Ayodotun Stephen Ibidunni, Alex Omankhanlen
(Submitted 12 November 2020)
(Published 8 August 2021)


This study investigated efficiency in the utilization of the individual-explicit knowledge of a firm. The sample included 42 customer service centers (CSCs) of the four most active Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) organisations in Lagos State and FCT, Nigeria. The research adopted the input-oriented data envelopment analysis model to determine the extent to which individual-explicit knowledge, as a vital input resource to telecommunications firms, is efficiently utilized by the CSCs to improve the firms’ values. The study revealed that 10 CSCs, representing 23.8 percen of those studied, were technically efficient using the constant returns to scale model. In contrast, the variable returns to scale model showed that 22 CSCs, or 52 percent of them, were technically inefficient. The results suggest that, with less than 50 percent of the total number of CSCs in Nigeria’s telecommunications industry being inefficient, there is a large volume of operational inefficiency, especially concerning the utilization of individual-explicit knowledge. As such, the telecommunications industry could benefit from managerial intervention, especially in building the capacity of the customer desk officers in the CSCs to attend promptly and accurately to customers’ queries. Also, the study established that a viable strategic direction would be that organizations in the telecommunications industry renew their focus on a balanced mix of supervisor-subordinates in each CSC. This study contributes to operations management and the organizational knowledge management literature by showcasing the data envelopment analysis methodology as a legitimate tool for improving understanding of the investigations into the efficiency of individual-explicit knowledge. This study offers practical implications for firm managers about specific activities and units of their firm that contribute the most to the organization, and other specific units/activities that are less productive. The study also provides directions for future studies.


Organisational knowledge; Individual-explicit knowledge; Developing Economies; Operational Efficiency; Data Envelopment Analysis

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.22146/gamaijb.61236


Abdul Kadar, M. M., Abul, K. A., & Loo-See Beh. (2015). Determinants of academics’ job sat­isfaction: Empirical evidence from private universities in Bangladesh. PLoS One, 10(2), e0117834. doi:

Adebanji, A., Ogunnaike, O. O., Iyiola, O.O., Ezenwoke, O. A.,& Ibidunni, S. (2018). Data article on institutional framework and business survivals of informal entrepreneurs in electronics market, Southwest, Nigeria. Data in Brief, 19, 1297–1304.

Adi, B. (2015). An evaluation of the Nigerian Telecommunication industry competitiveness: ap­plication of Porter’s five forces model. World Journal of Social Sciences, 5(3), 15 – 36.

Agbim,K. C., Owutuamor, Z. B. & Oriarewo, G. O. (2013). Entrepreneurship development and tacit knowledge: exploring thelink between entrepreneurial learning and individual know-how. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(2), 111-129.

Alabar, T. T., Egena, O. & Gbande, R. I. (2014). Service quality and customer satisfaction in Nigerian mobile telephony. 3rd International Conference on Business, Management and Governance, IPEDR 82, Singapore.

Asbari, M., Wijayanti, L. M., Hyun, C. C., Purwanto, A. & Santoso, P. B. (2019). Effect of Tacit and Explicit Knowledge Sharing on Teacher Innovation Capability. Dinamika Pendidkan, 14( 2), 227-243.

Awodoyin, A., Osisanwo, T., Adetoro, N. & Adeyemo, I. (2016). Knowledge sharing behaviour pattern analysis of academic librarians in Nigeria. Journal of Balkan Libraries Union, 4(1), 12-19.

Dhar, R. L. (2015). Service quality and the training of employees: The mediating role of organ­isational commitment. Tourism Management, 46, 419-430.

El-Mashaleh, M. S., Rababeh, S. M. & Hyari, K. H. (2010). Utilising data envelopment analysis to benchmark safety performance of construction contractors. International Journal of Project Management, 28, 61–67.

Englis P.D., Englis B.G., Solomon M.R., Valentine L., Bieak N. & Turner S. (2006). Using knowl­edge management to gain competitive advantage in the textile and apparel value chain: a comparison small and large firms: The 14th Annual High Technology Small Firms Con­ference. Enschede, The Netherlands, 11th-13th May, 1 -14.

