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- Volume 10, Issue 3, 2008
South African Journal of Information Management - Volume 10, Issue 3, 2008
Volumes & issues
Volume 10, Issue 3, 2008
Author C.S. UysSource: South African Journal of Information Management 10, pp 1 –7 (2008)More Less
Surveys have been used since time immemorial to collect raw data for the production of information in a variety of contexts. The earliest use of the survey technique can be traced back to that of ancient Egyptian rulers who conducted censuses to help them administer their domains. Even the Old Testament of the Bible refers to the Lord asking Moses and Eleazar to 'take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel...' The age of this research technique is perhaps indicative of its prominence today as a tool of both the modern scientist and of industry-based information managers.The survey method is considered as the single most important approach in empirical social research (Kuechler 1998:1780 and one that most frequently underpins research designs (Van Staden and Visser 1991). Hinkin (1995) posits that over the past several decades, hundreds of scales have been developed to assess various attitudes, perceptions, or opinions of people in all walks of life. It is also common practice for surveys to be used by business managers as a source of information for decision making.The application of surveys can be found in a diverse number of scientific journals in fields such as political science, psychology, education, computer science, medicine and informatics, as well as in mass media, industry and government research. There are various reasons for the prominence of the survey method among researchers. Possibly the most important, though not always acknowledged, are the positivist influences of philosophers such as Auguste Comte and Emile Durkheim since the first half of the nineteenth century.
Author J.A. BoonSource: South African Journal of Information Management 10, pp 1 –6 (2008)More Less
Tangible assets have always been a critical prerequisite for the competitiveness and the subsequent continued existence of companies. However, the long-term competitiveness of companies increasingly depends on its ability to identify, sustain and stimulate growth in value adding knowledge assets. Knowledge is the primary asset of the knowledge economy (Stewart 2001).Knowledge assets include the knowledge of employees on their roles and responsibilities (human capital), knowledge about customers and suppliers (relationship capital), the knowledge embedded in databases, processes, structures, rules, routines (structural capital) and, more importantly, knowledge about competitors (competitive capital) (Bontis 2002; Rothberg and Erickson 2002). The sum total of these knowledge assets equals the amount and level of intellectual capital of companies.Strategic training preceded by a competitive intelligence (CI) process implies that the necessary emphasis is placed on ascertaining the nature of the emergent strategic environment of companies and the forces at play within the emergent strategic environment of companies. The focus is therefore long term in nature as opposed to the short term and tactical nature of CI that is sometimes found in companies.
Author H.E. JacobsSource: South African Journal of Information Management 10, pp 1 –7 (2008)More Less
Since ancient times water has been compared to life. Research has since shown that 60% to 70% of an adult's body weight is water (Burke 1995), suggesting that there is an important link between water and human life. The effective application of fresh water as a scarce resource is essential for the human race to survive in increasing numbers on planet Earth. This is especially true for geographical regions where the water demand is increasing, due to the growing population or an improved living standard, and is reaching the limit of the available water resources. Southern Africa is such a region. Despite the significance of water as resource and the problems facing South Africa with regard to service delivery, only one article listing 'water' in the title (Rademeyer and Snyman 2004) has appeared in the South African Journal of Information Management since its inception in June 1999. It is hoped that this article will spark interest and lead to further publications pertaining to water in this journal.In this article, the focus is on potable water, intended for drinking and other residential uses, as opposed to raw water that is required for irrigation and agricultural purposes. Potable water is supplied to consumers by a water service provider, generally the local authority (LA) or municipality, via a piped water distribution system (WDS). In some countries the service provider is known as a 'water utility', but the term is uncommon in the South African civil engineering fraternity. It this article the use of LA is preferred.The LA has the responsibility of effectively managing water demand by consumers in its area of jurisdiction. Each LA is required by law to regularly compile a water services development plan (WSDP). The WSDP could be viewed as a reporting standard that addresses various aspects of water use and information pertaining to it. One of the sections of the WSDP addresses the issue of water demand management (WDM), which is termed demand-side management (DSM) in the USA. WDM is defined by Hunt, McDevitt and Hunt (1998) as follows : 'To better manage how and when water is used.'To better manage how and when water is used, it is essential to gain detailed knowledge of the water used on a particular property. This type of detailed focus is known as end-use modelling or micro-modelling of water use. In this article, two types of data pertaining to water use and reports on recent advances with regard to Web-based data input to end-use models are defined. It has been noted in previous studies that information, which in turn is derived from data, is needed in order for a water authority to function properly (Johnson 2002). The focus in this article is on the flow of information from the end-user (water consumer) to the LA (water manager or analyst), because this aspect is particularly challenging due to the data hungry nature of end-use models.
Author S. ManjooSource: South African Journal of Information Management 10, pp 1 –10 (2008)More Less
Mobile Internet is a relatively new innovation. Many see mobile Internet as a way of providing for those who cannot afford the traditional means of accessing the Internet (International Telecommunications Union 2004). Although much research has been conducted on the adoption of related technologies such as mobile phone and m-commerce, little focus has been placed on mobile Internet. This is particularly true for South Africa (SA). There is, therefore, a lack of understanding on how and why people use the technology. The purpose of this research, therefore, was to investigate how and why people use mobile Internet. This study focused on the SA market.The topic for the study required the authors to define the term 'mobile Internet'. Mobile Internet can best be descriptionbed as a means of 'wireless access to the digitized contents of the Internet via mobile phones' (Chae and Kim 2003). When the Internet is accessed, a request is sent by an Internet browser to a Web server, which responds by sending the information to display on a screen (Beal 2006). Since voice calls and SMSs do not query Web servers, they cannot be classified as mobile Internet. There are four main ways of using mobile Internet : e-mail, access to general information, instant messaging services, voice-over-Internet-protocol.Mobile phones offer a wide variety of functionality, however, this research was only confined to mobile Internet functionality. This included use of the mobile Internet for communication, entertainment and information purposes. It specifically excluded m-commerce as this is a topic on its own. In addition, the focus was on mobile Internet access that is provided by mobile phones and not other mobile devices such as PDAs. This limitation allows for the words 'mobile' and 'cell phone' to be used interchangeably.Uses and gratification (U&G) was used as the underpinning theoretical framework for the study. U&G allows for investigating the motivations for consumption of media products. It is noted that there is a dearth of U&G studies focusing on mobile Internet. The research instrument for the study was therefore based on U&G studies on related technologies such as traditional Internet as well as mobile phones. This allowed an investigation into the gratifications obtained from using mobile Internet and the intersection of motivations for using the traditional Internet and those from using mobile telephony.