1.1 Background to the Study
Presently, the term “knowledge” has become a greater extent to a precious asset in all nations, and it can be considered as the cornerstone for the contemporary economies, since knowledge represents the key weapon to gain competitiveness for most businesses in the market. On the other hand, the fundamentals and conventional basis of production (capital, labour and land) have become less important compared with the power of knowledge as being the main resource for the modern economy (Drucker, 1993). For decades, the concept of knowledge management (KM) has been extensively practiced by many organizations as major and efficient tool to attain success. According to Slavkovic and Babic (2013) applying knowledge management systems in organizations can establish long-term competitive advantage, achieve superior performance and a better rates of overall country’s economy and social progress. Furthermore, business leaders in internal marketing (IM) and human resource management (HRM) have been asserted the vital role of leveraging knowledge between employees as key mean to make sure that employees are doing their daily tasks mentally and emotionally rather than only physically (Bedarkar and Pandita, 2014). Likewise, running KM within organizations can enhance their competencies of acquisition, sorting and transferring of timely and accurate information to support their overall business information system, improve the effectiveness of decision making process and at the end of the day enhance performance (Lo and Chin, 2009).
However, despite the fact that the manufacturing sector in Nigeria considers mainly as a core financial system; it seems as one of the most spirited and essential economical sectors in Nigeria, by contributing to gross domestic product (GDP). Nevertheless, the importance of this sector is not only noticeable by its considerable contribution to (GDP); but also by being one of leading employers within the sector, making it a main pillar and a key driver of the Nigerian economy.
In view of the fact that Nigerian manufacturing sector is consider somehow developed industry, and aims continuously to cope up with latest global trends in order to introduce innovative services that are consistent with customers changing needs and wants; unfortunately industries still focus only around how to utilize their tangible resources, with the intention of increase sales, market share and achieve branding goals. For this reason, manufacturing industries in Nigeria might invest more in their human resource, as being actually the first customers to be satisfied, as well as they represents the foundation stone for establishing and practicing different types of knowledge management systems. However, the knowledge management concepts is still in evolution and preliminary stages in Nigerian industries, and not strongly recognized by decision makers within the manufacturing sector, because they have no clear paradigm of knowledge management techniques, how it works and how they can extremely benefit from these techniques in building knowledgeable staff and win them as loyal and committed employees in the future. Based on the researchers best knowledge; there is no studies investigated the role of knowledge management in building brand commitment from employees perspective, and most conducted to date have shown a positive impact of knowledge management on various organizational outcomes, these studies have established a link between knowledge management and innovativeness (Carneiro, 2000), KM and value creation for customers (Schiuma et al., 2007), organizational effectiveness (Zack et al., 2009), and business performance (Liao, 2011). Consequently, this research is essentially an attempt to investigate the role of knowledge management and employee commitment of manufacturing companies in Rivers State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Organizations are viewing knowledge as the most valuable and strategic resource; they are well aware that in order to remain competitive for long, they must extensively manage this resource (Zack 1999). According to that, organization has to enhance its Knowledge Management practices (Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Storage, Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Application) and any gap in these practices will affect the organization performance and will have an impact on its productivity, profitability and improvements. Therefore, knowledge Management can be considered as the most important function on organization performance. Kaplan and Nortan (1992) found a way of describing, implementing and managing strategy at different levels. This tool is used to measure employee commitment, organizational performance according to financial, customer, internal business process as well as organization learning. And by using this tool; organization can encourage and reward employees in achieving the organization's long-term goals. Rod Mack (general manager in US west Inc. in Denver) said that the Balanced Scorecard model can clarify roles and expectations at all corporate levels (Robin 2000).
1.3 Research Objectives
The study has both general objective and specific objectives. The general objective or main objective of this study is to investigate the role of knowledge management and employee commitment of manufacturing companies in Rivers State. The specific objectives are:
i) To examine the importance of knowledge management in the manufacturing companies
ii) To establish the problems/issues with knowledge management in the manufacturing companies
iii) To study organizational commitment and patterns in the manufacturing companies
1.4 Research Questions
The following are some of the questions which this study intends to answer:
i) What is the importance of knowledge management in the manufacturing companies?
ii) What are the problems/issues with knowledge management in the manufacturing companies?
iii) What are the organizational commitment and patterns in the manufacturing companies?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following will be the research hypotheses to be tested for this study
i) There is a significant relationship between knowledge management and organizational performance.
ii) There is a significant correlation between knowledge management and employee commitment
1.6 Significance of the Study
Organizations are facing different environmental challenges and they attempt to achieve their goals through improving their Knowledge Management which has a definite impact on the organization’s success, profitability and market share. Therefore, it is important to encourage organizations to develop and establish a self-evaluation system that may be used in monitoring and measuring their performance. The researcher did not find any work mainstreamed to the relationship between Knowledge Management and employee commitment. In addition to that Performance Measurement used in all hospitals is still based on financial measures including monthly and annual reports that focus only on what happened in the past and it does not provide a holistic view on customer, internal process and learning. Thus, this study aims to find out the impact of knowledge management and employee commitment of manufacturing companies in Rivers State.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on the impact of knowledge management and employee commitment of manufacturing companies in Rivers State and therefore the study area shall be Rivers State. This will make the work quicker and faster.
1.8 Limitation of the study
This study faced limitation that need to be taken into consideration. Apart from the obvious time limit and the delicate subject matter, there were issues that arose from the methodological choices applied to the study. Some respondents were not willing to disclose accurate information needed for the validity of the study.