Knowledge Management Practices and Performance of Agricultural Cooperative Societies in Kiambu County
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The Agricultural Cooperatives Societies are seen as a key feature in rural development and poverty alleviation strategy in both developed and developing countries. The agricultural cooperatives are encountered by a few difficulties that make their operations; management and performance difficult which study intend to investigate. The study was guided by the following objectives; to determine Knowledge Creation practices and performance of agricultural cooperative societies, examine Knowledge Preservation practices and performance of agricultural cooperative societies, determine Knowledge Sharing practices and performance of agricultural cooperative societies and determine Knowledge utilization practices and performance of agricultural cooperative societies in Thika Sub-County. The study employed Knowledge–Based Theory and Kogut and Zander’s Knowledge Management Theory. The research adopted a descriptive survey design. The study targeted 20 farmers’ co-operative societies registered under the Co-operative societies Act in Thika Sub-County in which there are 20 managers and 20 marketing managers. Using Gay (1976) sampling method techniques where the population is equal to the sample is known as a census survey, only 18 managers and 18 marketing managers. The 2 managers and 2 marketing managers were included in the sample size as they were used for study piloting. The study used both open-ended and closed-ended questionnaires to collect information. The data collected were both qualitative and quantitative. The quantitative data in this research were scrutinized by use of descriptive and inferential statistics with the help of the Statistical Packages for Social Sciences (SPSS) software. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine knowledge management practices and performance of agricultural cooperatives. Data were presented using frequency distribution tables, bar charts, pie charts and line graphs. From the findings, R was 0.931, R square was 0.92 and adjusted R squared was 0.717. An R square of 0.92 implies that 92% of changes on performance of agricultural cooperative societies are explained by the independent variables of the study. There are however other factors that influence performance of agricultural cooperative societies are not included in the model which account for 8%. An R of 0.931 on the other hand signifies strong positive correlation between the variables of the study. Also, the findings show knowledge transfer practices had a 0.0010 level of significance; knowledge preservation practices had a 0.0012 level of significance, knowledge creation practices showed a 0.0025 level of significant, while knowledge utilization practices showed a 0.0028 level of significance. Hence, knowledge transfer practices are the most significant factor in contributing to the performance of agricultural cooperative societies. The study recommended that knowledge management practice is an issue of great significance to as it is concerned with joint coherence between employees, suppliers and customers thus it calls for eagerness to go above and beyond the call of duties while performing duties so as to ultimately enhance company performance.