Critical Success Factors for Effective Knowledge Management In Corporate Sector (Pakistan)
The 21st century recognized the potential benefits of knowledge as a valuable strategic asset. Knowledge management (KM) is the field that helps in management of this strategic asset for competitive advantage. Various factors contribute to KM effectiveness.
This study explores the critical success factors (CSFs) and develops a model for effective KM. Data were collected from various energy sector organizations, because this sector is ahead of other sectors in initiating KM. To date no empirical research has been done in the field of CSF for KM in Pakistan. Literature reveals that no agreement exists among scholars regarding CSF.
Based on the literature review, human resource, technology infrastructure, organizational structure, organizational culture, and top management support and leadership were identified as critical success factors. Since this study is concerned with analysis of KM effectiveness, organizations that may have implemented KM were selected. In response to 225 questionnaires 130 were returned out of which 124 were valid. Multiple regression analysis method was used to test 14 hypotheses. Results indicate that all factors are significantly affecting KM effectiveness. These factors would provide greater insight in understanding KM effectiveness.
This study indicates that KM needs a comprehensive approach with strategic attention to various social and technical factors, as the investment in knowledge and learning related activities needs considerable time to pay off. This study also reinforces the past findings and increases the awareness about the use of KM to gain competitive advantage in Pakistani corporate sector.
An Exploration of Active Listening Skills in Medical Doctors
An exploratory study was conducted to assess the active listening skills of medical doctors working in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
One hundred and fifty three medical doctors were included in the study. Self perception of their active listening skills was first recorded, followed by a standard listening skills test developed by Kentucky University. After the test, the participants were exposed to a listening skills workshop developed by the Nanzan University, Japan, and retested by the Kentucky Comprehensive Listening Test. The data were collected and analysed.
The results revealed that 68.0% of medical doctors had a high level of self perception. The actual scores in the pre intervention listening skills test showed 56.9% of the medical doctors to possess high listening skills. After the listening skills workshop, the number of medical doctors having high level of listening skills rose to 59.5%. A strong association was found between self perception and ethnicity and type of practice of the medical doctors. Similarly strong association was witnessed between the actual active listening of medical doctors and many of the independent variables.
The Short Term Listening improved from 59.5% to 62.7%, and Short Term Listening with Rehearsal from 56.9% to 63.4% after the intervention. However, Short Term Listening with Distraction decreased from 55.6% to 51.6%, and Listening with Comprehension from 58.8% to 55.6% in the post intervention case. Strong association was visible between the components of listening test and the many of the independent variables.
In light of the findings of the study, it is recommended that medical doctors need to improve their communication skills especially active listening skills. This requires incorporation of active listening skills training in their curriculum.
Developing a Framework for Effective IT Project Management and Best HR Practices
The existing framework of Project Management advises project managers to exercise nine knowledge areas. These are management of the project's Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, HR, Communication, Procurement, Risk and Integration. It suggests entertaining these nine knowledge areas in five processes that are initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing the project. The knowledge on HR Management (HRM) declares fourteen functions that this study identified applicable to Project Management. The literature stresses that managing all these knowledge areas determines project's outcome. The literature further indicates that nine knowledge areas are not equal in priority and HRM is not given the needful precedence. The study perceived that it is not pragmatic for a project manager to perform the nine knowledge areas and all the applicable functions of HRM efficiently.
From January 2005 to January 2008, this study discovered that in the IT industry of Islamabad — Rawalpindi, Pakistan, project managers were assigned neither all the nine knowledge areas nor all the applicable functions of HRM. The study observed that projects suffered where HRM was underestimated. Can the quality in practice of HRM make or break projects? If yes, what minimum functions of HRM should be assigned to a project manager to benefit projects? Further, how can the project manager's role for precise number of knowledge areas be defined? The study assumed that precise and well-defined role of a project manager in terms of the nine knowledge areas and HRM can make the existing framework for Project Management more adoptable. For this purpose integrating the literature and the real practices in the selected IT industry this study identified and selected five FIRM functions as independent variables (IVs) keeping project result as dependent variable (DV). The IVs include selecting right person, assigning workload, setting timelines, communication and monitoring performance.
