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Organizational Culture Impact on Knowledge Exchange: Saudi Telecom Context

Dr. Raid. M. Al-Adaileh Assistant Prof. Management Information Systems Department of management information systems Faculty of Business – Mutah University/ Jordan B.O.Box (7) - postal code 61710 Tel: 00962 777526396

Muawad S. Al-Atawi Saudi Telecom Tel: 00966506580856

Organizational Culture Impact on Knowledge Exchange: Saudi Telecom Context Abstract Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of some organizational culture attributes including: openness to change, innovation, trust, teamwork, morale, information flow, employee’s involvement, supervision, customer service and Reward orientation on Knowledge Exchange (KE) process within the context of Saudi Telecom Company (STC) as a representation of the Saudi context. Design/methodology/approach A descriptive correlation design was used. A web survey used to collect data from 378 employees working on STC using Random Number Generator 0.2 software. The sample was selected using emailing list. Findings The findings revealed that cultural attribute of trust, innovation, information flow, supervision, and Reward have an impact on KE within the context of STC. Additionally, the study revealed a statistically significant correlation between organizational culture and KE as whole (0.75), which emphasizes the effective role of organizational culture factors on exchanging of knowledge within the context of the study. Research limitations/implications This study presents only preliminary results from limited data. Additional quantitative data is needed to employ more superior statistical analysis. Moreover, the current study is exploratory in nature with relatively small number of respondents from STC. Originality/value The originality of this study is derived from the importance of KM as a strategic organizational tool as well as the importance of culture as an influential factor. STC, one of the biggest companies in the middle east, is trying to implement aspect of KM. Towards this end, the company has created a new division of KM which is suffering the lack of research studies that explore issues relating to KM in Arab countries in general and Saudi context in particular which makes the topic of this research not only unique but also of high practical implications Keywords: Knowledge management, Exchange, culture, Saudi context




Knowledge Management (KM) focuses on connecting people, processes and technology for the purpose of leveraging corporate knowledge (Buckman, 2004). To make the knowledge valuable for an organization, it has to be exchanged, distributed and shared among members of an organization (Supar et al., 2005). Knowledge Exchange (KE) is the core of KM as noted by many researchers (Leidner and Alavi, 2006; Davenport and Prusak, 2000; Zack, 1999; Senge, 1990). Recently, there is an increasing emphasis on studying the factors that might affect KE in public and private sectors (Zhang et al., 2006; Leidner and Alavi, 2006). Many studies that explored KM issues proposed that corporate culture can play a key role in supporting or hindering successful application of knowledge sharing and exchanging (Rhodes et al., 2008; Zhang et al., 2006; Leidner and Alavi, 2006; Kim and Lee, 2006; Chong and Choi, 2005; Akamavi and Kimble, 2005; Lucas, 2005; Park et al., 2004; Wang and Rubenstein, 2003; Ladd and Ward, 2002; Faraj and Wasko, 2001). Since the areas of KM and KE are relatively new area of research within the context of Arab countries in general and Saudi context in particular, and based on the findings of the previous studies in developed countries, this research explored some cultural factors and their impact on KE as a key KM process. These cultural factors include: openness to change, innovation, teamwork, morale, information flow, employee’s involvement, supervision, customer service, trust and reward...
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