The telecommunication industry is globally recognized to be a major contributor to national economies (Oghojafor, Ladipo, Ighomerebo & Odunewu, 2014; Sedziuviene & Vveinhardt, 2010). Nonetheless, the situation in the Nigerian telecommunication industry reveals that there is continuous decline in the industry's contribution to GDP since the third quarter of 2014 (Nigeria bureau of statistics, 2016). Moreover, the Nigerian telecommunication industry has been noted to be associated with challenges, such as poor quality of service, long waiting hours in accessing customer care representatives, high rate of porting activities, call jamming and dropping, delay in or non-delivery of text messages after charges have been deducted, echoing of speech when making calls and unsolicited deductions from services which subscribers did not register for (Alabar, Egena & Gbande, 2014; Consumer Protection Council, 2010). These challenges have, therefore, given rise to poor performance of the telecommunication industry (Adi, 2015; Onuzuruike, 2009; Sanjo & Adeniyi, 2012). The bulk of these challenges result from the over reliance of telecommunication organizations on technology based information as against organizational knowledge which reside in human expertise (Agbim, Owutuamor & Oriarewo, 2013; Sarkindaji, Hashim & Abdullateef, 2014; Olokundun, Ibidunni, Peter, Amaihian, Moses & Iyiola, 2017). Therefore, empirical evidence on the role of individuals' and group tacit and explicit knowledge in driving performance is clearly missing in organizational knowledge literature. Accordingly, this research focuses on examining organizational knowledge utilization in the Nigeria telecommunication industry based on a combination of people and technology, with a view of proffering managerial implications for enhanced organizational performance.
The Importance of Organizational Knowledge to Nigeria's Telecommunication Industry: A Resource-based Perspective
The Resource Based View (RBV) which gained strong ground in the field of Strategic Management through Barney (1991) has evolved from a mere perspective into a powerful theoretical discuss (Barney, Ketchen & Wright, 2011). The RBV is based upon the premise that organizational competitiveness is achieved and sustained when the firm's resources and capabilities are valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitutable (Barney, 1991; Ogbari, Ibidunni, Ogunnaike, Olokundun & Amaihian, 2018). The tenet of the RBV directs the focus of managers to the inside-out view of the firm, where firm specific assets become a source of competitive advantage and subsequently improving organizational performance. More resent arguments have proven that organizations must constantly improve on such resources and capabilities to remain competitive (Helfat & Peteraf, 2003; Wu, 2010). Therefore, management has a responsibility to strategically channel the firm's resources across its business activities and to build the future resource base required to optimize performance (Erden, Klang, Sydler & Krough, 2014). Indeed, research based on the resource based view has gone beyond the shore of Strategic Management to gain wide interconnection with other field such as distinctive competences, organizational economics and theory of industrial organization (Mahoney & Pandian, 1992).
To suppose that knowledge, being one of firms' intangible resources, is considered the most strategic of every other organizational resource implies that managers must have a more robust knowing of their firms' tangible and intangible resources (Cook & Brown, 1999). For example, branding is also an intangible organizational resource that could result in competitive advantage (Ghodeswar, 2008). However, within the scope of the knowledge based economy, managers that have deeper knowledge and skills of building unique brand models are likely to outperform those that don't (Ogunnaike, Ade-Turton & Ogbari, 2014). Firms in the telecommunication industry also understand the significance of competing based on intangible resources. Todeva & John (2001) identified some of these intangible resources to include technical and organization specific skills possessed by employees in respective telecommunication organizations, alongside network capabilities of the organizations. In addition, the capability of senior management staff to, for example, influence and harness the support of team members through effective leadership skill can help achieve greater organizational creativity and innovation which could enhance organizational performance (Ibidunni, Ibidunni, Oke, Ayeni & Olokundun, 2018). This industry is knowledge based and driven...