Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Business and Management.

Publication Details

A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) to the Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin)


Knowledge is a dynamic human process to justify our personal belief in pursuit of the truth. The intellectual output of any organisation is reliant upon the individual people within that organisation. Despite the eminent role of personal knowledge in organisations, personal knowledge management and measurement have received little attention, particularly in pharmaceutical manufacturing. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the pillars of the global economy and a knowledge-intensive sector where knowledge is described as the second product after medicines. The need of measurement to achieve effective management is not a new concept in management literature. This study offers an explanatory framework for personal knowledge, its underlying constructs and observed measures in the pharmaceutical manufacturing context. Following a sequential mixed method research (MMR) design, the researcher developed a measurement framework based on the thematic analysis of fifteen semi-structured interviews with industry experts and considering the extant academic and regulatory literature. A survey of 190 practitioners from the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector enabled quantitative testing and validation of the proposed models utilising confirmatory factor analysis. The pharmaceutical personal knowledge framework was the fruit of a comprehensive study to explain and measure the manifestations of personal knowledge in pharmaceutical organisations. The proposed framework identifies 41 personal knowledge measures reflecting six latent factors and the underlying personal knowledge. The hypothesised factors include: regulatory awareness, performance, wisdom, organisational understanding, mastership of product and process besides communication and networking skills. In order to enhance the applicability and flexibility of the measurement framework, an abbreviated 15-item form of the original framework was developed. The abbreviated pharmaceutical personal knowledge (2P-K) framework demonstrated superior model fit, better accuracy and reliability. The research results reveal that over 80% of the participant pharmaceutical organisations had a form of structured KM system. However, less than 30% integrated KM with corporate strategies suggesting that KM is still in the early stages of development in the pharmaceutical industry. Also, personal knowledge measurement is still a subjective practice and predominately an informal process. The 2P-K framework offers researchers and scholars a theoretically grounded original model for measuring personal knowledge. Also, it offers a basis for a personal knowledge measurement scale (2P-K-S) in the pharmaceutical manufacturing context. Finally, the study had some limitations. The framework survey relied on self-ratings. This might pose a risk of social desirability bias and Dunning–Kruger effect. Consequently, a 360- degree survey was suggested to achieve accurate assessments. Also, the model was developed and tested in an industry-specific context. A comparative study in similar manufacturing industries (e.g. chemical industries) is recommended to assess the validity of the current model or a modified version of it in other industries.