Knowledge Management Capabilities and Competitive Advantage in the Nigerian Food, Beverage and Tobacco Industry
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, University of Lagos
In today’s environment with rapid and unpredictable changes, research shows that tangible resources have become easily accessible, imitable, and substitutable, thereby shifting competitiveness to an emphasis on knowledge, and knowledge-based resources. This study examined the effect of knowledge management capabilities on competitive advantage of the food, beverage and tobacco (FOBTOB) firms in Nigeria. To achieve the objectives of this study, a survey research design was employed, with a structured and self-reporting questionnaire as tool for data collection. Multi-stage sampling technique was used in the determination of three hundred and sixty (360) sample respondents, from a population of one thousand, seven hundred and eighteen (1,718) management staff of the FOBTOB firms under study. Two hundred and thirty four (234) copies of the questionnaire were returned and found usable, hence, formed the actual sample size for this study. Data obtained were analyzed using tables, frequencies and percentages for descriptive, while t-test, simple and multiple regressions, and Pearson Product moment correlation analyses were used as inferential statistics for testing of hypotheses. The findings of this study show that knowledge management infrastructure capabilities positively and significantly affect competitive advantage having an R2 of .477, F= 34.437, and p<0.05; and more influence from leadership support and human resource. Similarly, knowledge management process capabilities also positively and significantly affect competitive advantage with R2 = .299; F=24.397; p<0.05 while more effect was seen from protection and application. A strong relationship exists between KMIC & KMPC with an R =.739; p<0.01. Both KMIC and KMPC significantly influence CA with R2 =.246; F=37.646; p<0.05, though KMPC had more effect on CA. Additionally, structure, knowledge protection and acquisition are found to affect innovation the most, while culture, knowledge application and protection processes are very crucial to predicting market share. It is recommended that firms should give more attention to the infrastructure and process capabilities significantly and directly affecting competitive advantage and its sub-variables, while not neglecting the insignificant ones as they all combine to achieve the desired outcome.