GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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UAE towards sustainable development: Identification of Enablers and Barriers to Effective Knowledge Management in Dubai’s public sector
Paper Proposal Text :

Knowledge management has recently emerged as an important issue in the search for sustainable performance in public and private sector entities as well as in the development and growth of GCC societies as a whole. The recent economic and institutional performance problems have triggered a serious debate about the capacity of both government entities and private sector firms to develop, incorporate and manage human capital resources in a more strategic and sustainable manner. The experiences of developed countries that implemented KM in their public and private organizations as a vehicle for nurturing “knowledge societies” found that KM is a key driver for sustainable development performance at organizational, economic, and societal levels. KM has been effective in addressing problems related to employee turnover, innovation, and competiveness, to name just a few.

The pursuit of sustainability as a lever for effective competitive advantage contributes substantially not only to creating strategic knowledge, but also to preserving, documenting and disseminating it. The success or failure of KM is primarily contingent on the availability or absence of numerous factors. Developing the right human capital resources (knowledge, skills, and abilities) and providing the appropriate incentive structures, following systematic processes and nurturing cooperative organizational culture are among the main ingredients for KM success. This paper assesses the performance of KM in Dubai’s public sector by identifying and evaluating a set of drivers and barriers to effective KM. It applied a framework developed by Holsapple and Joshi (2000) to explore to what extent the current orientations and practices of Dubai’s public organizations amount to effective implementation and institutionalization of KM.

The paper provides a set of recommendations professionals responsible for KM to steer their attention and efforts to the pitfalls and opportunities associated with their current programs and cure them.

This paper relies on primary data that have been collected from Dubai’s government agencies. First, semi structured and in-depth interviews were conducted in several major agencies including Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Dubai Courts, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), Road and Transportation Authority (RTA), and Dubai Police. Second, a comprehensive survey tool was developed and administered to all government entities in Dubai with a response rate of 66%. 19 (out of 29) organizations filled out the survey including those which had been previously interviewed. This is the first time a study on knowledge management with such magnitude was conducted in Dubai and the UAE.