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The IUP Journal of Knowledge Management :
Thai Seniority System in the Organizational Context and Preliminary Discussion on Its Potential Impact on Knowledge Management
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This paper presents the research findings on the description of the seniority system in the organizational context in Thailand and a preliminary discussion on its potential impact on knowledge management. Qualitative data was acquired through the use of an open-ended questionnaire. The seniority system was described and discussed in terms of the following aspects: individual senior characteristics, individual employee characteristics and organizational characteristics. The overall description of the seniority system in Thailand was found to be superior-oriented, passive employee-oriented and demotivationoriented. Based on this description, the preliminary discussion of its potential impact on knowledge management signals a negative impact.

 
 
 

This study is an extension of Wiriyapinit (2007) which explored the aspects of Thai culture which potentially had an impact on knowledge management in organizations, of which the seniority system was found to be one. The same study signaled pessimistic concerns as to the linkage between Thai culture and knowledge management; however, the methodology of the study conducted was an exploratory case study and therefore could only offer preliminary research results. Therefore, a need is felt to conduct a more detailed study on the seniority system in Thailand. In the same research work, it was also preliminarily found that Thais are unlikely to either disagree with their superiors or express their opinions directly to them. However, in the literature related to knowledge management, the seniority system was indirectly addressed and rarely focused on. The discussion was, however, focused on the topic of leadership in terms of superiors or leaders in organizations potentially playing certain roles to enhance knowledge management. These are, for example, the role in building trust (Argyris, 1993), in rewarding (Sydanmaanlakka, 2002), and in collaborating (Woods, 2005).

 
 
 

Knowledge Management Journal, Seniority System, Organizational Context, Preliminary Discussion, Potential Impact, Thailand, Characteristics, Knowledge Management.