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Original Research

Knowledge creation and transfer among postgraduate students

Kreeson Naicker, Krishna K. Govender, Karunagaran Naidoo

SA Journal of Information Management; Vol 16, No 1 (2014), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/sajim.v16i1.609

Submitted: 02 January 2014
Published:  20 August 2014


Background: The skill shortages, hyper-competitive economic environments and untapped economies have created a great deal of focus on knowledge. Thus, continuously creating and transferring knowledge is critical for every organisation.

Objectives: This article reports on an exploratory study undertaken to ascertain how knowledge is created and transferred amongst post-graduate (PG) students, using the knowledge (socialisation, externalisation, combination, internalisation [SECI]) spiral model.

Method: After reviewing relevant literature, a personally administered standardised questionnaire was used to collect data from a convenience sample of PG students in the School of Management, IT and Governance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The data was analysed to determine if it fit the model based on the four modes of knowledge conversion.

Results: Although the School of Management, IT and Governance has mechanisms in place to facilitate knowledge creation and transfer, it nevertheless tends to focus on the four modes of knowledge conversion to varying degrees.

Conclusion: The study confirmed that PG students utilise the ‘socialisation’ and ‘externalisation’ modes of knowledge conversion comprehensively; ‘internalisation’ plays a significant role in their knowledge creation and transfer activities and whilst ‘combination’ is utilised to a lesser extent, it still plays a role in PG students’ knowledge creation and transfer activities. PG students also have ‘space’ that allows them to bring hunches, thoughts, notions, intuition or tacit knowledge into reality. Trust and dedication are common amongst PG students. With socialisation and externalisation so high, PG students are aware of each other’s capabilities and competencies, and trust each other enough to share knowledge.

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Author affiliations

Kreeson Naicker, School of Management, Information Technology & Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Krishna K. Govender, School of Management, Information Technology & Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal; Regenesys Business School, Johannesburg, South Africa
Karunagaran Naidoo, School of Management, Information Technology & Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa



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

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