Knowledge Management, Learning and National Culture: Insights from Organisations in Singapore

By Kala S. Retna.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Over the recent years, there has been significant emphasis on the development of knowledge management and learning in Singapore organisations. The learning organisation (LO) concept was implemented in many public organisations in Singapore as an approach to managing and sharing knowledge and learning at the workplace. However, practices have predominantly focused on the implementation of management concepts and strategies with minimal attention to culture and its effect on organisational practices. Drawing on research in two Singaporean organisations’ implementation and practice of LO, the paper examines the role of national culture in promoting knowledge management and learning. This qualitative research used in-depth interviews, supplemented by participant observations and documentation to study the effects of culture on the practice of knowledge management and LO. The findings reveal a tension between the ideal of knowledge management, sharing and learning among organisational members. The paper contributes to theory and practice, arguing for the importance of recognising and respecting organisational members’ strong underlying cultural behaviour through which organisations operate.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Learning Organisation, National Culture, Singapore

The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.29-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 584.152KB).

Dr. Kala S. Retna

Lecturer in Management, Victoria Management School, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

I teach organisational behaviour at various levels including undergraduates and post experience. I have a teaching background both in Management and Education. My research has canvassed the cultural dynamics that confronts learning models, such as the ‘learning organisation’ concept. I also have extensive experience in professional development, facilitation and teaching in diverse cultural backgrounds.


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