Content uploaded by Khalid Mahmood
All content in this area was uploaded by Khalid Mahmood on Apr 25, 2016
Content may be subject to copyright.
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Library Philosophy and Practice (e-journal) Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Research on knowledge management in Pakistan:
A literature review
Syed Rahmatullah Shah 4355910
Khalid Mahmood Dr.
!"$ &"!$!!%$" "!%!%#"$$),$%!($%&)" !" "
Follow this and additional works at: h7p://digitalcommons.unl.edu/libphilprac
Part of the Library and Information Science Commons
Shah, Syed Rahmatullah 4355910 and Mahmood, Khalid Dr., "Research on knowledge management in Pakistan: A literature review"
(2015). $$)"%"#)!$&"'$! Paper 1346.
Research on knowledge management in Pakistan: A literature review
Syed Rahmatullah Shah
Swedish School of Library and Information Science,
Högskolan i Borås, Borås, Sweden
Dr. Khalid Mahmood
Head, Information, Learning & Research Commons (ILRC),
Deanship of Library Affairs,
University of Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
This research is about knowledge management in academics and organizational business
practices of Pakistan. Research proceedings revealed that knowledge management is emerging as
new concept and is getting grounds in Pakistani environment. Article reviews the knowledge
management literature in and about Pakistan. An overview of knowledge management initiatives
and attempts in any form were focus of this research. Knowledge management related
information was collected by literature search through websites, research journal archives, and
library catalogues. This research is of practical use for researchers and organizational
management who are involved in knowledge management research and practices.
Keywords: Knowledge management, knowledge, knowledge research.
Knowledge management has identified as the most valuable resource of organizations in
recent age. Despite, unavailability of unanimous definition, knowledge has made knowledge
management a complex phenomenon (Ahmed, Lim, and Loh; 2002). In broader perspective,
knowledge is familiarity, awareness, know-how, skills, and expertise that has embodied in
humans with experience and/or has embedded in organizations in the form of practices,
procedures, and processes. So, knowledge management is comprised of strategies and practices
that are used in organizations for identification, creation, storage, sharing, and application of
human and organizational knowledge (Fuller; 2002). Knowledge management attempts have
core focus on organizational objectives of high profitability, improved performance, competitive
advantage, and innovation.
This research serves some direct and indirect objectives. On one side, it strengthens
theoretical perspectives of knowledge management research in Pakistan and on other side, it
presents actual situation for knowledge management in and about Pakistan. This study also
highlights major contributions for knowledge management in and about Pakistan. It also attracts
attention of researchers for better understanding of knowledge management and onward
theoretical contributions. Similarly, for organizational administration this research serves the
purpose of creating awareness about knowledge management for better productivity. This study
fits in the knowledge management literature on global perspective as representative to the geo-
political circumstances of Pakistan.
This study was aimed to identify various facets of knowledge management that encircled
both theoretical and practical perspectives of knowledge management with special reference to
Pakistan. Research studies were included in this research that were conducted in Pakistan and
abroad but were about the actual position of knowledge management in Pakistan. Main focus
was on core subject of KM in Pakistan, so researchers from abroad were also included in this
study. In addition to literary contributions, knowledge management initiatives were also focused
in this study.
Information collection was through internet resources like Google, WorldCat,
Academia.edu, LISTA, IEEE Xplore, five year archives of well known knowledge management
journals, and catalogues of some libraries in Pakistan. Three keywords – knowledge,
management, and Pakistan, were used for searching on websites. Google results delimited to first
twenty five (25) pages. LISTA search on aforesaid keywords presented one hundred eighty two
(182) records as a whole with few relevant to the study. IEEE Xplore digital library search sorted
sixty one (61) items with titles having any from the keywords of knowledge, management, and
Pakistan. Similarly, five year archives of ten knowledge management journals, and library
catalogues of five universities were browsed for literature for this study. These proceedings
provided information about research articles, books, websites, persons involved in knowledge
management, and course contents of some universities that teach knowledge management as a
Some researchers discussed human psychological aspects for knowledge management on
the parameters of behavioral theories. Mahmood and et al (2011) concentrated on tacit
knowledge sharing intentions. Sample of their study was 209 IT professionals affiliated with
seventy (70) IT registered companies working in five (5) major cities of Pakistan. Similarly,
Tayyab, Finegan, and Walker (2004) presented biases and limitations of human mind in their
research about tacit knowledge management. Their research was based on literature on cognitive
psychology. In the same way, Ajmal, Helo and Kekale (2010) enlisted some psychological
factors that directly influence on participation in knowledge management initiatives. In addition,
Ahmad, Kausar, and Paul (2006) projected the view of cognition and culture to go hand in hand
for knowledge-based development of organizations.
