incorporating new experiences and information, and is useful for action.
It is a data structure sense in context. As per the author (Boom, 2005) the transform data into information when:
- Contextualize: purposes of data
- Categorized: measuring unit under test
- Calculate: analyze mathematical or statistical data
- Correct: condensed eliminate data errors: summarize data in a concise
The Information processes and generates human knowledge, and that people have the capacity to generate and develop codes and symbols with meanings that make common languages useful for living together in society, from the establishment of signal systems and languages for communication.
2.4. Relationship between information & knowledge
For knowledge internalized in each individual becomes perceptible to others, it must be externalized and full of meaning and context; that’s where materializes and becomes information. The information is product of communication, which in turn, is transformed into knowledge and is understandable to others; however, this action does not guarantee that must result in the understanding and integration of knowledge at the receiver. (Hasanzadeh, 2013)
2.5. Intellectual Capital
It is the possession of knowledge, applied experience, organizational technology, customer relationships and skills that give companies a competitive edge in the markets, in turn is divided into human, relational and structural capital.
- Human Capital: are the people in the organization, knowledge, skills, feelings, principles, values, communication styles, leadership; etc., everything related to group communication.
- Relational Capital: Are the relationships of people within the organization with people who are in their environment. The good relations with the environment give the organization advantages competitive high value; they are provided with the use of tools technology.
- Structural capital: It’s all that knowledge which is immersed or embedded in the organizational design (internal structure, flows processes, system models), in culture, in technological systems administrative and used in all those information resources. They are assets of the company. Structural Capital is also the related to intellectual property rights such as patents on design and construction methods of products or methods implementation services, corresponding to the Copyright of books, manuals, software, etc.(Hasanzadeh, 2013)
Knowledge management should be understood as organizational capacity to create new knowledge, disseminate it among the members of an organization and materialize them in products, services and systems. It is the key process through which firms innovate.
In turn, knowledge management aims to make better use of the resources of the organization. However, in many cases organizations do not use their full potential based on the knowledge to tackle day-to-day changes set by the market, since they are not usually found organized processes for the externalization of knowledge, and organizational culture established not support for the use of that knowledge, so it is very likely that there are potential benefits have not been considered to exploit established strategies or do not support directly.
To understand a little more thoroughly than is Knowledge Management, and taking into account previously explained the term knowledge will explain that management is: the performance of tasks or activities typical of a process.
We could say then that knowledge management is the implementation of activities to organize, document, arrange and organize knowledge.
Another concept to consider, from a strategic point of view, and help in the implementation of knowledge management model is:
2.6. Organizational Learning
It is the underlying approach that gives meaning and continuity to the process of value creation or intangible. Learning, in short, is the key for people and the organization can be smarter, memorizing and transforming information into knowledge. They may be associated with this approach the concepts of learning organizations. (Maryam Bidmeshgipour et. al., 2012)
Many authors have developed theories of Knowledge Management; have justified their excellent results in the short, medium and long term in organizations.
One and more knowledge on the subject certainly is (khanbabaei, Ali et. al., 2011), his model of organizational learning emphasizes the five disciplines applied in the organization that promote change through learning:
- Personal mastery
- The shared vision
- Team learning
- Mental models
- Systemic thoughts
These five disciplines act in a complementary way in the organization and have synergy when applied together, it has so much importance for application in the Knowledge Management model all employees have a shared vision, dominate his personality and performance, learn together and have a common or systemic thinking, that everyone has the same vision of the organization. The author (Hussain Shah et. al., 2014) mentioned that the people continually expand their capacity to create results they want, where new expansive patterns of knowledge are nurtured, where collective aspiration is released and where people are continually learning to like learn together.
Another author who developed a model of Knowledge Management is Garvin (1998) which states that an organization can develop learning oriented in only three conditions: meaning, management and measurement. (Hussain Shah et. al., 2014)
It states that the organizations with skills to create, acquire and transfer skills and to change their behavior and to reflect new knowledge and insights. As per the author (khanbabaei, Ali et. al., 2011) these organizations are able to face five main activities:
- Systemic troubleshooting
- Experimenting with new approaches
- Learn from your own experiences and past histories
- Learn from the experiences and best practices of others
- Transfer knowledge quickly and effectively in the organization
2.7. Designing of Organizational learning
According to the author (Namrata Pancholi et. al., 2014) that the organizational learning can be designed through these activities:
- Cognitive: where members of the organization are exposed to new ideas, expand their knowledge begin to think differently.
