How to Evaluate the Success of Organizational Knowledge Management in Hotels?
By Mostafa Sayyadi Management Consultant, The Change Leader Consulting Inc | August 25, 2019
Hotel executives evaluate the success of knowledge management. With a clear understanding of knowledge management success, hotel executives can make more effective managerial decisions. Knowledge management success has been evaluated from various perspectives. This variation may be differ because knowledge management is understood in many different ways and therefore different scholars focus on different aspects of it and offer several options of managerial application. These perspectives are discussed below.
Taking an Executive Technological Perspective
Hotel executives know that they can take a technological perspective. In this case, the hotel executive understands how knowledge management as facilitating organizational processes and activities uses information technology to organize existing information. Hotel executives have found that knowledge management embraces information technology to convert individual knowledge into valuable resources for their hotel.
Information technology enables hotels to overcome space constraints in communication, and promotes the depth and range of knowledge access and sharing within hotels. More specifically, information technology can be employed to enhance the conversations and knowledge exchanges between organizational members.
Taking an Economic Perspective
Knowledge is a by-product of culture's role in guiding and facilitating people's action to executive decision-making. Hotel executives see knowledge management as a set of activities and processes aimed at creating value through generating and applying intellectual capital. Hotel executives direct practices that create value from intangible organizational resources. For hotel executives, it is clear that the objective of managing knowledge is to add value to hotels. The focus here is that hotel executives consider the fact a hotel's knowledge is positively associated with its outcomes.
Taking a Process Perspective
The process perspective focuses on knowledge flows that hotel executives use through embracing the processes of knowledge management for strategic management decision-making. Managing knowledge is not anything new. Scholars have considered the various processes involved. A good example of this, hotel executives can look at three step processes of knowledge accumulation, integration, and reconfiguration. This model for managing knowledge takes a strategic process oriented approach and is relevant to executive leadership. Hotel executives build a climate of openness for individuals to exchange ideas.
Knowledge is accumulated by creating new approach to gathering, evaluating, and disseminating information throughout the hotels. Hotel executives inspire people to create new ideas and develop effective mechanisms to acquire knowledge from various sources such as suppliers, customers, business partners, and competitors. This is similar to a value-chain approach. Hotel executives need to first support this approach for the model to work because they play a strategic role in expanding the knowledge accumulation through applying incentives as mechanisms to develop a more innovative climate and managing effective tools to acquire knowledge from external sources.
Hotel executives then integrate knowledge internally to enhance the effectiveness and efficiencies in various systems and processes, as well as to be more responsive to market changes. Accumulated knowledge is synthesized to produce higher quality outcomes. Thus, knowledge integration focuses on monitoring and controlling knowledge management practices, evaluating the effectiveness of current knowledge, defining and recognizing core knowledge areas, coordinating expert opinions, sharing organizational knowledge, and scanning for new knowledge to keep the quality of their services continuously improving.
Hotel executives can promote knowledge integration by creating expert groups or steering committees to enhance knowledge quality and evaluate knowledge assets. Follower's diversity of skills and interpersonal relations that is based on trust and reciprocity can improve the performance of group cohesiveness. Therefore, in the process of knowledge integration, knowledge enters organizational processes and provides valuable contributions to services.
Hotel executives as leaders steering the knowledge management strategy facilitate this process, by undertaking initiatives that improve knowledge transfer, thus enhancing the performance of employees and the implementation of effective changes to maintain the quality of services. The burden of success when effective implementation of knowledge integration is concerned is heavily dependent on the capabilities of the hotel's executives.
Hotel executives must also curtail the knowledge within hotels. This knowledge needs to be reconfigured to meet environmental changes and new challenges and at the same time should not be leaked to the competition in any shape or form unless agreed upon by hotel executives. When hotel executives agree to share knowledge with other organizations in the environment, studies have shown that that knowledge is often difficult to share externally. One reason is that other organizations have too much pride to accept knowledge or are apprehensive to expose themselves to the competition. Therefore, hotel executives may lack the required capabilities to interact with other organizations , or distrust sharing their knowledge.
In addition, just the notion of creating an expert group or steering committee may be shortsighted because such groups may not have sufficient diversity to comprehend knowledge acquired from external sources. On the other hand, hotel executives are aware of networking with business partners is a key activity for hotels to enhance knowledge exchange. Networking is a critical concern for hotel executives in this process is developing alliances with partners in external environments. Hotel executives and their expert groups and/or steering committees are the ones who can make final decisions about developing alliances with business partners. Figure 1 depicts this model of knowledge management.
Knowledge Management and Firm Performance: How Are They Linked?
The key function of knowledge is to help hotel executives use it for organizational performance. The question lies in how to maintain it, store it, retrieve it, and protect it. This has been a focal point of hotels since the hotel was first initiated and will always be an ongoing issue for hotel executives. For example, knowledge creation and utilization is pertinent to a hotel's success.
Thus, hotel executives create new ideas and knowledge for innovation and to motivate employees to solve their current problems in a more innovative manner. The acquisition of new knowledge is an ongoing process and can be essential to identify the needs of customers and recognize changes in the business environment.
In knowledge integration, the accumulated knowledge is shared and synthesized with an aim to providing higher quality services. This can improve financial and non-financial performance in various metrics such as the customer focus, the quality of services, and the organizational revenue. Shared knowledge can contribute to the development of a learning organization in which people continuously grow and develop both personally and professionally.
Finally, the integrated knowledge is reconfigured to meet new challenges and environmental changes as they occur. Therefore, knowledge reconfiguration enables hotels to actively respond to environmental changes through developing interactions and awareness from the external environment. Knowledge is a significant indicator for improving organizational performance. Knowledge management processes can, therefore, improve financial and non-financial performance through increased sales, customer satisfaction, learning opportunities, innovation, and the quality of services.
Key Lessons for Hotel Executives
Many hotel executives are familiar with knowledge management surveys developed by scholars and this article is about getting the information needed to be successful in the right hands of hotel executives worldwide. Some scholars emphasize that knowledge management is tantamount to organizational performance. Knowledge management has been a focal point of executive span of control but has not been investigated enough to make it an integral part of organizational performance.
This article introduces an applicable model to measure knowledge management and its impact on organizational performance in hotels. I place a great deal of emphasis on the literature on knowledge management as a significant indicator for the hotel's organizational performance. I found that knowledge management leverages positive effects on organizational performance in hotels. This article also adds to a relatively small body of literature but pays homage to the scholarly contributions. Insufficient consideration of the impact of knowledge management on the hotel's organizational performance has been exposed and I attempt to address this concern for the first time.
For example, no published articles or books have explored how knowledge management practices impact on organizational performance in hotels to this extent. Thus, for hotel executives, this article can portray a more detailed picture of the effects of knowledge management on organizational performance that have been mentioned but not placed in a model in the past. Also, I highlight the indirect contribution of hotel executives in improving organizational outcomes by facilitating knowledge management processes as another important component of performance.
This is the first article that actually investigates the crossover potential of scholarly research and how it can be applied in the organizational boardroom. Thus, I provide evidence that knowledge management is used in corporate infrastructure for strategic decision-making. Furthermore, I suggest that scholars take these ideas and continue to conduct research using hotel executives as the focal point so that academic scholarship can meet the needs of managerial implications at the higher echelons of hotels worldwide.
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