Knowledge management (KM) has played a pivot role in oil and gas (O&G) industry for more than a decade(H. Donna,2007). The industry has experienced rapid changes and technology advances which includes offshore drilling, numerous acquisitions, the growing reliance on foreign oil sources, and a focus on environmental issues. KM initiatives have played a part in making operations more efficient and effective in oil and gas industry(P. Leavitt, 2002). In O&G industry, KM infrastructure is a cost-effective means of addressing pertinent operational issues such as retaining valuable knowledge and increasing efficiency through community of practice(P. Leavitt, 2002).
Technology is essential to the success of KM initiatives; it supports various KM activities through providing efficient storage, retrieval, and transfer mechanisms(L. G. Pee, and A. Kankanhalli,2008). Knowledge management technology (KMT) has the infallible capability of getting the right information to the right person at the right time(Y. Malhotra, 2005). Technology adds value by reducing time, effort and cost in enabling people to share knowledge and information. This is particularly true when technology is closely aligned with organizational requirements and the way people work and is integrated with relevant processes(H. Smuts, A. Merwe, M. Loock, and P. Kotzé, 2009).
Information technology which makes up KMT can be enabler for new organizational forms and also the driver for restructuring(R. Maier,2007). The implementation of Information Technology (IT) is always associated with a series of complex organizational change issues. Organizational change issues due to information systems implementation contribute to the failure of IS implementation]. The availability of variety of IT solutions for KMT furthermore complicates the selection of appropriate technology to ensure the success of KMT implementation.
Indeed, IT plays its role in KM development especially in providing the system to support knowledge management activities. There are various configurations and designs in order to make these activities possible; this is termed as knowledge management system (KMS). KMS is an IT-based system developed to support and enhance KM processes of storage, sharing, retrieval, creation and application of knowledge. Therefore, many organizations started making significant investments in knowledge management system (KMS). Although, IT has given benefits by providing tools for KM activities but its adoption and frequent use remain challenges. KMS is considered as new technology therefore like any other new technology, there are many challenges that facing on its adoption. As decision making is one of the factors that influence individual in organizations to adopt system.
Many organizations recognize it as a valuable method and have begun to support this practice to meet business needs and objectives. Recently, many research findings concluded that it is one of the foundations for competitive advantage. However, this value is not added without Information Technology (IT) because the effective deployment of KM requires its investment.
H. Donna(2007) “Focusing On Behaviors and Learning at Shell,”Knowledge Management Review, , pp. 4-12.
H. Smuts, A. Merwe, M. Loock, and P. Kotzé(2009) “A Framework and Methodology for Knowledge Management System Implementation,”Proc. South African Institute of Computer Scientist and Information Technologist, pp. 70-79.
L. G. Pee, and A. Kankanhalli(2008) “Understanding the Drivers, Enablers, and Performance of Knowledge Management in Public Organizations,” Proc. International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, pp. 439-446.
P. Leavitt( 2002) “Applying Knowledge Management to Oil and Gas Industry Challenges” American Productivity and Quality Center,pp. 1-6.
R. Maier(2007) “Knowledge Management Systems: ICT for Knowledge Management,” 3rd ed., Springer-Verlag: Berlin Heidelberg.
Y. Malhotra( 2005) “Integrating knowledge management technologies in organizational business processes: getting real time enterprises to deliver real business performance,”, Journal Of Knowledge Management, pp. 7-27.