This study hypothesized that the result of specific IT/Telecom project is correlated with and regressed by the quality in the practice of the mentioned HRM functions. Utilizing a valid and reliable instrument the study collected data for a stratified sample of 70 heterogeneous IT/Telecom projects from the selected 24 IT/Telecom organizations. Employing frequency & descriptive statistics, Pearson's correlations, regression and PLS regression the analyses were conducted. All the selected IVs were found correlated with project result. Individually no 1V regressed project result but collectively they all regressed the DV.
The study substantiated its hypotheses based on results of regression and PLS regression. It inferred that good quality, practice of all the selected HR functions paves success for 1T/Telecom project while their substandard practice will lead project to suffering. The conclusion of the study is applicable on the IT projects of large scope and team size with well-defined type provided all the other knowledge areas for project management are exercised with necessary equilibrium. Based on results this study declares that a project manager should perform at least these five functions of HRM.
The study designed templates to help project managers performing these HR functions. The mentioned results and findings from the IT industry about the knowledge areas enabled this study reshaping the existing framework for Project Management. It contributes that project manager better be set responsible only for the management of scope, time, cost, HR and communication for projects while quality, risk and procurement for projects better be managed at organization level. Project manager should consider HRM, Communication and technology the driving tools for managing other knowledge areas.
Training Needs Assessment: Its Impact on Improvement of Human Productivity in Pharmaceutical Organizations of Pakistan
Purpose of this research was to analyze the opinions of salespeople about TNA along with concentrating on studying the current TNA practices; to study relationship between TNA and human productivity of medical representatives; to study the segregation of training and non-training needs.
Survey questionnaires were designed and pre-tested. The study was carried out by taking a sample of size 292 medical representatives and 60 training/sales managers working with 32 pharmaceutical organizations of Pakistan. In addition, a semi-structured questionnaire was designed to interview 53 doctors. Data were processed in MS Excel and analyzed in SPSS.
Results supported the TNA-HP model by showing direct impact of TNA on HP i.e. TNA explained 36% of variation in HP. In addition, TNA and human productivity were found correlated directly and through training and KSA. TNA was found essential for goal setting; medical representatives to be acclimatized with adopting new sales approaches, techniques and procedures; arousing learning motivation of trainees. TNA was found instrumental to help reduce training cost and to identify cost of training. Segregating training and non-training needs was found helpful for attaining cost effectiveness of a training program. Results also revealed significant difference among average opinions of training/sales managers while responding to six different situations of Prokopenko and Kubr model.
HRD Practices in the Federal Government Project Management System in Pakistan: An Empirical Analysis
This study has explored the training and development practices and investigates the dynamics of human behaviour in public sector projects in Pakistan, with a view to identifying gaps in such practices and synthesizing a framework for facilitating improvement in capacity building interventions in the projects. A semi-structured questionnaire was designed and pre-tested. The study was carried out by taking a sample size of 115 projects. Data was processed and analysed in SPSS. The results indicate that there is a higher degree of training inadequacy in the project organizations.
The study has identified several reasons for inadequacy of training, like ‘workload does not permit’, ‘training is not a priority of top management’ and ‘lack of appropriate training opportunities’. Findings reveal that practice of evaluation of training interventions is almost non-existent in most of the project organizations. The present study has extended the work of Kunder and developed a model for measuring the level of ineffectiveness of training in organizations. Results indicate that training and development practices in public sector projects in Pakistan are ineffective.
Organizational Culture and its Impact on Organizational Performance
Organizational culture has a definite bearing on organization performance and facilitates employees to become valuable elements within the system. This study illustrates the dimension of organizational culture and evaluates its impact on organization performance with respect to the demographic profiles. A sample of 278 individuals, working in eight different organizations, was selected. Questionnaires, comprising four parts, were sent directly to the targeted segments.
The first set of nine questions pertained to personal and organization profiles; second part consisted of sixty questions, based on the Denison organizational culture survey concerning Involvement, Consistency, Adaptability & Mission, and the last part related to eight questions on organization performance.
