The Pragmatic Relationship Between Organizational Culture and Knowledge Management: The Case of UNECA

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Addis Ababa University


The overall objective of this study is to examine the practical relationships between organizational culture and knowledge management imperatives in the context of UNECA configuration. Moreover, this research endeavored to examine the predicting impact of organizational culture on knowledge management dimensions. A cross-sectional and descriptive design; and quantitative survey method were employed for this study. Data gathering instruments such as a questionnaire and document analyses were used. An online questionnaire was distributed to 163 knowledge-workers, (working in seven offices of the Commission located across the four corners of Africa); 66 knowledge-generators; 97 knowledge-deliverers. A representative sample size from Professional, National Officer and General Service categories were chosen using a mixed sampling method of stratified, purposive and random-sampling, took part in the study. The data obtained through the questionnaire was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistical tools such as percentage, frequency, mean scores, standard deviation, standard mean error, t- Test, and correlation and regression coefficient. The data collected and analyzed has revealed that UNECA has an imbalanced organizational culture where one or two attributes of its organizational culture profoundly dominating its common values and behavior of its knowledge-workers. Moreover, UNECA heavily relied on and limited to very few distinct knowledge management processes to deliver knowledge management services. Consequently, its knowledge-culture interface compiled to accommodate a mismatch between organizational culture and knowledge management variables and failed to bring the conceptual knowledge management model. The two categories of knowledge-workers perceived the organizational culture of the Commission differently. The organizational culture not only created a positive and strong relationship with knowledge management dimensions but also had a predicting impact on the latter. These findings summed up to lead to a conclusion that UNECA has no effective knowledge culture that would have been streamlined and aligned to its refocusing theme to help in enhancing its contemporary efforts towards becoming a knowledge-based organization. That in turn would have contributed tremendously to achieve the Commissions primary objective, i.e., to become and remain the premier think thank on Africa’s transformative agenda through purpose-oriented knowledge management. In order to bring the required amalgamation between organizational culture and knowledge management, the overall recommendation of the study was that UNECA should revamp and double up the existing efforts to build an effective knowledge-culture by creating, developing and sustaining a strong and balanced organizational culture. UNECA might introduce organization-wide cultural interventions that would not only last long to commence the necessary level of alignment between organizational culture and knowledge management but also to ensure that UNECA knowledge culture interface linkup with a feedback system that would further affirm organizational effectiveness. Key words - knowledge management and organizational culture



Knowledge Management and Organizational Culture