Part 1- Introduction The report contains the...
Primary and Secondary Data Collection for Banking Dissertation
This Primary Secondary Data Collection Banking Dissertation describes fundamental of tiger bank and camel bank.,this is a third part of dissertation on Success factors of knowledge management in banking industry in saudi Arabia. It is part of dissertation Help.
Secondary Data Collection and Discussion
This section of the research is concerned with the collection of secondary data regarding topic success factors of the knowledge management system in Saudi Arabian banks. The mode of the data collection process has been case studied with reference to the knowledge management process in banking industry which was picked from research journals and literature available regarding knowledge management in the banking industry (Mazzon, 1981). In order to collect secondary data, two case studies have been discussed within the research which includes a case study of the Tiger bank and Camel Bank which have been implemented in the knowledge management process successfully.
The knowledge management model used in the Tiger bank is one of the best around all the banking industries in the world. Tiger bank is one of the largest commercial banks in Malaysia. The findings of Tiger bank were found as per the banking knowledge management model and have been grouped as under:
- People: People working in the bank are the most important and valuable assets of the bank. The culture of Tiger bank is such that the employees working in the bank promote the knowledge sharing process. The employees of the banks are determined to share their knowledge in order to accomplish their day to day job much quicker and easier (Havens & Knapp, 1999). As a result, it can be seen that the culture of the bank enhances the group learning among the employees of the bank and all level expert people are in touch with each other to resolve various issues faced by the bank employees. The culture of the bank is created with sincere efforts from the top management. Therefore, the people of the bank are committed only when there is support and commitment from the top management.
- Environment: The environment around the bank is one of the prime factors which force the bank to implement the knowledge management processes (Mallat et al, 2004). Similarly, for Tiger bank in Malaysia, there were some environmental factors which forced the bank to implement the knowledge management process. Among the major factors which forced the bank to implement the knowledge management, some of them included: (a) the need to maintain customer knowledge-the bank aimed to establish a good customer relationship with their customers. In addition, to maintain good customer relationships, it was in need of the knowledge management process being put in place in the bank (Inkpen, 1996). (b) Competitive intelligence-in order to gain competitive intelligence so as to get ahead of the other banks in Malaysia, Tiger bank required the knowledge management process in the bank. (c) Service knowledge-service knowledge is assumed to be the proprietary knowledge of the bank, hence the bank needed to gain proper knowledge management processesbeing put in place so as to have service knowledge among its employees.
- Technology: Tiger bank also passed the knowledge management process to its customers through the employees of the bank and in order to pass the knowledge sharing process to the customers, technology played an important role. The bank created a webpage named Tigerbank2u in order to share the banking service knowledge among its customers and employees residing around the globe (Lyons, 2000). These web pages provided its employees a means to share the electronic knowledge among themselves and then for passing among its customers as well. The web pages developed by Tiger bank helped the employees who were separated by time and space to share their knowledge with other employees rapidly (Luarn and Lin, 2005). These web pages also integrated emails, online libraries and forums and with the help of these electronic means Tiger bank provided its employees expertise, service knowledge and resources for those residing around the world.
- Knowledge creation, retention and sharing: The best part of the knowledge management system of the bank was its knowledge creation, retention and sharing programme. According to this programme, customer feedback was taken on the various service related issues and the issues which were unresolved by the service consultants of the bank were posted in the forums created for the knowledge sharing (Nonaka et al, 2002). Experts in that particular field would reply to the query and the service consultant would then pass on that knowledge to customers. However, if after a few hours that query was not answered then the forum co-ordinator would pass it onto a chosen expert for answering that query and it would be resolved by that expert. This way the knowledge created would be stored in the repository. This led to knowledge being created, retained and shared through the electronic means.
It can be seen that Tiger bank in Malaysia has taken very good initiative in order to share and create knowledge among its customers and employees so that banks can excel in providing the banking services and can achieve a competitive advantage among its competitors through the knowledge management process.