The study shows that organizational culture dimensions, such as Involvement, Consistency and Mission have positive impact on organization performance while Adaptability borders around negative region. Organization performance enhances 69.5 % due to organizational culture. Furthermore, organization performance amplifies between the ranges of 07 percent and 39 percent, due to Involvement, Consistency and Mission but organization performance trims down by 06 percent due to Adaptability. The overall, model is significant (p<0.05) and organizational culture has strong linkage with the organization performance, though with varying levels in different demographic profiles i.e. age groups, education levels, management levels, experiences, organization sizes, organization status, and languages in different organizations.
The study highlights that organizational culture is a vital ingredient in the success of an organization. Core organizational culture typically emphasizes special themes such as performance excellence, effective integration, workers' involvement and orientation towards organizational objectives.
An Analytical Study of Human Resource Development Through In-Service Teaching Training and Development
The quality education is the hallmark for the growth of a nation which is contingent upon the quality of teachers who sustain the environment where this manpower is shaped and in due course emerges as a reckonable force. Thus the requirement to prepare and train teachers becomes a vital need for a country to develop its human resource. Modern times dictate that educational measures be conceived, planned and implemented wholesomely and in totality. It is in this regard that the two fields of Human Resource Development (HRD) and education blend to evolve a sustainable system of teaching and training, targeting the objectives of quality education.
Focused on the importance of training of teachers, the researcher selected a newly developed in-service teacher training programme which was implemented under Education Sector Reform (ESR) programme in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) from year 2001-2005. Federal Directorate of Education (FDE), in the beginning established a teacher training cell for its institutions in the rural and urban areas of Islamabad. The present research is an evaluation of an in-service teacher training programme developed for the teachers of primary and secondary school level. During 05 years, in-service training continued at FDE, adding maturity and growth to the programme. For the data of the thesis a sample of 300 was picked up which comprised 50 Policy Makers, Planners, Administrators, Resource Centre Coordinators and Heads of Institutions, 50 Master Trainers, Resource Persons of both genders and the third group of 200 Elementary and Secondary Trained Teachers.
The tools of research are questionnaires, documents and open-ended discussion session. The research objectives are focused on the analysis of contents, duration and schedule of training programme, strengths and weaknesses and the problems faced by trainers, trainees and administrators for the three stages of pre-, during and post training periods. The data collected through the questionnaires is analyzed by using statistical techniques. Central tendency was used as descriptive statistics whereas chi-square was used as inferential statistics.
The main results of the study in terms of strengths are continuous professional development, training based on TNA, willingness of participation, use of audio-visual aids and availability of information and resources at the centres. The weaknesses analyzed highlighted selection procedure for training, training objectives, follow-up plans, contradictions of assessment and perceptions at different levels. The researcher also made an effort to prepare a research based model on in-service education for teachers (INSET) through the present study with strong recommendations of making in-service teacher training a well structured system and linking in-service training with career progression etc. to contribute towards an indigenous teacher training programme. Thus blending the precepts of HRD for training of human resource, a teacher will not only emerge as a manager of learning but will cultivate a student centered approach in the classroom enabling his students to become in dependent learners.
Challenges of Human Resource Development to Pace with Globalization
Purpose of this investigation is to study the Challenges of Human Resource Development to pace with globalization. A study of this kind would highlight the dimensions, which can be manipulated to upgrade the human resource development in teacher educators working in institutes of teacher education to pace with global threats. This may also help in planning the resources to be tapped and utilized in its optimum level.
The present study aimed at identifying certain variables related to human resource development in teacher educators' working in institutes of teacher’s education. Study determines the effect of human resource development climate, performance appraisal, induction in-service education and training needs of teacher educator with impact of gender, experience, age-wise difference, organizational difference, working in unisex or co-education, service stature difference. Population of the study was teacher educators working in the eleven institutes of teacher education in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Two hundred twenty three, male and female teacher educators responded to the researcher's questionnaire. Instrument used for data collection was HRDC, PERAP, INS and training needs assessment, questionnaire adapted through Nooljahe.n N, Ganihar. Researcher used it after getting the formal permission.