- Behavioral: where they begin to internalize new, insights alter their behavior.
- Results: where changes in behavior leading to measurable improvements in outcomes: higher quality, better outputs increase in the market or other tangible gains.
Learning and knowledge building must be transmitted in a short, simple cycle, and this occurs when there is a change or transformation of an action in response to the results, if the area of document management with the modification of a process or process information management to help solve or contribute to an error.
We should note that the transformation of new knowledge aims to increase the effectiveness of the organization or information center. According to the author (Mohammad Kahreh et. al., 2011) mentioned that to develop other models of Knowledge Management, they say the information captured from the outside that is used to solve problems and create new knowledge from within, and connects redefine existing knowledge, so you can recreate an environment to create new knowledge.
They also speak of tacit and explicit knowledge, and define both: the first refers to is not encrypted, such as work experience, emotional, experiential, skills and creations. The second refers to is encoded and transmitted through some system of formal language such as documents, presentations, designs, specifications, etc.
The communication process of knowledge in organizations according to these authors is given by the conversion of tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge, it generates as a result of organizational knowledge creation versus individual, but how that creation and conversion of knowledge? The answer is through mapping of knowledge, group discussion sessions and innovation.
The author (Namrata Pancholi et. al., 2014) mentioned that in order to implementation of an effective model for an organization, it should claimed that part of the value of the organization is made up of financial capital and intellectual capital and specifically an organization must be based on capital intellectual work teams which is necessary to make it visible, developing measurement tools.
One of the most interesting models to study is that of KPMG Consulting Model to expose part of the factors that affect the learning capacity of an organization as well as the expected learning outcomes, also it reflects its basic characteristics such as: the interaction of all elements, organizational structure, culture (values, principles, policies, procedures), leadership, learning mechanisms, attitudes of people, the ability to work in teams, etc. all these features are not independent but are connected each.
2.8. Communities of Practice – Knowledge Management
According to (WINBLADH, 2010), the process of perception begins when a discontinuity occurs in the flow of experience that involves people and activities of an organization, which gives the raw data that must make sense. The activities involved are: explore, warn and interpret. Exploring is to observe events of interest in the environment. Notice is to isolate significant events for further examination that may affect the act on the environment. Interpreting possible interpretations is to select and develop shared perceptions and opinions that can guide action.
The organizational perception must reduce ambiguity and develop a shared meaning, but not completely eliminate the ambiguity and achieve an absolute consensus in order to make room for research, experimentation and discovery. This search for consensus and reduce ambiguity occurs through conversations, in which people not only talk but they observe and think.
As a result of the perception a network of shared meanings that assign meaning to ambiguous signs and give possible explanations that define a structure for processing information, which can plot values and criteria for selection, use search and give information occurs . This structure generated simplifies the process of analysis and data collection in the future.
2.9. Organizations and companies that create knowledge
From the point of view of (Serrat, 2010), knowledge management refers to how existing knowledge can be applied in the best way to produce new knowledge. Knowledge creation begins when a gap of knowledge in an organization or group is found, as mentioned above. New knowledge is generated by conversion or link between knowledge constructions. In the conversion, tacit knowledge of employees becomes explicit knowledge shared in the organization to create innovation. Through dialogue outsource allowed tacit knowledge. The concepts that have been created, justified and modeled join other levels of the organization to trigger new cycles of knowledge creation.
In the construction of knowledge, the organization identifies and promotes activities that build knowledge, where many individuals work together to solve problems. In the bond of knowledge, organizations establish partnerships with other organizations for knowledge transfer.
2.10. Organizations as systems that make decisions
The author (Serrat, 2010) states that a rational decision-making is to identify alternatives project the results of each alternative and evaluate the alternatives and their results according to the preferences and objectives known or persecuted, however, this is beyond the capabilities of any organization or individual due to its perfect rationality.