Theoretical perspectives of knowledge management were under discussion of some
researchers. Mikulecky and Saeed (2009) focused on importance of knowledge management for
academic sector of Pakistan in their study. Iftikhar and et al (2011) checked seven knowledge
management capabilities in two hundred and fifty (250) SMEs of Pakistan. They emphasized on
application of knowledge management capabilities in small and medium sized enterprises.
Similarly, Ahmad, Hasan, & Ashraf (2010) encircled five dimensions of learning environment
that are, culture, learning styles, resources, methodology, and environment. They also elaborated
challenges of globalization and diversity that directly effect knowledge of students in practical
field. Syed-ul-Haque and Irfan (2010) explained all segments of knowledge management process
– creation, gathering, capturing, accessing, and use of knowledge. They described all these
processes in the form of knowledge management life cycle. In the same way, Schcher, Kashif.,
and Aslam (2010) highlighted various factors that are required for better performance of
knowledge management initiatives in corporate sector of Pakistan. Furthermore, Waheed,
Arshad and Kashif (2011) described effects of knowledge management practices on
organizational performance, Rukhsana and Suleman (2002) explained economic bases of
knowledge, Khusro and Sobiah (2008) presented factors affecting the knowledge management
initiatives in their focus on tacit knowledge. Additionally, Iftikhar and Shakeel (2010) illustrated
personal knowledge abilities for knowledge management, and Anwar and Ba (2010) described
the role of information management for the preservation of indigenous knowledge in
Culture has enhanced influence on knowledge management attempts. So, few researchers
considered it as the major area of their studies. Cultural aspects of knowledge management in
academic sector of Pakistan came to discussion by Fakhar and et al (2011). They selected two
hundred (200) employees for their research that were affiliated with various public sector
organizations in capital city – Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Similarly, Ahmad, Hasan, & Ashraf
(2010) discussed role of culture for learning environment that contribute for knowledge
management in academic environment. In corporate sector, Ajmal, Helo and Kekale (2010), and
Ahmad, Kausar, and Paul (2006) emphasized on the role that culture play for knowledge
management initiatives. On manufacturing side, Kalyar, Shahzad, Rafi, & Kalyar (2011)
discussed culture and self-leadership in their study of 227 manufacturing firms in Pakistan.
Saeed and et al (2010) discussed cultural attributes and their involvement in knowledge
management. In research details, they collected data from 813 corporate sector employees on
various managerial positions. Kanu (2005) discussed tensions and problems of knowledge
transfer in South Asian perspectives with more emphases on Pakistan. Waheed, Arshad and
Kashif (2011) emphasized on culture for improved performance in organizations. Similarly,
factors related to inter department coordination in addition to the cultural perspectives of trust,
and acceptance among decision makers came to discussion by Zainab, Mai, and Akram (2011).
Ahmad, Kausar, and Paul (2007) introduced the concept of social democratization for e-learning
in cross-cultural perspectives in their research. In another research, they described interactive
social structures for knowledge management.
KM tools and models:
Different strategies, models, tools, and techniques for knowledge management were
introduced by some researchers. Fehmida and Ali (2004) designed a mapping model that
described functioning of tacit and explicit knowledge, and their links in medical practices.
Similarly, Bilal and Shuaib (2009) presented comparison of three knowledge management tools
on the basis of search criteria. On the same lines, Naveed and Kathawala (2004) developed
knowledge city model that was based on latest futuristic technologies. Further, they described its
usage to cater the needs of education, socio-cultural, business, and public sector. In academic
sector, Mahwish, Abdul, Gufran, and Shahid (2012) illustrated course management system
(CMS) as a tool for knowledge management. This tool serves dual purpose of electronic learning
and knowledge management in an integrated system. Another researcher, Saba (2012) designed a
conceptual model for knowledge sharing on the basis of her qualitative research on existing tools
and models. In public sector of Pakistan, Iram (2010) checked adequacy of various existing
models of knowledge management for public sector organizations and derived Knowledge
Groups model. Similarly, Eram and Arshad (2005) derived a knowledge management model for
public sector universities of Pakistan. On other sides, Waheed, Arshad and Kashif (2011)
presented conceptual framework model of process, intellectual capital, culture, and strategy
(PICS) for knowledge management. In the same way, Fehmida, Abidi, and Ali (2005) described
tacit-explicit knowledge morphing system for healthcare and clinical practices.
