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Using Analytical Network Process for Ranking Educational Factors Influencing on Knowledge Worker Productivity

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Using Analytical Network Process for Ranking Educational Factors Influencing on Knowledge Worker Productivity
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  World Applied Sciences Journal 9 (6): 605-618, 2010ISSN 1818-4952© IDOSI Publications, 2010 Corresponding Author: Abbas Afrazeh, Department of Industrial Engineering (I.E.), Amirkabir University of Technology,Hafez Ave., P.O. Box 15875-4413, Tehran, Iran, Tel: +98-216-454-2789, E-mail: anajafi@aut.ac.ir 605 Using Analytical Network Process for Ranking EducationalFactors Influencing on Knowledge Worker Productivity  Asadallah Najafi and Abbas Afrazeh Department of Industrial Engineering (I.E.), Amirkabir University of Technology,Hafez Ave., P.O. Box 15875-4413, Tehran, Iran Abstract: It is commonly recognized that knowledge is the only source of core competence in the knowledgebased companies, but the productivity rate of knowledge workers is always Low. Based on knowledge workers’characteristics, in this paper, we seek to identify educational factors influencing on the Productivity of Knowledge Workers, then educational strategies present for improvement of Knowledge Workers Productivity.Finally, the best strategy ranks using Analytical Network Process (ANP) approach. It is hoped that this paperwill help managers to implement different corresponding measures. A case study is presented where this modelmeasures and validates at the Alupan & Mobarakeh Steel and irancell companies. Key words: Knowledge management % Analytical network process % Education % Knowledge workers % Alupan % Mobarakeh steel % Irancell INTRODUCTION important dimensions of knowledge workers productivityActivities done in the fields of knowledgecontains the necessary coordination of human resourcesmanagement are in the early stages of its growth [1].in the organization. Knowledge workers involved inOne of the ways that knowledge management can beintellectual will spend more resources. If management issuccessful is that it brings first make sure the organizationnot suitable for the organization affects output quality.technically have the ability to run. Human resourceThe other hand, the increasing interest around knowledgemanagement is therefore important in any organization.worker and has caused a significant body of empiricalStudies done by the researchers in 2009 identified moreresearch to emerge, examining the impact of differentthan 90 percent lead organizations implemented haveknowledge workers factors on Knowledge Workeradhered to this requirement, secondly factors affectingProductivity. However, minimum attention has been givensuccessful knowledge management should be identified.to the conception or understanding of the specificBasic research has proven that human resources are thestrategies through which knowledge workers factors suchmost important factor for knoweledge workersas educational factors influence knowledge workersimprovement. Nowadays, human resources position inproductivity.organization not only revised their strategic role in theImproving the productivity of knowledge workers issuccessful management has been gradually accepted,one of the most important challenges for companies thatbut have concluded that human factors over technicalface the transition from the industrial economy to anissues led to successful organizations [2]. Despite theseeconomy based on information and knowledge [6, 7].findings, only a small ratio of the number of empiricalKnowledge workers are obviously non-manual workersresearch has been done so far [1]. In the past,and are usually employed by organizational managers toorganization success has been analyzed based on threecarry out innovative activities. Knowledge Worker is amain factors, including cost, time and performance [3].member of the project organization who uses knowledgeOne of the fundamental problems of the past approach isto be a more productive worker [8, 9]. A knowledge workerlack of attention to other aspects of the knowledgeis anyone who works for a living at the tasks of workers [4, 5]. The study tried to examine the mostdeveloping or using knowledge [10].improvement. Human resource management process  World Appl. Sci. J., 9 (6): 605-618, 2010 606 Table 1: Knowledge management process Process Factors Identification of knowledgeKWP id Creation of knowledgeKWP cr Capturing of knowledgeKWP ca Application of knowledgeKWP ap Sharing of knowledgeKWP sh Saving & Storage of knowledgeKWP ss Organizational managers that aims to continuallyimprovement in organization, they should beconsider the educational factors as a part of themanagement process and as