Camel bank is among some of the initial banks in Malaysia which emerged strongly after the first phase of mergers of the various banks. The main objective for knowledge management process was to create a knowledge sharing environment in which collective knowledge could be placed on the fingertips of the employees and bank could leverage on the knowledge of employees in order to create a competitive advantage (Luarn & Lin, 2005). Following knowledge management, a model was followed by the bank:
- Technology: Camel bank established e-libraries which held complete knowledge about the banking services required by the customers and employees of the bank. These e-libraries were available for the employees and customers of the bank at any time and were unique in the sense that no other bank had provided such libraries to their customers (Havens & Knapp, 1999). Employees were trained properly about these libraries and their advantages were also given in advance so that maximum use of these libraries was made.
- Environment: The main focus of the bank was to create such a banking environment in which the employees of the bank were motivated and strived to achieve excellence in terms of customer relationship since the customer relationship matters more than anything else in the banking industry (Quintas, 2002). Hence, environment of the bank was such that the employees were clarified about their goals and management was also arranged in such a way that they could motivate employees as better management is able to improve the knowledge of employees and help in achieving the sustainable competitive advantage for the bank.
- People: Camel had a major challenge in terms of people for their knowledge management programme since there were many barriers in their knowledge management programme such as the cultural difference among the employees which created problems in knowledge sharing. The skill levels of the employees were also not the same since Camel bank was formed as a result of a merger of many banks (Earl & Scott, 1999). Therefore, management of the bank organised various training level programmes at a branch level and they assigned different experts for each aspect which provided training to others. As a result, these training programmes helped the employees to reach the same level of expertise, skills and also created an environment of knowledge sharing among the employees.
- Knowledge progress: e-Library systems created by the bank were a major source of knowledge creation for the employees as well as for the customers. Customers and employees were given the login id and password for the e-libraries in which customers logged in their queries and problems faced which were handled by the employees allocated the job of handling the issues (Dzinkowski, 2001). Also, if the specific employees were not able to handle the issues then such issues would be resolved by the senior bank officials. Hence e-libraries were used as a tool for knowledge creation and storage for the employees as well for the customers of the bank. Along with the knowledge creation process, e-libraries helped the employees to remain in touch with the customers of the bank.
It can be seen that Camel bank in Malaysia developed a specific knowledge management programme for its employees in which the employees and customers were made a part of the knowledge sharing process of the bank (Lee et al, 2003). This knowledge sharing methodology followed by Camel bank not only helped the employees to gain knowledge about the banking services but also assisted them to interact more with their customers, consequently resulting in maintaininga proper customer relationship management.
Primary Data Collection and Discussion
To carry out the research on success factors of knowledge management in Saudi Arabian banks, primary data collection was carried out by the way of a survey method. In order to conduct the survey, a questionnaire was designed as a tool of collecting the responses from the respondents. The total sample size chosen for collecting the responses was a total of 250 respondents. The sample unit contained particular demographic features and based in these demographic features, sample units were chosen from the bank customers in Saudi Arabia (Laukkanen et al, 2008). The sample unit contained an age range between 21 years to 55 years. The age range for the sample unit has been kept wide in order to capture the responses from all kind of respondents. The sample unit hada moderate income level and education level of graduation. Convenience sampling method was used to choose respondents for collecting the data.
The following questionnaire has been designed in order to collect the data regarding the success factor of knowledge management in the Saudi Arabian banking system as shown in Appendix A.
