THE IMPACT OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN THE PERFORMANCE OF COMMERCIAL BANKS IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF GUARANTY TRUST BANK

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • 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

 

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