The demographic portion of the instrument was developed by the researcher to sort out the demographic information. In total thirty one hypotheses were developed. To explore difference between the means of two group’s t-test was applied. One way ANOVA and post hoc LSD were used for exploring the difference among more than two groups. Major findings of the study revealed, that gender wise, experience wise, age-wise difference, organizational difference, working in unisex or co-education, service stature difference have a significant impact on the variables HRDC, PERAP, INS and training needs. Furthermore a significant relation among the variables HRDC, PERAP, INS and training needs was determined.
Human Resource Development Through Foreign Aided Projects in Azad Kashmir
This study presents an analysis of the impact of training (capacity development) through three foreign aided project in AJK. For that purpose a customized set of capacity domains was developed using standard analysis tools devised and used by UNDP against whom the change due to trainings will be measured. The variables of the model are Relevance, Performance, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Sustainability, and Community Participation.
The study is theoretical as well as statistical in nature. The statistical estimates and analysis are based on a data set of various surveys and scheduled interviews. The study concludes that although trainings for the extension workers and master trainers were relevant and efficient but they couldn't provide desired results as these workers couldn't pass on the knowledge gained to the ultimate beneficiaries of the project.
This study identifies some inherent flaws and exclusion of some important factors which rendered the trainings less effective. Sustainability and community participation were the weaker areas of the project and created some negative effects.
The analysis also includes recommendations for more prudent future policy making of such projects. This research study is first of its kind for the Azad Kashmir. This will help not only in presenting an overview of lessons learnt, strengths and weaknesses of the foreign aided projects. But will serve as data base for short term and long term planning and future research.
Impact of Capacity Building Interventions Towards Employee Development in the Garments and Apparel Organizations of Pakistan
This research attempts to assess the impact of Capacity Building Interventions towards Employee Development in the G&A organizations of Pakistan on the basis of opinions of their Chief Executive Officers (CEOs).
A survey questionnaire was designed and pre-tested. The study was carried out by taking a sample of size 105 CEOs of G&A organizations located in five districts of Pakistan.
Results supported the CBIs-ED model by showing significant impact of Capacity Building Interventions on Employee Development. Several multiple regression models were used to refine and increase the accuracy of results of six explanatory variables of Capacity Building Interventions to confirm their relationship and impact on the response variable of Employee Development. Overall, the explanatory variable of Training in General explained the highest variation in the response variable of Employee Development followed by variables of Skills, Knowledge, ICT and Technical and Vocational Education. However, the variable of Transfer of Information explained very small variation in the dependent variable. In addition, ANOVA and Post Hoc analysis were carried out to analyze the opinions of CEOs to ascertain differences in CBIs implementations in relation to size and location of G&A organizations.
The result revealed that small G&A organizations were laggards vis-à-vis implementation of CBIs, whereas medium and large were having CBIs as they perceived them to be significant.
Industrial Relations: Role of Labor Unions in Organizational Climate in Pakistan's Perspective
Purpose of this research was to explore the aspects of HRD beyond education and training, and to explore the role of labor unions in HRD by looking at the improvement in productivity and harmony at work place due to them. For this purpose, survey questionnaires on five point Likert scale ranging from very unsatisfied to very satisfied were designed and pre-tested.
The study was carried out by taking a sample of 10 unionized organizations. In these organizations, 525 unionized workers, 90 temporary non-unionized workers and employers were interviewed to collect information on role of labor unions in securing benefits for workers and motivating them for higher productivity and peace at work place. Performance of unions was estimated in two aspects. One aspect was their success in securing benefits for workers and other was in protecting the interest of employers. The success of unions' in exerting efforts for securing benefits for workers was measured by satisfaction of workers which was dependent on 15 variables i.e. wage rise, fringe benefits, job security, time decrease, health facilities, children education, over time payment, working conditions, leaves increase, post retirement benefits, recreation facilities, training opportunities, decrease of wage differences, informing workers about their rights and workers' education. The success of unions' in exerting efforts for protecting employers' interest was measured by satisfaction of employers which was dependent on two variables i.e. productivity increase and work place harmony.