Khaleel (2004) presented theoretical review of technological knowledge flow in
multinational national firms. He discussed technological knowledge flow in four UK-based firms
in his study. Mahwish, Abdul, Gufran, and Shahid (2012) described knowledge flow and its
utilization in an integrated system of electronic learning and knowledge management. They
quoted practical example of Allama Iqbal Open University knowledge flow system. Halai and
Manzoor (2011) described the importance of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in teaching
and knowledge flow to students in schools. Eram and Arshad (2005) thoroughly discussed the
information flow in the information system. They discussed information and knowledge flow in
the form of knowledge in public sector universities of Pakistan. Syed-ul-Haque and Irfan (2010)
described knowledge flow as a part of knowledge management life cycle. Waheed, Arshad and
Kashif (2011) emphasized on knowledge management environment for better outcome. Ahmad,
Kausar, and Paul (2007) described social interaction patterns for knowledge flow in different
contexts of culture and boundaries.
Knowledge management challenges:
Khalique, Isa, & Jamal, (2011) discussed knowledge economy for SMEs in Pakistan. It
was literature based study in which they focused on intellectual capital for SMEs. Ajmal, Helo
and Kekale (2010), in their empirical study, pointed out various barriers and enablers for
knowledge management initiatives. Abuzar and Asim (2009) illustrated knowledge management
processes, strategies, levels and challenges in organization. Zainab, Mai, and Akram (2011)
described financial challenges faced by organizations to rationalize knowledge management in
organizations. Ahmad, Kausar, and Paul (2007) illustrated challenges faced in cross-cultural
perspectives in e-learning for creation, codification, and retrieval of knowledge. Fehmida, Abidi,
and Ali (2005) described design and functionality of knowledge management system in hewalth
sector. Khusro and Sobiah (2008) described factors that influence knowledge management
initiatives in Pakistan.
Impacts of Information Technology usage:
Ramzan (2004) discussed correlations between level of knowledge and librarians’
attitudes toward IT usage. He collected responses from two hundred forty four (244) librarians
working throughout Pakistan. Abuzar and Asim (2009) discussed trends and issues due to the
emergence of internet and ICTs. Zainab, Mai, and Akram (2011) focused on technology related
issues involved in knowledge management. Ahmad, Kausar, and Paul (2007) described
knowledge creation, codification, and retrieval in e-learning.
Education of knowledge management:
Knowledge management has emerged as course in some universities of Pakistan. It’s of
three credit hour course at department of management science in Virtual University (VU) of
Pakistan. Knowledge management is part of elective course of management in BBA honors and
MBA programs in business administration curriculum (HEC, 2005). Similarly, it is elective
course of Library and Information Science in four years graduation and two years masters
program in Library and Information Science (HEC, 2009).
Knowledge management research in Pakistan supports Gu (2004) conclusion who
indicated that most of the research in knowledge management is from developed part of the
world. Research on knowledge management in developed countries is considerably low.
Knowledge management research literature in and about Pakistan is primarily from academics
and, so far, could not be rooted enough in practice. As in North America where knowledge
management research is mostly sponsored having direct impact on business. It is highly
pragmatic and measurement-focused rather than more concerned about theoretical and
fundamental perspectives (Rivard and Smith; 2007).
Research pattern on knowledge management in Pakistan and China has some similarities
where knowledge management research is in exploratory stages, theoretical explanations with
some achievements in developmental phases, suggestions for practical implications, and need of
collaborations between academia and research sides (Zhong, Wu, and Zhao; 2013). The
situation in case of Malaysia is quite different from other countries in Asia. Knowledge
management research in academia and practical knowledge management initiatives go side by
side in case of Malaysia. Most of the organizations in services and corporate sector have formal
knowledge management initiatives (Rahman, 2004). It was observed in due course of literature
review that knowledge management research and publications are mostly from the eastern part of
the world in comparison to the west.