a strategic element inorganizations. The educational factors of knowledgeworkers are divided to three sections (will, can, May)in organizations. A scientific method is needed toclassification of educational factors in organizations.We use the Analytical Network Process (ANP),which measures strategic factors’ inter-dependence aseffectively as AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process)measures these factors’ independence. AHP cannotmeasure the factors’ existing dependence since AHPconsiders the factors as completely independent; and itcannot effectively measure environmental and centralelements [11,12]. This Study Is Divided into Eight Sections: Section onedeals with knowledge workers and educational factors;Section 2 presents Research methodology and theproposed ANP algorithm for analysing the effectiveeducational factors of knowledge workers on KnowledgeWorker Productivity; Section 3 presents the case study of the Alupan & Mobarakeh Steel and irancell companies;the remaining sections analyse the research findings andpresent the research results and questions for futureresearch.  Knowledge Workers and Educatinal Factors: Knowledge is a combination of experience, valuesand new information. Knowledge management,discovery, creation and development, sharing,maintenance, evaluation and suitable utilization areachieved through effective utilization of humanresources, information technology and communicationsby knowledge workers [13]. A Knowledge worker createsknowledge, knows how to tap and share it across anorganisation and then reuses this knowledge whenevernecessary – and he/she usually works against a deadlinelike yesterday [14, 15]. Relationship Between Knowledge Management andEducational Factors: Knowledge Worker Productivityfactors are achieved in six steps of knowledgemanagement in Table 1 [16].According to Knowledge management process, foroptimal management of knowledge workers that mustidentify factors in six section of process. Educational Factors Classification: As mentioned,educational factors are extracted and classified in threecategories (individual, job, organization). In this section,we will extract the sub-factors. Educational factors aredefined in Figure 1.According to the above classification, we shoulddesign a method based on ANP, which calculates thefactor weights and extracts a strategy for improvingknowledge worker productivity management. Research Methodology: It was decided to adopt a casestudy approach for this paper as there is little existingresearch on measurement and identification of educationalfactors. It has been based on the descriptive Research.This descriptive type research has been carried out usingthe questionnaire as the research tool for gathering therequired data. Data gathering involved both referencematerial and a questionnaire survey. Sampling was simplerandom sampling and the data gathering instrument wasthe questionnaire. The author had already undertakenresearch in this field which had stimulated themeasurement tools and the theoretical framework used toanalyze this case study, based on ANP Method.In November 2007 a request for interviews andquestionnaires was sent to a number of the managers(240 persons, 40% Male and 60% Female, 65% over 15year’s experience) and staff (210 persons, 35% Maleand 65% Female, 65% over 20 year’s experience) in theAlupan & Mobarakeh Steel and irancell company'sprojects. Prior to the interview and fill the questionnaire,the author explained the purpose of the research andmade it clear that this information would be in the publicdomain, so any confidentiality concerns could be noted.The interview and questionnaire, from December 2007 toApril 2009, lasted five hours per week. The interview andquestionnaire was semi-structured in nature, starting off with general questions on the company background andKnowledge Workers to put the respondent at ease.Detailed questions based on the educational factors andrelated frameworks were then used to gather information,with other questions included so as not to limit theinformation collected. Care was taken not to produce    KWP total Factors CreationA - KWP id  InnovationExerienceIdea eneratinOositionsProfessional ethicCommitmentFidelitProblem solvin caabilitSocial intellienceMotivationC- KWPcaSatisfactionOranizational cultureTrustJob securitLeadershiAuthoritCometencJob oositionOranization climateIncentive sstemTransarent decision-makinJob rotationTrainin and develomentIndeendenceInformation network  CAN-knowledge workerWILL-jobMAY-organization B - KWP cr  D - KWP ap  E - KWP sh  F - KWP ss  AcademicJob communicationsFlexibilitSecialtJob CommensurabilitTeam work caabilitStoraeManaement informationCommunication InfrastructuresOranization memorIntellectual caital salarTeamwork oortunit World Appl. Sci. J., 9 (6): 605-618, 2010 