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The impact of organisational change inertia on public sector knowledge practices adoption: case of UAE

Al Badi, M. S. (2018) The impact of organisational change inertia on public sector knowledge practices adoption: case of UAE. DBA thesis, Henley Business School, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00080450


Purpose: Organisational research shows that an organisation can maintain its performance and drive value by implementing knowledge management (KM) practices adoption. However, the literature also shows that organisational change inertia1 inhibits KM practices adoption within an organisation. Hence, this research thesis will empirically investigate the nature of the relationship between change inertia and KM practices adoption. It further examines if organisational culture and senior executives’ skills and capabilities moderate the impact of change inertia on KM practices adoption. The empirical study is based on an educational organisation within the UAE public sector. Methodology/approach: In order to achieve the purpose stated above, semi-structured interviews were used to gather qualitative data. Interviews participants included top- and middle-level managers from operational, management and strategic levels. The total number of participants included in the study was 17, equally representing three managerial levels of the organisation. A thematic analysis approach was used to analyse the data; the interview data was coded in (Nvivo11) qualitative data analysis computer software. Findings: The results reveal an empirical confirmation of the relationships between KM practices adoption in public sector organisations, organisational change inertia, organisational culture, and senior executives’ skills and capabilities. This study suggests that organisational culture and senior executives' skills could be an intervening mechanism between change inertia and KM practices adoption in public sector organisations. In addition, the data from the interviews suggests that integrating the KM practices requires a higher level of support from the public sector policy makers who are in charge of developing the public sector national culture, producers and policies. This will support the senior executives’ power to drive change inside the public sector organisations, and reduce change inertia and bureaucratic culture procedures. With regard to the KM practices, the researcher suggests that KM practices adoption should be assigned as one of the senior executive's responsibilities and duties. The results also highlight the importance of KM practices adoption in driving efficiency and performance. Adopting knowledge practices inside an organisation is a first step toward developing a knowledge-based organisation, which views knowledge as shared resources for all individuals in an organisation to drive organisational effectiveness. The researcher concludes, although both culture and senior executives may have an influence over the impact of change inertia to the public sector KM practices adoption, this influence remains limited without any real commitment towards developing a national culture at the higher level of the government in order to foster change of culture towards knowledge-based organisations. Research contributions: The study results provide new insights into the relationships between the various study constraints. The research contributions were evident in both the managerial and theoretical contributions. By applying these models to appropriate field situations, both practitioners and academics may be able to improve current practices relating to how knowledge is adopted within public sector organisations. Finally, like any other research undertaking, this study identified a list of limitations related to sample size, study settings and the range of the variables covered in the study.

Item Type:Thesis (DBA)
Thesis Supervisor:Narula, R. and Ashok, M.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School
ID Code:80450


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