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Original Research

Significant factors for enabling knowledge sharing between government agencies within South Africa

Avain Mannie, Herman J. van Niekerk, Chris M. Adendorff

SA Journal of Information Management; Vol 15, No 2 (2013), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/sajim.v15i2.569

Submitted: 27 March 2013
Published:  18 October 2013


Background: Globally, organisations have recognised the strategic importance of knowledge management (KM) and are increasingly focusing efforts on practices to foster the creation, sharing and integration of knowledge.

Objectives: This study aimed to validate the significant factors that influence the effectiveness of KM between government agencies in South Africa. The commonly identified pillars of KM in the extant literature served as a primary framework in establishing these factors.

Method: Data were gathered using an electronic survey made available to different national government agencies within the security cluster. Responses were analysed using structural equation modelling.

Main findings: Existing literature highlighted organisational culture, learning organisation, collaboration, subject matter experts and trust as being determinants for knowledge management. The first two were identified as the most significant factors for knowledge sharing to succeed.

Conclusion: Whilst there is universal consent as to the strategic importance of KM, actionable implementation of knowledge sharing initiatives appears to be lacking. This study emphasised the fact that leaders must instil a knowledge sharing culture either through employee performance contracts or methods such as the balanced score card. The study also showed that it is imperative for leaders to acknowledge that KM is a multi-faceted discipline that offers strategic advantages. Leaders of developing countries should note that they are on a developmental journey. This requires their organisations to be learning organisations, which necessitates a change in the organisational culture and knowledge interventions through their academies of learning.

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Author affiliations

Avain Mannie, Department of Business and Economics Science, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Herman J. van Niekerk, Department of Business and Economics Science, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth; Suritec, Cape Town, South Africa
Chris M. Adendorff, Department of Business and Economics Science, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


Knowledge Management; Organisational Culture; Learning Organisation; Communities of Practice; Netcentricity


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ISSN: 2078-1865 (print) | ISSN: 1560-683X (online)

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