The results of the study show that unions proved successful in securing benefits for workers and protecting the interest of employers though performance of unions needs to be improved by exerting more efforts.
Influence of Organizational Work Environment on Transfer of Training in Banking Sector
The primary objective of the research was to determine the influence of Organizational Work Environment (OWE) on transfer of knowledge and skills learnt during training; a phenomenon widely quoted in HR literature as Transfer of Training (TOT). To this end, the researcher initially identified eight elements constituting work environment of banks in Pakistan. Subsequently, the magnitude of influence of each constituent element of transfer of training in 12 important functional areas of banking operations was analyzed. After identifying the problem area, low level of transfer, variable of primary interest was discerned as the influence of workplace environment on transfer. Hypotheses were formulated on the basis of previous researches and a hypothetico-deductive method of research was followed.
The instrument of data collection was a questionnaire comprising 71 items which measured perception of respondents about the level of eight supports (management support, peer support, resource support, technological support, budget support, opportunity to perform, workload, and religiosity) available to them in the work environment. Besides, the questionnaire measured perception about degree of Transfer of Training in 12 most important areas of banking operations. Sample size of this research consisted of 237 bank officers of 29 banks with 357 branches located in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The results were reconfirmed by the help of another survey questionnaire based on Model of Transfer through Learning Process.
Data was collected by mail as well as through personal contacts. A pilot test was conducted and improvements suggested by the respondents were accordingly incorporated before launching a full scale survey. As predicted, the results confirmed a non-zero relationship between OWE & TOT. All eight OWE variables showed significant regression results and the R square value also indicated an overall 'good' model fit. Additionally, the strength of linear relationship measured by the help of Correlation Coefficient Pearson r was found to be positive at 0.01 significance level. The results of data analysis were in line with previous researches in this field.
The study brought out a number of important findings which necessitated formulation of HR initiatives for bringing about tangible improvement in OWE at banks that will eventually enhance levels of transfer: the major objective of training programs.
International Trade challenges and opportunities for Pakistan Cotton-Textile Apparel Sector
The purpose of this research was to provide a comprehensive analysis of international trade in order to evaluate and determine the challenges it poses, and opportunities, it offers to Pakistan's Cotton, Textile and Apparel Sector. The research is based on secondary data sources. World Bank, WTO, UNCTAD, and a lot of other valuable and authentic reports from the authors of repute have been consulted to understand the increasingly complex international trade relations in a globalizing world. Volumes of government reports, position papers, handouts and books have been searched to appreciate the dynamics of Pakistan Cotton, Textile and Apparel Sector.
The research thesis endeavors to capture where the challenge is. What is at stake? Who are the players? What are the opportunities in the international market place? Flow these challenges can be translated in to opportunities? Brief account of recent trade development and the relationship between global and domestic trading arrangements have been discussed. Role of politics in shaping decisions and managing power both at domestic and global level, significance of international commitments, and influence of historical, cultural back grounds, shared ideas and beliefs, and individual mind set in competing interests in the domestic economy have also been dilated upon.
Analytical findings reveal that Pakistan has comparative edge on the basis of comparative advantage, reveal comparative advantage, relative trade advantage, and trade complementarities. The estimated value of revealed comparative advantage of cotton in Pakistan is 18 which is very high than unity which implies that Pakistan has great opportunities in the export of cotton and cotton manufacturing. Moreover, the estimated values of balasa and Lafay index for all cotton and cotton products are very high which reveal that Pakistan has trade competitiveness in the cotton and cotton manufacturing. The estimated value of relative trade index for primary products, cotton seed, cake of cotton seed and cotton linter, are positive which imply that these products are highly competitive, while oil of cotton seed and cake of cotton seed are uncompetitive.