Knowledge management is new and growing discipline in Pakistan. It has gained
attention of researchers and is strengthening from recent past. Some research studies generally
described philosophy and theory of knowledge management. Few researches covered cultural
aspects and various segments of cultural phenomenon with reference to knowledge and its
management. Similarly some studies are about tools, models, knowledge management
challenges, and impacts of information technology on management of knowledge. As,
knowledge management is getting roots in geo-political circumstances of Pakistan. Major trends
of knowledge management were observed in corporate and education sectors of Pakistan. As
knowledge management is gaining roots in Pakistan, that’s why, there are many gaps in its
theoretical and practical implications. Many research studies were conducted for academic
purpose rather than for the fulfillment of industrial requirements. Therefore, gaps between theory
and practice are understood. In addition, there are various attempts in routine business that are of
knowledge management but in routine business they are not entitled as knowledge management
initiative. Similarly, fewer studies were about knowledge sharing and knowledge flow in
organizations while other segments of knowledge management – identification, creation, storage,
and application of knowledge were not found in knowledge management literature in and about
Pakistan. No doubt, knowledge management is emerging discipline in Pakistan. Therefore, there
is a lot to do for due acceptance of knowledge management and its various segments in Pakistan.
Generally, knowledge management is directly linked with organizational objectives of high
productivity, innovation, and greater outputs. Therefore, its ignorance has no substitute for any
nation in the so called emerging knowledge society. In the nutshell, it is recommended that
industry and academics should join hands to go side by side for proper grooming of knowledge
management in Pakistan.
Abuzar W., & Asim M. (2009). The realms of organizational management from and
organizational perspective. International Business and Organizational Journal, 8(11),
Ahmad R., Hasan M., & Ashraf K. (2010). Perceptions of MBA students towards learning
climate for managerial knowledge: A study of business school in Lahore. Multicultural
Education and Technology Journal, 4(4), 251-260.
Ahmad R., Kausar, A. R., & Paul, D. (2006). Cultural, cognition and knowledge-based
development. Journal of Knowledge Management, 10(5), 137-145.
Ahmad R., Kausar, A. R., & Paul, D. (2007). The social democratization of knowledge: Some
critical reflections on e-learning. Multicultural Education and Technology Journal, 1(1),
Ahmad R., Kausar, A. R., & Paul, D. (2007). The social management of embodied knowledge in
a knowledge community. Journal of Knowledge Management, 11(5), 45-54.
Ahmed, P. K., Lim, K. K., & Loh, A. Y. E. (2002). Learning through knowledge management.
Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann.
Ajmal, M., Helo, P., & Kekale, T. (2010). Critical factors for knowledge management in project
business. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(1), 156-168.
Anwar, M. A., & Ba, A. H. (2010). Role of information management in the preservation of
indigenous knowledge. Pakistan Journal of Library and Information Science, 11, 5-14.
Bilal Q. & Shuaib Q. (2009). Analysis of knowledge management tools. Global Journal of
Knowledge Management Tools, 9(4), 204-207.
Eram A., & Arshad S. (2005). Knowledge management in public sector universities of Pakistan.
In First International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies, 27-
28 August, IBA-Karachi, Pakistan.
Fakhar A., Mazhar H., Aamir S., Adnan R. (2011). Analysis of knowledge management in the
public sector of Pakistan. European Journal of Social Sciences 19(4), 471-478.
Fehmida H., & Ali R., S. (2004). A knowledge management framework to operationalize
experiential knowledge: Mapping tacit medical knowledge with explicit practice
guidelines. Proceedings of national conference on emerging technologies, SZABIST,
Fehmida H., Abidi, S. R.. & Ali R., S. (2005). Towards knowledge morphing: A triangulation
approach to link Tacit and Explicit Knowledge. Paper presented at first international
conference on information and communication technologies, August 27-28, Karachi,
Fuller, S. (2002). Knowledge Management Foundation. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann.
Gu, Y. (2004). Global knowledge management research: A bibliometric analysis. Scientometrics,
61( 2), 171-191.
Halai, N., & Manzoor A. K. (2011). Developing pedagogical content knowledge of science
teachers through action research: A case study from Pakistan. Asia-Pacific Forum on
Science Learning and Teaching, 12(1), 1-23.
Higher Education Commission (2005). Curriculum of business administration. Islamabad:
Higher Education Commission.
Higher Education Commission (2009). Curriculum of library and information science for BS 4-
year program. Islamabad: Higher Education Commission.
ents.aspx Retrieved on March 04, 2013.
Iftikhar H., & Shakeel A. (2010). Personal knowledge abilities and knowledge management
success. Journal of Information and Knowledge Management, 9(4), 319-327.
Iftikhar H., Xiaoyu, Y., Wang, L., Steven, S., & Shakeel, A. (2011). Organizational knowledge
management capabilities and knowledge management success in small and medium
enterprises. African Journal of Business Management, 5(22), 8971-8979.