Fei, J., Chen, S., & Chen, S. L. (2009). Organisational knowledge base and knowledge transfer in the shipping industry. Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management, 7(3), 325 – 340.

Feyzia, A., Rezaib, H. & Ghorbanianc, M. (2017). Knowledge management assessment in Petro­chemical industries. Decision Science Letters, 6, 23–36.

Fugate, B. S., Stank, T. P. & Mentzer, J. T. (2009). Linking improved knowledge management to operational and organisational performance. Journal of Operations Management, 27(3), 247–264.

Gibson Consulting Group (2011). Educational and operational efficiency study of the Clark county school district. Retrieved on 4th April 2017, from default/files/downloads/report/Clark%20County%20Educational%20and%20Opera­tional%20Efficiency%20Assessment%20Study.pdf.

Goodall, A. H. & Baker, A. (2015). A theory exploring how expert leaders influence performance 310

in knowledge-intensive organisations. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland.

Guchait, P., Namasivayam, K. & Lei, P. (2011). Knowledge management in service encounters: impact on customers’ satisfaction evaluations. Journal of Knowledge Management, 15(3), 513- 527.

Hu, J., Hsu, H., Hsiao, C. & Tsao, H. (2019). Is mobile jumping more efficient? Evidence from major Asia-Pacific telecommunications firms. Asia Pacific Management Review, 24(2), 190- 199.

Ibidunni A. S., Ibidunni, O. M., Oke, A. O., Ayeni, A. W., & Olokundun, M. A. (2018). Examin­ing the Relationship between Tacit Knowledge of Individuals and Customer Satisfaction. Academy Of Entrepreneurship Journal, 24(1), 1-20. 1 1528-2686-24-1-124.

Ibidunni, A. S., Abiodun, A. J., Ibidunni, O. M. and Olokundun, M. A. (2019). Using Explicit Knowledge of Groups to Enhance Firm Productivity: A DEA Application. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 22(1), a2159. 10.4102/sajems. v22i1.2159

Ibidunni, A. S., Ibidunni, O. M., Olokundun, M. A. & Akinbola, O. A. (2017). Knowledge Cre­ation and Transfer Using the SECI Model and LMX Theory: A Teacher-Student Ex­change (TSE) Perspective. Proceedings of ADVED 2017- 3rd International Conference on Advances in Education and Social Sciences 9-11 October 2017- Istanbul, Turkey.

Ibidunni, A. S., Ogunnaike, O. O., & Abiodun, A. J. (2017). Extending the Knowledge Strate­gy Concept: Linking Organisational Knowledge with Strategic Orientations. Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 16(3), 1-11.

Ibidunni, A. S., Olokundun, M. A., Motilewa, D. B., Atolagbe, T. M. & Osibanjo, O. A. (2018). Group-Tacit Knowledge and Organisational Effectiveness: Analysis of Effects Using a Mixed Method Approach. Business: Theory and Practice, 19, 135-145.

Igbaekemen, G. O. (2014). Capacity building- a tool for increase productivity in Nigeria public sector organisation. Global Journal of Human Resource Management, 2(3), 45-58.

Jegede, A. E., Ajayi, M. P. & Allo, T. (2016). Risk and Investment Decision Making in the Tech­nological Age: A Dialysis of Cyber Fraud Complication in Nigeria. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 10(1), 62–78. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.58522

Khan, Q. S., Adnan, A. A., Jan, M. F., & Jamal, W. (2020). The Effect of Explicit Knowledge Sharing on Human Resource Performance Efficiency: Moderating Role of Human Ca­pacity Development. Abasyn University Journal of Social Sciences, 13(2), 524-546.

Kotur, B. R. & Anbazhagan, S. (2014). Education and work-experience - influence on the perfor­mance. Journal of Business and Management, 16(5), 104-110.

Lam, A. (2000). Tacit knowledge, organisational learning and societal institutions: an integrated framework. Organisational Studies, 21(3), 487-513.

