The knowledge management

Knowledge management (KM) is not new discipline. In fact, knowledge management has been researched and studied for many years. Currently, there are more than 15 peer-reviewed research journals focusing on aspects of knowledge management, and this proves that knowledge management has existed as an area or disciplines for many years. It serves as an important aspect of any organization regardless of the core business. Today, the total number of knowledge workers is increasing. According to Davenport and Thomas (2005), it is now estimated that there are almost fifty percent of the workforce in Europe and the United States considered to be knowledge workers. While the populations of knowledge workers are rising, so does the global competition. Such development implicated on the significance of innovation which is growing and becoming a tool or a strategy to be competitive. It has become a norm for workers to move from one job to another in today's working environment. Such behavior brings serious implication to various organizations. As such, managing knowledge is extremely important in organizations to curb over-heads and maintaining more knowledge workers within an organization. The best way to inculcate a good culture of knowledge management is through knowledge sharing.

According to Aswath and Gupta (2009), knowledge sharing is a fundamental segment of knowledge management. It is a compulsory factor for almost all organizations, communities, and societies (Han & Anantatmula, 2007; Setiarso, 2009). The benefits of knowledge sharing to organizations are very clear. Companies may use this asset to improve their performance by giving employees better access to knowledge and helping them using the knowledge to increase productivity and performance (Gartner, 2006; Harris, 2006; Riege, 2005). Gartner (2006) mentioned that knowledge sharing also increases value of the intellectual assets of the organization which results in higher returns or revenues.

Failure making a full use of knowledge sharing could cause organization serious problems. Riege in (2005) asserted that when employees leave a company, their knowledge too naturally leaves with them. It is always a big lost for companies and organization to lose well trained and knowledgeable workers because the cost to train new workers or re-train existing employees is generally high. Moreover, it is time consuming (Rugullies, 2003). Enabling efficient knowledge sharing in organizations is not a simple job. According to Logan (2006a), the challenges are often related to motivating people in sharing knowledge, identifying the key people to share their knowledge, organizing the existing knowledge and making knowledge easily accessible.

Many organizations faced with competition and increasingly dynamic environments are beginning to realize that there is a large untapped asset diffused around in the organization and that is knowledge. It is even more important for the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) According to Jessica et al. (2008) and Kamal et al. (2007), since most employees in knowledge-based organizations like Institutions of Higher Learning are knowledge workers, knowledge sharing is very essential. Jessica et al. (2008, p.3) also pointed out that "although the majority of the knowledge management literature discusses knowledge sharing activities within profit-oriented enterprises, it is becoming a trend that more universities and higher educational institutions have started to adopt knowledge management practices as well, thus knowledge sharing emerges as an important topic for discussion in academic institutions".

Interestingly, through the study conducted by Ismail and Chua (2005), they found through their study that: a) most of the higher learning institutions are not equipped with proper mechanism to allow knowledge sharing like other business organizations due to lack of expertise; b) the knowledge sharing culture especially in Institutions of Higher Learning is still very low.

Other than that, Suhaimeea, Abu Bakar, and Alias (2005, 2006) revealed from their studies that the existence of Knowledge Sharing Culture in Malaysian Public Institutions of Higher Education (PIHE) is at minimum level. Only 47.1% or 8 universities have implemented or started the implementation KM in their organization while others are either not sure about it or has chosen to remain ignorant. Additionally, the study also found that only 29.4 % of the Malaysian PIHE academic staffs practice this positive culture while the awareness of the importance of knowledge sharing among employees exists in 5 public universities in Malaysia. According to Norizah et al. (2005, p.3) "...there are research interests on knowledge sharing, but that there is lack of research on knowledge sharing in higher academic institutions. Research in this area would therefore contribute towards further understanding of knowledge sharing among academic staff of higher academic institutions".

Such finding is also supported by Kamal, Manjit and Gurvinder (2007) who studied knowledge sharing activities among academic staff in 26 public and private Institutions of Higher Learning in the Klang Valley-Malaysia. Their research shows that there are minimal knowledge sharing among academic staff, lack of knowledge repositories among academic staff, lack of awareness on the benefit of KS in their organizations among academic staff, lack of rewards and recognition among academics, time shortage, lack of formal and informal activities to promote knowledge sharing, poor communication skills of the academics, and lack of Information Technology (IT) use among academics.