Furthermore, the value of trade complementarities variable for USA, EU, Japan and Canada (trading countries) are greater than unity except SAARC countries. This means that trading with SAARC countries in cotton and cotton products is less profitable as compared to other countries where cotton trading is highly profitable. Still domestic resource cost analysis (DRC) proves that Pakistan has greater opportunities in cotton production. The values of reveal comparative advantage and relative trade advantage further suggest that Pakistan has greater opportunities and prospects for exporting cotton and cotton manufacturing. Similarly trade complementarities show and suggest that Pakistan should focus on Middle East market with highest trade complementarities, followed by Canada, USA, EU, SAARC countries and then Japan. Bt transgenic cotton is widely grown in the cotton growing areas of Sindh and Punjab.
But cotton can play a significant role to enhance agricultural productivity as the productivity of cotton in Pakistan is 0.5 ton/ha as compared productivity of Bt cotton in China is 9 ton/ha which implies a huge cotton productivity gap. This gap can be narrowed down by the adoption of Bt cotton in Pakistan which will have major impact on food security efforts in the country. Urgent efforts are required to focus on cost efficiency, higher productivity with quality of cotton, export diversification of cotton products, export oriented policy and market perspective to become more competitive in the global cotton market. There is also a need to strengthen the cotton - textile value chain with back ward and forward linkages. Unique products have to be developed, and a shift from comparative advantage to competitive advantage is the way forward.
Intra-Organizational Stressors in Power Wing of Water and Power Development Authority: An Empirical Study A Test of the Demands-Control-Support Model
Most of the stress theories were developed to describe reactions to "inevitable" acute stress in a work environment threatening the individual organic survival. However, the demand-control-support model (DCSM) was constructed for work environments where "stressors" are persistent, not initially life threatening, and are the products of complicated human organizational decision making process. Here, the controllability of these stressors is very important, and becomes more important as we develop ever more complex and integrated organizational system, with ever more complex personality traits of individual behavior. The DCSM (Karasek 1976 & 1979; Karasek and Theorell 1990) is based on psychosocial and physical characteristics of work environment: the psychological and physical demands of work and a combined measure of' task control through personal skills (decision latitude) and social support. Job control includes the worker's abilities and skills for coping with demands and the latitude to decide how a specific task should be accomplished. Job stress depends on the level of demands, on the worker's decision- making latitude, and on the quality of social support available from management and co-workers.
The models predict, first, stress-related strain indices, and. secondly, active/passive behavioral correlates of jobs. These models propose that worker strain and active learning are determined by particular combinations of job demands, job control and social support at workplace. Specifically, incumbents of jobs that are high in demands, low in control, and low in support are expected to show high levels of strain. Whilst incumbents of jobs that are high in all three job factors are expected to display high levels of activity, learning and participation, both on and off the job. The models also propose that prolonged exposure to combinations of these job conditions influence workers' immediate indices (job anxiety, job dissatisfaction and somatic symptoms) and remote indices (mastery. neuroticism, and employee's turnover intention and activity participation) of job strain. This thesis reports an attempt to clarify, critically evaluate, extend and test Karasek & Theorell's models.
Self-report data, as well as information obtained from Distribution Companies (DISCOs) of power wing of Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) are used to assess the independent linear, quadratic, additive and interactive effects of job factors. Study 1 is being conducted a cross-sectional design, and self-report measures of job demands, job control and job stressors to predict several indices of worker strain and performance. Study 2 was designed to ensure the authenticity of study I and thus to provide a more valid and logical proof of test of Karasek's hypothesis and models. Personality variables of employees (neuroticism, mastery) were also determined to predict the relationship with job factors and indices of job strain. In general, the results from this research confirm past findings regarding the effects of job demands, control and social support on strain.
The research makes several important contributions to practical implications to job development and jobs re-design. More practically, the research reinforces the importance of providing "control-enhancing" opportunities for employees who are facing problems to highly demanding jobs. Because the cost of stress and strain is very high for individuals (poor health, accidents, job dissatisfaction, health care expenditures), for companies or organizations (poor performance, lack of productivity, effects the quality of work, spoilage and defective work, absenteeism, medical costs, turnover, even labor conflicts and strikes), and for society (health care costs, loss of intellectual capital, low-level performance and economic competitiveness). Recommendations for future research include the need to test an expanded model using multi-wave cross-sectional designs and magnitude of multi-stressors of work environment.