Lei, H., Gui, L. & Le, P. B. (2021). Linking transformational leadership and frugal innovation: the mediating role of tacit and explicit knowledge sharing. Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Lenzholzer, S. & Brown, R. D. (2016). Post-positivist microclimatic urban design research: A review. Landscape and Urban Planning, 153, 111-121.

Maran, M., Arokiasamy, L. & Ismail, M. (2009). Human capital development and its impact on firm performance: evidence from developmental economics. The Journal of International 311

Social Research, 2(8), 265 – 272.

Mecit, E. D. & Alp, I. (2013). A new constrained data envelopment analysis approach with correlation coefficients for balanced weight distribution. In: Banker, R., Emrouznejad, A., Bal, H., Alp, I. & Cengiz, M. A. (2013), data envelopment analysis and performance measurement: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference of DEA, June 2013, Samsun, Turkey, ISBN: 978 1 85449 477 1.

Mofokeng, T., & Chinomona, R. (2019). Supply chain partnership, supply chain collaboration and supply chain integration as the antecedents of supply chain performance. South African Journal of Business Management, 50(1), a193. doi:

Moses, C. L. (2013). Knowledge management as a strategy for achieving high entrepreneurial performance andcompetitiveness. African Journal of Education, Science and Technology, 1(2), 118-125.

Ndukwe, E. (2004). An overview of the Nigerian telecommunications environment, Nigerian communications commission. (Online at­sentations/EVC’s Presentation/NCC CEO Presentation on Overview of Nigerian Tele­coms Industry.pdf, accessed 10/18/2011).

Ndukwe, E. (2011). The Telecommunication revolution in Nigeria. Convocation Lecture deliv­ered at Igbinedion University, Okada.

Ng, T. W.H. & Feldman, D. C. (2013).Does longer job tenure help or hinder job performance? Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83(3), 305-314.

Niazi, A. S. (2011). Training and development strategy and its role in organisational performance. Journal of Public Administration and Governance, 1(2), 42-57. DOI: 10.5296/jpag.v1i2.862.

Nigeria Communications Commission (2018), Percentage (%) contribution of telecoms industry to GDP,

Nonaka, I. & von Krogh, G. (2009). Tacit knowledge and knowledge conversion: Controver­sy and advancement in organizational knowledge creation theory. Organization Science. 20(3), 635-652.

Nonaka, I. (1994). A dynamic theory of organisational knowledge creation. Organisation Science, 5(1): 14-37.

Norashikin, H., Amnah, M., Fauziah, N. & Noormala, A. I. (2014). Learning organisation and its effect on organisational performance and organisational innovativeness: a proposed framework for Malaysian public institutions of higher education. Procedia - Social and Be­havioral Sciences, 130, 299 – 304. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.04.035.

Odhon’g, E. A. & Omolo, J. (2015). Effect of human capital investment on organisational per­formance of pharmaceutical companies in Kenya. Global Journal of Human Resource Man­agement, 3(6), 1-29.

Oghojafor, A. B. E., Ladipo, P. K. A., Ighomerebo, S. O. & Odunewu, V. A. (2014). Determi­nants of customer satisfaction and loyalty in the Nigerian telecommunications industry. British Journal of Marketing Studies, 2(5), 67-83.

Olunifesi, A. S. & Isola, A. (2013). Knowledge management practices in the Nigerian telecom­munications industry. Knowledge and Process Management, 20(1), 30–39.

Onuzuruike, E. (2009). Telecom infrastructure sharing as a strategy for cost optimisation and revenue generation: a case study of MTN Nigeria/Zain Nigeria collocation. Unpub­312

lished MBA Dissertation of Blekinge Institute of Technology retrieved on 7th January 2017 from

Osabuohien, E.S. & Efobi, U.R. (2012). Technology diffusion and economic progress in Africa: Challenges and opportunities. Disruptive Technologies, Innovation and Global Redesign: Emerging Implications, 425-440.