Iram A. K. (2010). Knowledge groups: A model of creating synergy across the public sector.
Public Organization Review, 10, 139-152.
Kalyar M., Shahzad, C., Rafi N., & Kalyar A. (2011). Effects of self-leadership, knowledge
management, and culture on creativity. European Journal of Business and Management,
Kanu, Y. (2005). Tensions and dilemmas of cross-cultural transfer of knowledge: Post-
structural/postcolonial reflections on an innovative teacher education in Pakistan.
International Journal of Educational Development, 25, 493-513.
Khaleel M. (2004). Coordination of technological knowledge flows in firms. Journal of
Knowledge Management, 8(2), 64-72.
Khalique, M., Isa, A. H., & Jamal, A. N. (2011). Challenges for Pakistani SMEs in a knowledge-
based economy. Indian Journal of Management and Social Sciences, 5(2), 74-80.
Khusro P. M., & Sobiah M. (2008). Value creation role of knowledge management: A
developing country perspective. The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management, 6(1),
Mahmood, A., Qureshi, M. A., Shahbaz, Q. (2011). An examination of the quality of tacit
knowledge sharing through the theory of reasoned action. Journal of Quality and
Technology Management, 7(1), 39-55.
Mahwish W., Abdul Z. K., Gufran A. K., & Shahid K. (2012). Creative learning environment
and knowledge. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social
Sciences, 2(1), 144-159.
Mikulecky, P., & Saeed L. (2009). Knowledge management at educational institutions: Case of
Pakistan. In, Mastorakis, N. E., & et al (Eds.). Proceedings of the 10th WSEAS
international conference on Mathematics and computers in business and economics.
Wisconsin, USA, 2009.
Naveed B., & Kathawala, Y. (2004). Ba for knowledge cities: A futuristic technology model.
Journal of Knowledge Management 8(5), 83-95.
Rahman, B. A. (2004). Knowledge management initiatives: Exploratory study in Malaysia.
Journal of American Academy of Business, 4(1/2), 330-335.
Ramzan, M. (2004). Does level of knowledge impact librarians’ attitude toward information
technology (IT) applications? Paper presented at 2nd International CALIBER-2004, 11-13
February, New Delhi.
Ramzan, M. (2004). Effects of IT utilization and knowledge on librarians’ IT attitudes. The
Electronic Library, 22(5), 440-447.
Rivard, S., & Smith, H. A. (2007). Information notice on research in North America: Knowledge
management research initiatives in North America. Annales Des Telecommunications, 62,
Rukhsana K., & Suleman A. Z. (2002). The knowledge-based economy: Trends and implications
for Pakistan. The Pakistan Development Review, 41(4), 787-804.
Saba S. (2012). Exploring knowledge management practices. International Journal of Learning
and Development, 2(1), 330-352.
Saeed, T., Tayyib, B., Anisulhaque, M., Mushatq, A. H., & Chaudhry, A. U. (2010). Knowledge
management practices: Role of organizational culture. Proceedings of ASBBS, 17(1),
Schcher B., Kashif R., & Aslam K. (2010). Study of factors that impact knowledge management
fit in corporate sector of Pakistan. Far East Journal of Psychology and Business, 1(1),
Suleman, A. L., & Munir, A. (2010). Dynamics of voluntary knowledge sharing in organizations.
Syed-ul-Haque, M., & Irfan A. M. (2010). Reflection of knowledge value life cycle. Global
Journal of Management and Business Research, 10(7), 82-90.
Tayyab, M., Finegan, A., & Walker, D. (2004). Biases and heuristics in judgment and decision
making: The dark side of tacit knowledge. Issues in Informing Science and Information
Technology, 1, 295-301.
Waheed A. B., Omer N. K., Abrar A., Nazim H., & Kashif R. (2011). Sustaining competitive
advantage through effective knowledge management. African Journal of Business
Waheed A. B., Arshad Z., & Kashif R. (2011). The effect of knowledge management practices
on organizational performance: A conceptual study. African Journal of Business
Management, 5(7), 2847-2853.
Zainab A. M., Mai A., & Akram J. (2011). The significance of knowledge management systems
at financial decision making processes. International Journal of Business and
Management, 6(8), 130-142.
Zhong, W., Wu, X., & Zhao, T. (2013). Progress analysis of library knowledge management
research in China based on bibliometrics. Journal of Applied Sciences, 13, 1484-1488.