Depending on the level of ambiguity or conflict of goals and the level of technical uncertainty, an organization can fall into one of four models of decision making:
Rational, process, political or anarchic
The rational model is when there is clarity of goals and processes: The choice is simplified through high performance programs and standard operating procedures, which is encoded search, decision rules and routines that the organization has learned beforehand.
The process model is when the goals are clear but strategic and technical methods are not accurate. The decision-making process becomes dynamic, marked by many interruptions and iterations.
The political model, occurs when several groups vying for particular goals and provides technical certainty to the inner of them exist, decisions and actions are the result of a negotiation between them, pursuing their own interests and manipulate instruments available influence.
Chapter Three: Methodology
The literature review presented recognizes the critical areas in knowledge creation research and evaluates the relevancy of these areas in the banking organization’s context. The management and organization are potentially responsible for the development of knowledge management system and subsequently enhance the knowledge and learning culture whereas knowledge management technology facilitates knowledge creation and sharing in the organizations (Cader, Yoosuf et. al., 2013). The knowledge management literature also unveiled two streams of research. First stream inculcates the tacit versus explicit knowledge while the second stream instigates intellectual capital. In spite of two different streams, the mainstream research focused on the development of the knowledge management frameworks (Namrata Pancholi et. al., 2014). The process approach has been influential in the fundamental knowledge management research. Therefore, motivated by the theme that the culture and its impact on knowledge creation and the use of the model will enhance the insight of an organization into their knowledge creation and the processes involved in it. The aim of underlying empirical study is to investigate the relationship between organizational culture and knowledge creation process based on socialization, externalization, combination, and internalization.
3.2 Research Framework
Convenience sampling technique (a form of non-probability sampling) was used to collect data, a quicker way to get a sufficient number of completed questionnaires easily from the bank employees (Serrat, 2010). Questionnaires were distributed personally for primary data collection. The questionnaire consisting both open ended and close ended questions. Questions were designed on a five point-Likert scale having options 1 to 5 in which 1 for strongly disagree, 2 for disagree, 3 for neutral, 4 for agree and 5 for strongly agree. Sampling units were all individuals (employees, leaders) working in the bank. All the respondents were appealed to answer all the questions to the best of their knowledge. After data collection, the data was coded into SPSS. Other statistical tools like stepwise regression analysis, correlation and descriptive analysis were used to strengthen the results with numerical evidences.
3.2.1 Independent variables
In this research study, independent variables include: socialization, externalization, combination and internalization. They are considered as main factors in designing and maintaining knowledge management system in the bank.
3.2.2 Dependent Variables
Innovation is the sole dependent variable for this study.
3.3 Research Hypothesis
Hypothesis 1: Knowledge Management (KM) processes positively influence the innovation process within the bank.
Hypothesis 2: Each of the KM processes has a different contribution to the variance in innovation for the bank.
The hypothesis aims at describing the extent, direction, and strength of the relationship between several independent variables (socialization, externalization, combination and internalization) and a single dependent variable (innovation). Therefore, it is recommended to use the multiple regression; in SPSS enter selection was employed to include all these variables in the regression model estimation.
3.4 Research Instrument
The study focuses on investigating the relationship between organizational culture and knowledge creation in the bank. As shown, the underlying purpose can only be accomplished by conceptualizing, measuring and analyzing data about both the empirical relationship between organizational culture and knowledge creation (quantitative → objectivist → positivist) and the employees’ knowledge management implementation and use (qualitative → subjectivist → post positivist) paradigms (Hasanzadeh, 2013). The multifaceted nature of the research problem and involvement of dependent and independent variables require integration of quantitative and qualitative dataset into a single investigation to address the underlying problem in more detail. Hence, the research question of this study may better be addressed through a mixed (qualitative + quantitative) research method (Hussain Shah et. al., 2014). Therefore, a qualitative study was utilized to recognize the relationships among organizational culture and knowledge creation process to build more concrete models for a quantitative analysis. In the light of the above justification, a mixed methods research has been utilized as the best method that combines quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate organizational culture and knowledge creation for this study.
3.5 Validity and Reliability Analysis
Both content and construct validity need to be assessed to ensure the validity of a measure. As indicated earlier, the KM model and innovation variables in the questionnaire have a reasonable level of content validity because the selection of their initial measurements was based on an extensive review of literature. Construct validity is established if the questionnaire measures what it is designed to measure. The two kinds of construct validity, convergent and discriminant were checked by factor analysis, using the principal component analysis method with varimax rotation through Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin (KMO) test. Factor analysis is based on the correlation matrix of the variables involved, and correlations usually need a large sample size before they stabilize.