UNESCO serves as the best example of knowledge sharing organization which emphasizes the significance of knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing in high education. In order to reduce the gap between developed and developing countries, it promotes knowledge sharing and international co-operation. Article 15 of World Declaration, on High Education for the 21st century: Vision and Action, has established an explicit policy highlighting that high educations should "share knowledge across borders and continents". Such effort has never been easy to inculcate or implement. For instance, UNESCO recognized the difficulty in monitoring the result of knowledge sharing across borders and continents due to various elements, such as, culture, politics, social and economical as well financial constraint concerned with the transferors and the transferees. Furthermore, there is always potential and challenge of the technology that must also be considered.

According to Sharimllah Devi et al. (2007, 2008, 2009), even though efforts have been taken by IHLs to promote the idea of KM implementation in Malaysian Institutions of Higher Learning, these efforts involved only a small number of the IHLs. They added that majority of knowledge management studies cited are carried out in the commercial sector, and very little has been done to investigate cultural aspects that facilitate KM implementation especially among the IHLs. Furthermore, Mohayidin et al. (2007) pointed out that "as knowledge service providers, many Malaysian universities were not utilizing knowledge to the fullest to improve their performance and this is because the data, information and knowledge available in the universities were not properly managed such that they could be efficiently shared and reused to generate new knowledge" (p.2).

It is important to state that there should be efforts of adopting and adapting certain knowledge-sharing models before an innovation becomes a norm in an organization. In the case of mobile technology, academics should be encouraged to try out this new tool in their teaching and learning process. The academics will realize the potential of mobile technology if they begin to adopt and use it in their daily academia activities. Research by far has not been able to ascertain for system success or failure (Suhaiza et al., 2006) in adopting such technology. As they try out new technology, the adoption of certain model will encourage academics to become more professional.

On the other hand, the development of mobile services and the growth has been phenomenal throughout the world. According to Portio Research (2009) the global mobile phone subscribers hit 3.1 billion in 2007 and it will be 4.9 billion in 2012. Mobile phone technology, which supports mobile computing using portable devices through wireless networks has emerged as new found technology in IT revolution. Anderson and Rainie (2008) mentioned that "a survey of experts shows they expect major technology advances as the phone becomes a primary device for online access, voice-recognition improves, and the structure of the Internet itself improves" (p.1). More, this remarkable technology is gaining significance in organizations (Siau et al., 2004). According to Sheng et al. (2005), mobile phone technology increases internal communication and knowledge sharing.

Furthermore, New Media Consortium 2008 Horizon Report pointed out that mobile phone technology is very important device due to number of reasons, firstly, it keeps us in touch in almost all ways that laptops used to: with email, web browsing, searching and shopping all available anywhere and anytime, secondly, newer, longer battery life keeps our mobile phones for more travel between charges; comes in smaller and thinner sizes, thirdly, storage capacity has increased considerably thus making it more powerful than ever (New Media Consortium, 2008). It is the most widespread device used by the public at the time this thesis was written (Joan & John, 2007). Additionally, mobile phone technologies are suitable, flexible and cost effective (Motiwalla, 2007).Mobile phone technologies will be the most fundamental and compulsory Internet device in 2020 (Anderson & Rainie, 2008).

Despite the advantages of mobile phone technology are clear, only a small number of Institutions of Higher Learning are equipped with integrated mobile phone technologies in their environments Figueira (2007) pointed that "as of August 2007, however, there are no universities or degree awarding programs with a website designed for downloading on a mobile device" (p.1). Sufficient technological means to access mobile devices are not widely used by the academics in Institutions of Higher Learning (Junior et al., 2008). In 2007, Peters conducted a research to 29 manufacturers of mobile devices, businesses and education suppliers and found that mobile phone technologies are in general used in some commercial organizations, but found limited adoption for Institutions of higher learning use.

It can be concluded that the literature thus far pointed evidence that despite efforts taken by Institutions of Higher Learning to promote the idea of applying knowledge management in Institutions of Higher Learning engaged only a few of the Institutions of Higher Learning (Ismail & Chua, 2006; Ismail & Chua, 2005; Jessica et al., 2008; Sharimllah Devi et al., 2009a; Tippins, 2003; Zahrawi & Yahya, 2009). This study contributes to the existing body of knowledge in terms of narrowing the research two gaps which are: firstly, there is in general lack of knowledge sharing in Institutions of Higher Learning as well as, particularly, lack of knowledge sharing among academics in Institutions of Higher Learning (Jessica et al., 2008; Kamal et al., 2007; Norizah et al., 2005; Sohail & Daud, 2009; Suhaimeea et al., 2005, , 2006). Secondly, lack of academic research on the use of mobile phone technologies in the Institutions of Higher

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