Osibanjo, A. O., Ibidunni, A. S., Jevwegaga, H., Adebanji, A. W., Olokundun, M. A. & Obaoye, D. (2019). Industrial Clustering and Performance of Technology-Based SMEs in Nigeria: Does Firm Age and Size Have Any Influence? International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology,10(1), 2242–2249.

Paradi, J. C. & Zhu, H. (2013). A survey on bank branch efficiency and performance research with data envelopment analysis. Omega,41(1), 61–79.

Radwan, I. & Pellegrini, G. (2010). Knowledge, productivity, and innovation in Nigeria: creating a new economy. World Bank Publications.

Roggema, R. (2017). Research by Design: Proposition for a Methodological Approach. Urban Science, 1(2), 1-19. doi:10.3390/urbansci1010002.

Rossi, F. (2014). The efficiency of universities’ knowledge transfer activities: a multi-output ap­proach beyond patenting and licensing. CIMR Research Working Paper Series, 16, 1-35.

Ruiz, E., Sanchez De Pablo, J., Muñoz, R., & Peña, I. (2018). The influence of Total Quality Management on firms’ intellectual capital. South African Journal of Business Management, 49(1), a396. doi:

Sahar, M. A. B. (2019). Human Resources Development Strategy and its Role in Promoting Em­ployees Strategic Thinking Competencies: A Study at Jordanian Information Technology Companies. European Scientific Journal, 15(4), 238-262.

Salas, E., Tannebaum, S. I., Kraiger, K. & Smith-Jentsch, K. A. (2012). The science of training and development in organisations: what matters in practice. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13(2), 74-101. DOI:10.2307/23484697.

Sedziuviene, N. & Vveinhardt, J. (2010). Competitiveness and innovations: role of knowledge management at a knowledge organisation. Inzinerine Ekonomika-Engineering Economics, 21(5): 525-536.

Seleim, A. A. S., Ashour, A. S. & Khalil, O. E. M. (2005). Knowledge Acquisition and Transfer in Egyptian Software Firms. International Journal of Knowledge Management, 1(4), 43-72.

Shaheen, A., Naqvi, S. M. H., & Khan, M. A. (2013). Employees training and organisational per­formance: mediation by employees performance. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 5(4), 490-503.

Shirouyehzad, H., Mokhatab, R. F. & Berjis, N. (2017). Performance evaluation and prioritization of organizations based on knowledge management and safety management approaches using DEA: A case study. Journal of Modelling in Management, 12(1), 77-95. https://doi. org/10.1108/JM2-03-2015-0010

Siti, F. & Umi, M. (2017). Two-Stage Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) for Measuring the Effi­ciency of Elementary Schools in Indonesia. International Journal of Environmental & Science Education, 12(8), 1971-1987.

Suraj, O. A. & Bontis, N. (2012). Managing intellectual capital in Nigerian telecommunications companies. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 13(2), 262-282.313

Suraj, O. A., & Ajiferuke, I. (2013). Knowledge management practices in the Nigerian telecom­munications industry. Knowledge and Process Management, 20, 30-39.

Taghizadeh, S.K., Rahman, S.A. and Hossain, M.M. (2018). Knowledge from customer, for cus­tomer or about customer: which triggers innovation capability the most? Journal of Knowl­edge Management, 22(1), 162-182.

Tsai, W. (2001). Knowledge transfers in Intra-Organizational Networks. Academy of Management Journal, 44(5), 996-1004.

Tsoukas, H. & Vladimirou, E. (2001). What is organisational knowledge? Journal of Management Studies, 38(7), 973-993.

Van der Heiden, P., Pohl, C., Mansor, S. B., & van Genderen, J. (2015). The role of education and training in absorptive capacity of international technology transfer in the aerospace sector. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 76, 42–54.

Wang, C., Mei, J. and Feng, J. (2020), “Exploring influencing factors of offline knowledge ser­vice transactions on an online-to-offline knowledge-sharing economy platform,” Journal of Knowledge Management, 24(8), 1777-1795.

Wang, Z., Wang, N. (2012). Knowledge sharing, innovation and firm performance. Expert Systems with Applications. 39(10), 8899-8908.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Gadjah Mada International Journal of Business

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.