The estimation of reliability is based on the average correlation among items within a dimension, which is concerned with internal consistency. The basic formula for determining reliability based on this internal consistency is called coefficient alpha.
3.6 Sample Size
In this research 88.1 % male & 11.9 % females participated out of total selected sample.
Figure 1: Gender Ratio
According to the statistics respondents between 20-30 years are 57.5 % and above 30 are 42.5%.
Figure2: Respondent Age
In conducted research 42% responses have taken from married and remaining 58% are from singles.
Figure3: Marital Status
All the data was collected from bank’s employees (44.3%) were non-mangers compared to managers 55.7%.
Figure 4: Job Category
Most of them are working in the organization for about 2-5 years (46%).
3.7 Data Collection
Questionnaire was used for data collection. It included gender, age, marital status, years of education of employees, position held by particular employee, experience with the bank as well as with the industry and knowledge management practices. Out of all these items, only knowledge management practices were used for analysis. Factors for knowledge management include socialization, externalization, combination and internalization.
|Year of Experience
Less than or 5 yrs
More than 20yrs
30 and above
Banker (B&A) (Junior)
Excellent banker (Senior)
Head of department
3.8 Data Analysis
The quantitative data analysis in this chapter covers the findings of the questionnaire and the statistical techniques which were used to test the research hypotheses. The chapter looks first at the sample distribution according to the profile of respondents in terms of their demographic characteristics (years of experience, gender, academic background and job position) followed by a discussion of the preparation of data for the statistical analysis, and the coding and labelling of data into SPSS format.
Table1:One-way ANOVA results
|Variables||Years of experience||Academic background||Job Title|
|F(df, 4.205)||Sig. (p)||F(df, 2.207)||Sig. (p)||F(df, 4.205)||Sig. (p)|
Table 1 above indicates that there was no difference between the years of experience; groups means of agreement for the socialization, internalization and innovation processes within the banks (P >.10). However, there was a difference between the agreement means of these groups regarding the externalization and combination processes (P = .072, .097, respectively).
After the data entry process, validity and reliability tests are performed on the questionnaire to confirm its quality, while factor analysis is applied to test the construct validity and for reliability (Boom, 2005). By ensuring the validity and reliability of the questionnaire, the first stage of the quantitative data analysis uses a frequency distribution to explore the agreement of respondents regarding the performance of KM and innovation activities in the bank.
Next, the results of the hypothesis testing are explained, starting with a discussion of how the factor analysis results will benefit later statistical tests. This is followed by a discussion of the testing process of the first hypothesis, concerning the relationship between Knowledge Management (KM) processes and innovation, and the second hypothesis, concerning the contribution of each KM process in accounting for the innovation variances (Maryam Bidmeshgipour et. al., 2012). In this part, multiple regression analysis is used. The final part focuses on testing the difference between respondents’ demographic groups regarding KM and innovation activities. The independent t-test was used to check the difference between gender and bank category subgroups, while the one-way ANOVA test checked the difference between years of experience, academic background and job title subgroups.
Chapter Four: Results and Discussions
Summary of SPSS output includes are as indicated in table1 below:
Table2: Summary of SPSS regression results.