607Fig. 1: Educational factors influencing on the Knowledge Worker Productivityexpected answers and flexibility was allowed in thegeneralizations, it is possible to similar populations andprocess which enabled an effective two-way dialogue tothe knowledge generated by qualitative research isemerge. To ensure internal validity the interview andsignificant in its own right. Problems related to samplingquestionnaire was transcribed and sent to and staff in theand generalizations may have little relevance to the goalsAlupan & Mobarakeh Steel and irancell companies forof the study and the reality of the situation. In thisconfirmation of accuracy and to check that nosituation, a small sample size has been more useful incommercially sensitive information had been included.examining a situation in Company from variousGeneralizability of the research has been based on Partialperspectives. The goal of a study has been be to focuses  213243 0 0 0 0Goalw 0 0 0Factors,W=0 W 0 0Sub0 0 W 0          FactorsAlternative  World Appl. Sci. J., 9 (6): 605-618, 2010 608Fig. 2:Structural difference between hierarchy (a) andnetwork (b)Fig. 3: Network model structureon a selected contemporary phenomenon such asKnowledge Workers factors or measurement addictionwhere in-depth descriptions would be an essentialcomponent of the process. According to researchmethodology, it presents ANP method for analyzing of factors. Network Analysis Process: The ANP is a generalizationof the Like AHP, while the AHP represents a framework with a unidirectional hierarchical AHP relationship, theANP allows for complex interrelationships among decisionlevels and attributes. The ANP feedback approachreplaces hierarchies with networks in which therelationships between levels are not easily represented ashigher or lower, dominant or subordinate, direct or indirect[17]. Figure 2 presents Structural difference betweenhierarchy (a) and network (b).ANP is considered comprehensive and explanatoryfor multipurpose decision-making discussions and alsofor solving complex decision-making issues. Studies byYüksel and Dag¡deviren used ANP to select informationsystem projects that are internally dependent. Thesestudies saw no requirement for doing an ideal zero andone programming. Karsak, Partovi and Corredoira haveused ANP in quality activity development [18]. A systemwith reflective state can be explained by a network. Thestructural difference between the hierarchy and thenetwork is depicted in Figure 3. The existent element ineach cluster can affect all or some of the other clusterelements. A network may contain main clusters, middleclusters and final clusters. Arrows show the relationshipsin the network and their direction shows the dependence.The dependence among clusters can be named externaldependence and the internal dependence among elementsof a cluster can be called circle dependence [19, 11]. ANP Algorithm: Step 1: Problem structure and modellingStep 2: Pair wise comparison matrixStep 3: Super matrixStep 4: Selection of best alternative Using the Anp Approach in Selecting KnowledgeStrategies Influencing on the Knowledge WorkerProductivity: The network model used in this research ispresented in Figure 3.Where W21 is the vector of aim or goal effect oncriterion, W32 is the matrix of criterion effect on sub-criterion, W43 is the matrix of sub-criterion effect onoptions and I is the single matrix. Figure 4 shows thefactors’ model network. The hierarchy in the network isdepicted by the clusters’ internal dependence withoutreflection.The main steps of the method are as follows. The firststep is locating the element factors, sub-factors andoptions. Then, according to the internal dependencerelationship among the element factors, one determinesthe internal dependence, element factors’ weights andstrategic options’ priority vectors, respectively, based onthe sub-factors. The following matrix depicts a generalsub-matrix for the element model.    KWP total Factors A- KWP id  C-KWP ca   B-E B-KWP cr  D-KWP ap  E-KWP sh  F-KWP ss   A-CA-DA-EA-FB-F CreationInnovationExerienceIdea eneratinOositionsProfessional ethicCommitmentFidelityProblem solvin caabilitSocial intellienceMotivationSatisfactionOranizational cultureTrustJob securityLeadershiAuthoritCometencyJob oositionOranization climateIncentive systemTransarent decision-makingJob rotationTrainin and develomentIndeendenceInformation network  CAN-knowledge workerWILL - jobMAY - organization AcademicJob communicationsFlexibilitSecialtJob CommensurabilitTeam work caabilityStoraeManaement informationCommunicationOranization memorIntellectual caital salarTeamwork oortunity B-DC-DC-EC-FD-FD-EE-F World Appl. Sci. J., 9 (6): 605-618, 2010 609Fig. 4: Educational strategies influencing on knowledge workers productivity
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