Knowledge sharing initiatives in local authorities in Malaysia
, PhD thesis, University of Salford.
This research investigates the knowledge sharing initiatives in local authorities in Malaysia. It focuses on to what extent knowledge sharing initiatives impact on the planning permission process and how best this impact can be conceptually modelled and presented for the purpose of improving the process. The aim of this research is to establish the significance of knowledge sharing initiatives in the planning permission process and to develop guidance in this regard for local authorities in Malaysia with a view to improving the process. The needs of this research arise due to the importance and the rapid flow of information, which is transforming business processes and procedures, and resulting in the rise of a knowledge-based economy. It also responds to the government’s intention to achieve “Developed Nation” status in 2020.
Knowledge sharing initiatives are organisational approaches to manage knowledge in an organisation. In order to exploit effective knowledge sharing; the organisation has to establish the significance of knowledge sharing initiatives approaches. Nevertheless, strong demand and expectation from citizens for efficient service delivery, coupled with global challenges in the knowledge based economy have fuelled the need for government agencies to consider the effectiveness of knowledge sharing as a strategy to improve service delivery. Effective knowledge sharing initiatives have the potential to benefit local authorities in view of their role.
This research, one of the most comprehensive ever undertaken in this area, comprises interviews and distributions of questionnaires to local authorities in Malaysia. The list of local authorities was acquired from the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. The data were obtained from embedded questionnaire surveys, online survey and interviews; 103 (34.56%) data were obtained through the survey method, and 20 interviewees participated.
The research findings of this study have several implications for research into the role of knowledge sharing initiatives concerning the planning permission process. First, the nature of knowledge sharing tools and techniques in local authorities is dependent on the variety of tasks and complexity of the sub-process of the planning permission process. Second, the effectiveness, the use and exploitation of knowledge sharing tools (technologies) and techniques are dependent on the sub-process of the planning permission process and type of local authority and the resources available.
Third, the results show that there is a difference in the impact of organisational structure, culture and motivational construct in the effective sharing of knowledge in local authorities of various sizes.
Developing a model and guidance for improving the planning permission process through knowledge sharing initiatives have enable management to guide towards establishing the significance of knowledge sharing initiatives in the process of planning permission. The guidance in knowledge sharing initiatives includes the following steps: identify knowledge, gathering and finding knowledge, organising, sharing, applying and evaluating. It also gives clear responsibility to various levels of team members including top management, managerial and supporting staff in implementing knowledge sharing initiatives in the planning permission process.
There is extensive scope for more empirical studies to explore and document the issue of knowledge sharing in local authorities in Malaysia. An in-depth investigation into regional culture and its impact on knowledge sharing is needed and would lead to results of practical utility. A study on other local authorities that adopt a similar research methodology to the current study would contribute to the body of knowledge in this area.
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