The Impact of Knowledge Management in the Performance of Commercial Banks in Nigeria

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The Impact of Knowledge Management in the Performance of Commercial Banks in Nigeria: A Case Study of Guaranty Trust Bank

ABSTRACT

The impact of Knowledge Management in the performance of commercial banks can be seen as an integrated approach to achieving organizational goals by placing particular focus on “knowledge”, now considered as the new factor for production. The transfer of knowledge is, in fact, the essence of knowledge management. This research work looked into the impact of knowledge management in performance of commercial activities of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, how it harnesses the huge knowledge deposits residing in its tacit environment (the minds of her staff) to create a synergy which in-turn transforms the bank. The main source of data used in this research is both primary and secondary data. Secondary data consisted of data from already published materials such as; text books, journals, the internet, academic dissertations, workshop papers and annual reports. Primary data was collected through the means of questionnaires. This consists of data collected from the field survey. This source of data formed the basis of analysis in this study. The research established the importance of knowledge management practices within Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. It confirmed the support given to knowledge management by the top management of the bank. It also emphasised the benefits of knowledge management practice in the banking industry.

CHAPTER ONE

  1.        BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Knowledge is increasingly being recognized as the new strategic imperative of organizations. The most established paradigm is that knowledge is power. Therefore, one has to hoard it, keep it to oneself to maintain an advantage. The common attitude of most people is to hold on to one’s knowledge since it is what makes him or her an asset to the organization. Today, knowledge is still considered power – an enormous power in fact – but the understanding has changed considerably, particularly from the perspective of organizations. The new paradigm is that within the organization knowledge must be shared in order for it to grow. It has been shown that the organization that shares knowledge among its management and staff grows stronger and becomes more competitive. This is the core of knowledge management – the sharing of knowledge.

Most organizations are beginning to realize that their singular most important asset is the intellectual capital of their staff and as such are finding new ways to manage this asset. This is derived from the paradigm that effective business strategy in today’s business climate can only be achieved by a synergy of knowledge applied to create innovation, whilst reducing cost and increasing productivity. These organizations have also realized that the huge funds invested in Information Technology can only be harnessed when they serve as enablers to creating, capturing, storing, processing and sharing knowledge. Thus the real stock they have is their knowledge. This has given rise to the search for ways to manage knowledge and the eventual emergence of the term Knowledge Management.

The impact of Knowledge Management in the performance of commercial banks can be seen as an integrated approach to achieving organizational goals by placing particular focus on “knowledge”, now considered as the new factor for production. The transfer of knowledge is, in fact, the essence of knowledge management.

Knowledge management can be broadly defined as the identification and management of processes for leveraging the intellectual capital of organizations over time and place. As such, it applies to every job function and process and seeks to capture institutional learning and share best practices for the benefit of the entire firm and its clients.

The impact of Knowledge management in the performance of commercial banks is increasingly an important element of organizational strategy. Organizations, whether they are in the private sector or whether they are in the public sector, must develop strategies for the collection, dissemination, and protection of information required by employees, clients, and external partners if the organizations are to succeed in their missions. Knowledge management involves the management of data in a way that transforms data into useful knowledge (Lim, Ahmed, and Zairi, 2000). Structuring knowledge management into an organization’s strategy assures that knowledge management will be an ongoing, coordinated process within the organization that will benefit the organization, it employees, clients, and external partners over the long-term (Drew, 2001). The key to the implementation of an effective and efficient knowledge management strategy is the integration of knowledge management and information into organisational process.

Knowledge Management supports and coordinates the creation, transfer and application of individual knowledge in value creation processes. This can only be realized in a corporate culture that promotes Knowledge Management and actively supports the information and documentation processes (i.e. through the systematic application of innovation and quality management tools and methods).

In this research work we look at the impact of knowledge management in performance of commercial activities of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, how it harnesses the huge knowledge deposits residing in its tacit environment (the minds of her staff) to create a synergy which in-turn transforms the bank to learning bank with Knowledge Workers in various Knowledge Departments within a Knowledge based bank which gave them an advantageous competitive edge Morik, Huppe, and Unterstein, (2002).