Primary data analysis and discussion
There are basically three sections in the questionnaire which has been designed for the data collection named section-A, B &C. Section-A of the questionnaire investigates the awareness regarding the knowledge management process in Saudi Arabian banks. Section-B of the questionnaire explores the barriers of knowledge management in Saudi Arabian banks while the last section of the questionnaire investigates the various factors which provide success to the knowledge management initiative followed in the Saudi Arabian banks. In response to the questions asked in the questionnaire, responses from the respondents were as follows:
Awareness about knowledge management
Out of the total sample size of 250 respondents which was chosen for responding to the questionnaire, only 83 questionnaires were returned sothis research contains responses from 83 respondents. In response to the question regarding the most important skill which a banker must have, responses collected through the survey are as follows:
Out of the total responses received, there were in total 51% responses received from bank employees while there were only 32% responses received from the customers of the bank. As shown in the chart above, the most important aspect which bank employees should have is banking knowledge. 69% of customers responded that for a banker, banking knowledge is the most important aspect while technological skills, communication skills analysis, customer handling skills are secondary. The same kind of response was also given by the bank employees in response to the question. As shown by the chart, the blue colour identified that more than 69% of employees accept that banking knowledge is a prime skill for the bankers while all other skills come later.
It is important to note that the bankers as well as customers in the Saudi Arabian banking industry understand the importance of banking knowledge in the industry. Though various skills such as communications, technology and customer handling are also important, if employees are not fully aware of their products and other terms of their bank then it does not create a good impression on the customers of the bank as banking is a highly intensive information industry and customers believe the banker only when the banker has full knowledge regarding products and services.
In response to the question about the importance of knowledge management in the banking sector, the customers and employees of the banks in Saudi Arabia felt that this was the most important intangible asset for the banks. Also, respondents believe that people skills and information can help the bank to attain inimitable competitive advantage. The responses from the respondents were as follows:
It is clear from the above chart that both customers as well as employees of the bank accept the fact that without successful knowledge management programme banks in Saudi Arabia cannot compete with their rivals. As a result, it is clear that bank employees as well as customers in the Saudi Arabian banking industry are well aware about the important role of knowledge management in banking industry.
In response to the question about the knowledge management programme which the banks have initiated for their employees and customers, it was found out that approximately 70% of the customers of the bank are not aware about the knowledge management initiative started by their banks for them. This can be due to two main reasons, either customers are not interested in the knowledge management initiative of the bank or the banks are not marketing their knowledge management initiative well resulting in unawareness from customers. However, the response from bank employees was different from the customers of the bank. Therefore, 84% of the bank employees have replied that their banks have specific knowledge management programmes for them while only 13% of the employees have replied that their bank does not have any knowledge management programme for them.
From the above results, it is very clear from the responses given by the customers and employees of the bank that the banks in Saudi Arabia have various knowledge management initiatives for their customers and employees. However, the customers are not made aware about the knowledge management programmes of the bank. Also in response to providing details about the bank initiatives for knowledge management, respondents replied that banks manage online web portals on which customers and employees of the bank can log in. As well as, they can be aware of products and can post their queries if any, for which bank officials will give a reply to in no time. Also, some other bank employees stated that their bank conducts monthly training for the employees and annual training for their customers so as to impart banking knowledge to them.
In response to the question about the maintenance of knowledge flow among the employees of the bank, the bank employees provided the flow sequence of channels through which knowledge flows in their banking system as shown by following table:
As can be seen from the above chart and table, the bank employees replied that mutual knowledge sharing among employees is the most preferred way of the knowledge flow in the banking industry in Saudi Arabia. The mutual sharing process is most preferred because of the reason that mutual sharing of knowledge is easiest and fastest way to chare the knowledge among the employees of the bank. With the development of technology such as video conferencing especially in the banking industry, knowledge sharing is growing with the help of video conferencing techniques.
Barriers to Knowledge Management
The second section of the questionnaire was regarding the barriers faced by the banks in order to implement their knowledge management programmes. This section of the questionnaire contains three questions regarding the barriers faced by the organisations during their knowledge management programmes. In response to the first question regarding the participation in the knowledge management programmes, 63% out of the customers who replied to the questionnaire have said that they have not participated in any kind of knowledge management programme up until the present moment.