|Variables||Unstd coeff||Std Coeff||t-value||Sig. (p)||Colleniarity Stats|
|Prediction Accuracy||R=.856, R^2=.733,Adjusted R^2=.727|
Assessing the prediction accuracy the most commonly used measure of predictive accuracy for the regression model is the coefficient of determination (R2) or adjusted R2, which indicates the proportion of the variance in the DV which is accounted for by IVs. In this study, the adjusted R2 was .727 which means that the variances of all the KM processes accounted for .727 of the total variance in innovation in bank, leaving .273 of the total variance due to other factors not included in this research. The overall results for the regression model were significant at P value =0.000 which means that the regression results are statistically significant. The decision of accepting or rejecting the hypothesis mainly depends on the calculated F (from the ANOVA table in SPSS) and critical F (from the statistical tables) values. If the calculated value is higher than the critical value, then the decision is to reject the null hypothesis at the chosen level of confidence. In this study the calculated F = 140.433 was higher than the critical F = 2.42 (at df; 4, 205 and P< 0.05) which means rejecting the null hypothesis and accepting the alternative hypothesis which states that there is a significant statistical relationship between KM and innovation, which confirms the results of .727 of changes in the innovation process being caused by KM processes. Assessing the relationship direction the goal of regression is to derive the B values known as regression coefficients, or beta coefficients to allow the computation of reasonable Y values with the regression equation. A positive value of B shows that the value of the dependent variable will increase when the value of the independent variable increases and vice versa. The B value for each independent variable was positive and significant (P = .000), concluding that each KM variable positively influenced the innovation process. The positive sign of R (as indicated in indicates that the relationship between the whole KM model and innovation is also positive. To sum up, the first hypothesis was accepted which means that the KM processes, whether separately or as a whole, positively influenced the innovation process within the bank. Testing the second hypothesis 2: Each of the KM processes has a different contribution to the variance in innovation in the bank. As mentioned earlier, the beta (B) value indicates the direction of influence (positive or negative) of each independent variable on the dependent variable. The results of the first hypothesis indicated that the variances of the all KM processes accounted for .727 of the total variance in innovation in the bank. The ranking of the beta (B) values also indicates that the internalization variable had the highest value (.569), followed by combination (.500), externalization (.294), and socialization (.269), and all significant: P = .000. This suggests that variances in the internalization process accounted for the highest proportion of variances in the innovation process, followed by the combination, externalization and socialization processes, respectively.
Chapter Six: Study Limitations, Recommendations and Conclusion.
Although this study achieved its objectives and answered the research questions, it is not without certain constraints and limitations, which were unavoidable and do not invalidate the findings of the study, and may provide practical guidelines for future research. The study was restricted by time and cost, which limited the cover of changes that could have taken place in the banking industry. Time and cost restrictions limited the researcher to conduct comparisons between the bank and other banks in Bahrain that could have a different culture. With regard to the triangulation of the research data, the quantitative and qualitative data cannot be considered independent data sources, as both reflect the opinions drawn from the same basic population of respondents, although they were different kinds of data that allowed respondents to express their opinions and attitudes in different ways. In addition, it was also difficult to investigate the use of the KM model in different banking departments, as the sample sizes in each unit would have been too small for statistical comparisons. It was also difficult to conduct a comprehensive study investigating whether the use of the KM model and its effect on innovation differ according to gender, although some observations were made through surveying and interviewing. In general, writing the thesis in English, which is the second language for the researcher, was a challenge. The researcher had little experience in this style of academic writing, which necessitated considerable revisions during the writing process.
For future research, it is suggested to investigate the use of the KM model in multinational organizations with employees from different cultural backgrounds. It would be useful to conduct comparison studies between banks in developing and developed countries with different cultural backgrounds as well. It is also suggested to examine the use of KM in different business contexts. Studying the model in different cultural and business contexts will contribute to a debate about the universal application of the KM model. Investigating the use of this model relating to different tasks or gender will also provide more details of how the use of each process could be different. Investigating the relationship between the style of leadership and the use of KM model in organizations is another suggestion for future research.
The initial findings of the quantitative study highlighted several points in line with the importance of the bank in the Bahrain banking sector. Respondent’s profiles showed that the majority were males and graduates or post-graduates. All groups were well represented in terms of years of experience and job positions. The questionnaire quality was investigated by employing validity and reliability tests which demonstrated that all research variables were well factored and reliable. The first step of the data analysis, the analysis of descriptive statistics showed a high level of agreement regarding the questionnaires items which substantiate the KM model variables and innovation. As the bank is working in a highly competitive environment, all banks follow policies to improve their operations and increase their market share. This suggests that the bank follow promising policies in terms of the KM processes and innovation. The chapter also discussed quantitative statistical techniques for testing the research hypotheses and the differences between the respondents’ demographic subgroups. The results of the multiple regression test indicated that the KM processes, whether separate or as a whole, positively influenced the innovation process within the bank. It also indicated that the variance of the internalization process had most influence in accounting for innovation variances, followed by the combination, externalization and socialization processes.