 1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

This research project presents a business survey on the impact of knowledge management (KM) in the performance of commercials banks in Nigeria, Guaranty Trust Bank is used as a case study. It offers managers and individual decision makers a framework for analysis, and provides a set of tools to evaluate the benefits of knowledge sharing.

 Therefore the following problems would be considered in this study:

  1. What is the level of awareness and employee attitude towards the impact of knowledge management in performance of commercial activities of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc?
  2. What impact is the use of Knowledge Management in recruitment has within the Bank?
  3. Is there a specific unit or structural support for knowledge management within Guaranty Trust Bank Plc that measures its impact on the banks commercial activities?
  4. What is the top management’s attitude towards the impact of knowledge management in the performance of the Banks commercial activities?

These are but a few questions Guaranty Trust Bank Plc must answer in order to strengthen its strategies in a dynamic knowledge-driven business environment.

1.3       OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study is to provide insight into the impact of knowledge management in the performance of commercial activities of Guaranty Trust Bank. The aim is to know the strategies employed by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in exploiting its knowledge management as a measure of its performance. This requires the achievement of four specific objectives.

  1. What is the level of awareness and employee attitude towards the impact of knowledge management in performance of commercial activities of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc?
  2. What impact is the use of Knowledge Management in recruitment has within the Bank?
  3. Is there a specific unit or structural support for knowledge management within Guaranty Trust Bank Plc that measures its impact on the banks commercial activities?
  4. What is the top management’s attitude towards the impact of knowledge management in the performance of the Banks commercial activities?

1.4     RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  1. What is the level of awareness and employee attitude towards the impact of knowledge management in performance of commercial activities of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc?
  2. What impact is the use of Knowledge Management in

recruitment has within the Bank?

  • Is there a specific unit or structural support for knowledge management within Guaranty Trust Bank Plc that measures its impact on the banks commercial activities?
  • What is the top management’s attitude towards the impact of knowledge management in the performance of the Banks commercial activities?
  1. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The result of this study will demonstrate the impact of knowledge management in the performance of commercial activities in adopted by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.

It will also aid scholars who might want to research more on the strategies adopted by Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.

Finally this is a pioneer work in the field of “Knowledge Management” with a focus on the impact of knowledge management in the performance of commercial activities of Guaranty Trust Bank and is a partial requirement for the award of MBA (Business Administration) to the researcher in University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus.

1.6    SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The research project is, however, limited in scope to the assessment of the impact of Knowledge Management in performance of commercial activities in Guaranty Trust bank Plc.  Secondly, it will not discuss other aspects of the bank’s management, like Legal and insurance policies, card and international services, organisational structure and resource allocation, financial position and customer relationship. This therefore narrows this research study only to the impact of knowledge management in performance of commercial activities in Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.

Guaranty Trust Bank Plc was used as a case study; therefore the study may not apply for non- Nigerian commercial banks or other industries, factories or organisations suffice also to mention that same results obtained might not be equally obtained from other Nigerian commercial banks as a measure of their performance.

Thirdly, the data used in the analysis is generated through opinion survey, which can be very subjective depending on the time and circumstances surrounding the respondent who generated such opinion.

1.7    DEFINITION OF TERMS

  • Competitive Advantage

Occurs when an organization acquires or develops an attribute or combination of attributes that allows it to outperform its competitors.

  • Knowledge Creation

     The generation and making of information readily available for use. It is also the formation of new ideas through interactions between explicit and tacit knowledge in individual human minds.

  • Knowledge Management (KM) 

     Comprises a range of practices used in an organisation to identify, create, represent, distribute and enable adoption of insights and experiences. Such insights and experiences comprise knowledge, either embodied in individuals or embedded in organisational processes or practice.

  • Knowledge Transfer

The transfer and sharing of information between two people

  • Top Management Attitude

This is the disposition of top management to support or oppose the creation, application and transfer of knowledge company- wide