Do you want to retain your relevant knowledge? The role of contextual factors in the banking sector

Muhammad Saleem Sumbal, Aleksandr Ključnikov, Susanne Durst, Alberto Ferraris, Labeeqa Saeed

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Retaining critical knowledge is relevant for all organizations, knowledge-intensive ones in particular. Failure to do so can, in the worst case, lead to an organization being unable to act. Acknowledging the role of context in this regard, the purpose of this paper is to examine knowledge retention (KR) in the banking sector of a developing country. A particular focus is placed on exploring various contextual factors that influence the retention of critical knowledge taking into consideration the setting. Design/methodology/approach: Following a qualitative research design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior managers from private and public banks in Pakistan. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Findings: The findings suggest that the existence of a collectivist society, gender differences, few job opportunities, power distance and the late IT Boom are vital factors to be considered regarding KR in the setting studied. The findings are summarized in a conceptual framework that highlights critical factors of KR to be studied in a broader context and which are viewed as relevant for informing future research in this underdeveloped area of knowledge management (KM). Research limitations/implications: The data were collected from a small number of individuals working in different banks in only one country. Future studies should consider research designs across multiple organizations involving more people representing different roles, functions and age groups. Originality/value: Existing KM research has emphasized the role of context while research on KR is underdeveloped in this regard. By exploring different contextual factors this study advances current understanding in the KM domain.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Banking
  • Contextual actors
  • Critical employees
  • Developing countries
  • Knowledge retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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