The Impact of leadership behavior and Organizational Culture on knowledge management practices in small and medium enterprises in Douala Cameroon

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ABSTRACT

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

In the world of recent, the usage of knowledge management in commerce practices is globally perceived as giving a competitive advantage, and an expanding number of organisations are inaugurating a knowledge management methodology (Davenport &Volpel, 2001). Numerous firms have come to the conclusion that proper utilization of knowledge management is the only way to leverage their principal competencies to attain competitive advantage (Arora, et al 2002). Organisations are inquisitive about knowledge management to boost the effectiveness, increment in their efficiency and quality of their services, and to attain innovative solutions to, and products for, their clients. Furthermore, within the research group circle, knowledge management is considered as a catalyst for understanding the core value of information in an organisation (Moffett, et al. 2003). The persistent improvement within the field of knowledge management has driven to a number of critical factors being highlighted in this literature, which are, organisational culture, leadership, information technology, processes and activities, and human assets management (Davenport, et al 2001). Due to this reason, Egbu (2004) concluded that the KM writing focuses on the overwhelming importance of information technology. On the other hand, Hlupic et al. (2002) contended that these IT-based knowledge management frameworks are in reality, restricted to dealing with data instead of knowledge since they are ordinarily planned to bargain with organized data, though ‘information’ is specifically entered into areas or can be categorised in a few modes. Practitioners and analysts are presently acknowledging the significance of the ‘soft’ perspectives of knowledge management (Guzman, et al., 2002). It is broadly recognized that effective knowledge management depends not just on information technology primciples, but more broadly on the social environment of an organisation, which technology is essentially a facilitator and not the KM framework (Carrillo, Robinson, Al-Ghassani, &Anumba, 2004). Knowledge management is more than just about the depository and manipulation of data, it is a operation that requires commitment to make and spread knowledge through organizations (Ardichvili, et al. 2006). Effective knowledge management requires that awareness be placed on the human and cultural viewpoints of commerce, especially the encounters and implied knowledge of workers. It is the organizational structures and processes that saddle and combine mental and human capital for learning, development, and problem solving (Hlupic, et al., 2002). like manner, various studies uncover that organizational culture and leadership are the major boundaries to making, sharing, and leveraging knowledge resources (Carrillo, et al., 2004; DeTienne, Dyer, Hoopes, & Harris, 2004; Lakshman, 2005; Park, Ribiere, & William D. Schulte, 2004). Leaders have a colossal effect on knowledge management practices inside their organisations. A leader makes conditions that permit members to promptly work out and develop their information control abilities, contribute their personal knowledge assets to the organisation’s pool of knowledge, and have accessibility to significant information (Crawford, 2005; De Long & Fahey, 2000; Ribiere& Sitar, 2003). Without effectual leaders, who set suitable examples, workers will not be propelled to participate within the KM programs (DeTienne, et al., 2004). Hence, the speed that a culture will be altered to that in favor of organisational learning and knowledge management generally depends on the leadership style within the organisation (Ribiere& Sitar, 2003). Crawford (2005) and Horak (2001) nduced that leaders moreover play a pivotal part in building and keeping up an organisational culture of learning, and executing KM within the organisation. Leaders must fuse a high regard to knowledge, motivate questioning and experimentation through empowerment, trust building, and encourage experiential learning of implied knowledge. An inquiry has developed around what sorts of leadership style would meet the above prerequisites for effective KM execution. A survey of the literature suggests that the resolution may be found in transformational and value-based leadership practices. Looking at the relationship between self-management, transformational/value-based leadership, and different knowledge management traits, Politis (2001) found that self- management, transformational and value-based leadership styles are related to knowledge acquisitions. Agreeing to the theoretical and experimental discoveries of several researchers (Crawford, 2005; Paul, Costley, Howell, &Dorfman, 2002; Politis, 2001; Popper &Lipshitz, 2000), one of the foremost fitting leadership styles for knowledge organisation is the transformational leadership style. Transformational leaders are willing to give up their personal gains for the greater good of the organisation and its objectives; they persuade co- workers by rousing a vision of the organisation’s future. This sort of leadership persuades devotees to surpass their own self-interest for the greater good of the organisation. Vera and Crossan (2004) found that value-based leaders stimulate the stream of learning from organisation to individuals and groups by doling out a solid value to organisational rules, strategies and past experiences. They moreover give organisational employees a formal frameworks and training programs that spread existing knowledge to direct future activities and decisions. The major lapses in the literature, be that as it may, is the need of consideration to the effect of organisational culture on such connections between leadership practices and KM, particularly in SMEs environment.
1.1 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This thesis presents a masters research study that points to consider the leadership practices and organisational culture which influences knowledge management (KM) practices inside small and medium organisations conduct in Douala Cameroon. The main objective of this research is to examine the connection between transformational and value-based leadership practices and KM practices totally different organisational culture. This first chapter of the thesis focus on the rationale for the study, depicts its importance, and presents an outline of the strategy utilized.
1.3 PROBLEM OF THE STUDY
” The research is restricted to the context of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Australia (the term ‘enterprise’ and ‘organization’ are utilized interchangeably all through the thesis);
” The research emphasized the examination of inner organizational components; hence, it did not take into consideration any impacts from the outer environmental components; and
” Even though it is conceivable that at slightest certain aspects of leadership, organisational culture, and KM practices include a few kind of time slack, the research approach taken was cross-sectional instead of an idealistic longitudinal study.
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main object of this study is investigate the impact of leadership behavior and Organizational Culture on knowledge management practices in small and medium enterprises in Douala Cameroon. The specific objective are:

  1. to investigate the significance relationship leadership behavior and knowledge management practices.
  2. to examined the significance relationship between Organizational Culture and knowledge management practices.
    1.5 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
    The most noteworthy challenge in KM is the ability of leaders to successfully establish, maintain, and connect KM and human capital to organisational culture. This specific study makes contributions because it contrasts from the past studies. The research does not essentially match leadership with KM practices as past study (Crawford, 2005; Jung, Chow, & Wu, 2003; Politis, 2001). The study offered knowledge into the viability of diverse types of leadership styles to KM. Imperatively, the present study talked about the cultural conditions under which leadership style play a part in KM. Exceptional studies within the literature have consolidated cultural setting into leadership and KM studies.Regarding the administrative practices, this study is noteworthy in that the results of the present study gives managers and leaders with knowledge into how information is overseen in their organisation. Besides, this study helps leaders recognize the particular leadership characteristics and style that are related to knowledge management endeavors in totally different sorts of organisational cultures. Utilizing one of these leadership styles, leaders, through their conduct, make knowledge activities to be completely fit in with work. They remunerate and perceive desired traits by paying tribute to knowledge champions, offering rewards, letters of appreciation, promotions, appealing assignments, allotment of assets, etc. Also, leaders clearly state what activities will be compensated, and guarantee that they contribute to the creation or use of knowledge. Schein (1990) argues that leaders must have a profound understanding of the character and effect of organisational culture in order to communicate and execute modern visions, and to rouse devotee commitment to the vision. Forming a culture conducive to their vision for their organisation is the quintessential leadership assignment; it may be a changing task pointed at guaranteeing that the cultural environment is continually responsive to the organisation’s vision and the wants of a changing, advancing devotee. In this respect, understanding the impact of different organisational cultures may give clues for managers and leaders in forming the culture to meet changing needs

1.6 STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY
This research consists of five chapters. This chapter introduces the rationale for the research, research aims and scope, and the significance of the study, as well as providing an overview of the research method and an outline of the thesis layout.

Chapter 2 gives a broad audit of literature related to the field of knowledge management, leadership, and organisational culture. This chapter incorporates a basic audit of various distributions covering KM concepts and components impacting KM. The concepts and hypotheses of leadership and organisational culture were also looked into. This chapter points to recognize the issues that have not been satisfactorily investigated by the past analysts to characterize the foremost vital factors that impact the research problem.

Chapter 3 shows the advancement of a research conceptual system and theories based on the knowledge obtained from the literature review. The Chapter moreover portrays the research questions derived as a reaction to the identified research lapses. Typically taken after by the points of interest of the research strategy, which addresses the key issues relating to the research approach, research plan, and the pertinent analytical methods embraced in this study.

Chapter 4 outline the results of the descriptive analysis based on the data collected from the survey study of Douala Cameroon SMEs. This chapter starts by displaying the profiles of the overview respondents, followed by the screening of the survey information to guarantee that it is appropriate for the ensuing multivariate statistical analysis. The preparatory discoveries deciphered from the survey are at that point presented. Also gives the points of interest and results of the estimation scale evaluation based on the descriptive information analysis. The analysis results of scale unwavering quality are displayed to evaluate the inner consistency of the estimation scales utilized within the study survey. Also, the confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) strategies are nitty gritty and the results displayed. The main reason of CFA is to affirm whether or not the collected information fit the hypothetical models; the EFA was conducted to refine and uncover the appropriate factor structures to set up the most excellent conceivable dimensionality, unwavering quality, and legitimacy of these scales.
Once the unwavering quality and legitimacy of the estimation scales were established, numerous regression analysis was utilized to test the proposed hypotheses to answer the research questions concerning the relationship among leadership styles, organizational culture, and KM. Concurring to Tabachnick&Fidell (2007), numerous regression analysis is by far the foremost widely utilized in commerce and social sciences to examine all types of reliance relationships. Different regression analysis is an effective analytical tool utilized to decide which particular autonomous factors predicts the change of dependent factors chosen by the research (Hair, Black, Babin, Anderson, &Tatham, 2006).

Chapter 5 discusses and summarises the key research discoveries, highlights the contributions made by the study to the existing body of knowledge, and the suggestions for managerial practices. It moreover addresses the confinements of the study, and presents proposals for long-term research. Taking into consideration the reference list, supplementary data (e.g. the dispersed survey) is given within the Reference sections.

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