Only 37% of customers stated that they have participated in the knowledge management programme conducted by the banks in Saudi Arabia. From the previous data it was clear that the banks in Saudi Arabia understand the importance of knowledge management with the customers as well, however, the marketing of such knowledge management initiatives is necessary because if banks will not market their efforts properly to involve more customers then these efforts will go wasted. Also, in response to this question 75% of the employees who replied to the questionnaire responded that they have participated in the knowledge management initiative conducted by their banks. So, it can be seen that banks are making huge effort for conducting various knowledge management programmes; however, the only major problem for the customers is that either they are not finding this relevant to them or such knowledge management programmes are not communicated to customers by the employees of the bank.
In response to the question regarding the problem faced by the employees of the bank while sharing the knowledge they have with their peers and customers, the responses of the employees were as follows:
Table 5.2: Showing the Preference of Employees in terms of Barrier to Knowledge Management programmes
As shown above in the table, the employees of the banks in Saudi Arabia have stated the lack of time is the most important barrier to the knowledge sharing processes. Out of a total of 51 responses received from the employees of the banks, 23 respondents have replied that lack of time is their prime problem due to which they are not able to take part into knowledge management programmes and this is due to bank employees overloaded with their routine work and so do notobtainsufficient time for knowledge management processes.
The second response which was given by the employees of the bank for not taking part in knowledge management programme was the unsupportive upper management. The programmes like knowledge management which are of utter importance should be well understood by the management of the bank so that they can support their employees in taking part in knowledge management programmes.
The figure above shows the employees response for barriers which they faced in taking part in knowledge management initiatives. As without sincere efforts and commitment from the upper management of the bank, such initiatives cannot be successful. Also, the banking industry has become technology intensive recently and most banking transactions are occurring paperless. So, knowledge management programmes also require high end technology support without which banks cannot provide knowledge to its employees and customers. Therefore, some of the employees reported that lack of technical infrastructure is another reason for not participating in the knowledge management initiatives of the bank.
Knowledge Management Success Factors
The third section of the questionnaire deals with the success factor of the knowledge management process in the banking industry in Saudi Arabia. In response to the question about the factors which are essential for the banks in knowledge management implementation, respondents replied in the following manner:
Table 5.3: Showing the Success Factor for Knowledge Management Implementation
|Sr. No.||Factor accountable for knowledge management||Customers Yes No||Employees Yes No|
According to the customer and employees of the bank, workforce motivation and a reward system are the most important aspect for implementing the knowledge management process in banks. Leadership is important for implementing the knowledge management since good leadership in the bank can motivate the employees to share their knowledge with other employees and customers of the bank.
In response to the question about the importance of knowledge management culture in organisations, more than 80% of the customers agree with the fact that an organisation with the culture in which knowledge management is given importance can be proved successful in implementing the knowledge management process.
Responses from both customers as well as from employees of the bank show that culture of an organisation is very important and for an organisation to implement knowledge management, work culture is very important to have in which employees share knowledge with each other. The work environment should be such that the employees help each other and resolve issues faced by them as a team.
Unlike the culture of the bank where banks employees and customers were in favour of the fact that the culture alone can enable the knowledge management in the bank, technology alone cannot help a bank to implement the knowledge management process as technology can only enable the knowledge management process but it cannot become the root cause of the knowledge management programme of the banks. Hence, the knowledge management programme needs to be backed up by strong commitment from the management of the bank and its employees as well.
In response to the question about the role of leadership in knowledge management implementation in banks in Saudi Arabia, respondents were fairly optimistic about the leadership factor since a proper leader takes the initiative to implement the knowledge management process in the banking industry resulting in ease whilst implementing the knowledge management process. This can assist other enablers of the knowledge management process to follow once the upper management of the bank is determined on the knowledge management process implementation.
The responses of respondents for leadership as the prime factor for the knowledge management process are as shown in the figure above. The figure shows that the respondents have given prime importance to leadership management which enables the knowledge management process in the bank in Saudi Arabia.