A Knowledge Management Framework for Enhancing Public Sector Performance: The case of United Arab Emirates
MetadataShow full item record
Organizations are increasingly beginning to consider the knowledge they possess as a strategic asset, and as a result, knowledge management (KM) as an academic and practice-based discipline has developed significantly over the past two decades. However, despite this progress, the application of findings in KM studies to the public sector vis-à-vis the private sector has been somewhat limited. This could be attributed to a lack of comprehensive studies in this specific domain. As a result of this general lack of understanding of KM in the public sector, certain countries, especially those in the Middle East who are trying to shift toward a knowledge-based economy from an oil-based economy in the wake of declining oil prices, are finding it hard to effectively implement KM practices. This issue forms the motivation of this thesis, which aims to develop, validate, and apply a comprehensive multi-dimensional KM framework through a systematic investigation of all of the various aspects required for both effective and efficient implementation of KM practices in the public sector. A comprehensive KM assessment framework consisting of sixteen constructs and their underlying factors across the four key areas of knowledge management—namely, enablers, barriers, KM practices, and firm performance—was developed through an extensive literature review. Using nation-wide data collected through a structured questionnaire administered in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) public sector, the KM framework was validated, and the relevance and appropriateness of each construct and its underlying factors, along with the hypothesized relationships between the constructs, were assessed. The findings confirm the validity and reliability of the constructs and their underlying factors as well as the assessment framework. In general, the implementation of KM practices has had a positive impact on the innovative capacity, service quality, and operational performance of the UAE public sector, while the extent of the KM practices implemented appears to depend upon the relative impact of the enablers and barriers. This study fills a gap in the literature concerning the application and implementation a KM framework within the public sector, and therefore significantly contributes toward theoretical advancement in the field. The findings provide practitioners, policy-makers, and public sector firms in both the UAE and elsewhere with all of the key insights required for the effective and efficient implementation of KM practices in the public sector. Moreover, an empirical investigation on this scale has not yet been undertaken previously in the general Middle East region, let alone in the UAE, and hence constitutes the novelty of this work.