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- Volume 15, Issue 1, 2013
South African Journal of Information Management - Volume 15, Issue 1, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 15, Issue 1, 2013
Source: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –11 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v14i1.507More Less
Objectives : The study examined and identified the factors that affect lawyers' attitudes to knowledge sharing, and their knowledge sharing behaviour. Specifically, it investigated the relationship between the salient beliefs affecting the knowledge sharing attitude of lawyers', and applied a modified version of the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) in the knowledge sharing context, to predict how these factors affect their knowledge sharing behaviour.
Method : A field survey of 273 lawyers was carried out, using questionnaire for data collection. Collected data on all variables were structured into grouped frequency distributions. Principal Component Factor Analysis was applied to reduce the constructs and Simple Regression was applied to test the hypotheses. These were tested at 0.05% level of significance.
Results : Results showed that expected associations and contributions were the major determinants of lawyers' attitudes towards knowledge sharing. Expected reward was not significantly related to lawyers' attitudes towards knowledge sharing. A positive attitude towards knowledge sharing was found to lead to a positive intention to share knowledge, although a positive intention to share knowledge did not significantly predict a positive knowledge sharing behaviour. The level of Information Technology (IT) usage was also found to significantly affect the knowledge sharing behaviour of lawyers'.
Conclusion : It was recommended that law firms in the study area should deploy more IT infrastructure and services that encourage effective knowledge sharing amongst lawyers.
Source: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v14i1.496More Less
Background : This article underscores the fact that society is becoming more and more knowledge-based, and that the organisations that can identify, value, create and evolve their knowledge assets are likely to be more successful than those that do not. Knowledge management (KM) is about enhancing the use of organisational knowledge through sound practices of KM and organisational learning. KM practices encompass the capture and/or acquisition of knowledge, its retention and organisation, its dissemination and re-use, and lastly responsiveness to the new knowledge.
Objective : The focus of this study was on KM principles and practices that may be in place in the Metropolitan College of New York (MCNY). The argument is that KM and its survival principles and tools may help the College to improve performance. However, there is uncertainty about whether the use of KM principles and tools can partly solve the College's approach to improving the quality of education it provides.
Methods : A mixed methods research methodology encompassing a questionnaire, observation, interviews, and use of institutional documents was used in the investigation.
Results : The findings of the study indicate that KM concepts were not universally understood at MCNY.
Conclusion : There is a need to create a knowledge inventory at MCNY. This may help the College to develop appropriate institution-wide policies and practices for proper and well organised methods of integrating work processes, collaborating and sharing (including the efficient use of social media), and developing an enabling institutional culture.
Author Rene PellissierSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –14 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v14i1.499More Less
Background : As our world becomes more global and competitive yet less predictable, the focus seems to be increasingly on looking to innovation activities to remain competitive. Although there is little doubt that a nation's competitiveness is embedded in its innovativeness, the complex environment should not be ignored. Complexity is not accounted for in balance sheets or reported in reports; it becomes entrenched in every activity in the organisation. Innovation takes many forms and comes in different shapes.
Objectives : The study objectives were, firstly, to establish the determinants for complexity and how these can be addressed from a design point of view in order to ensure innovation success and, secondly, to determine how this changes innovation forms and applications.
Method : Two approaches were offered to deal with a complex environment - one allowing for complexity for organisational innovation and the other introducing reductionism to minimise complexity. These approaches were examined in a qualitative study involving case studies, open-ended interviews and content analysis between seven developing economy (South African) organisations and seven developed economy (US) organisations.
Results : This study presented a proposed framework for (organisational) innovation in a complex environment versus a framework that minimises complexity. The comparative organisational analysis demonstrated the importance of initiating organisational innovation to address internal and external complexity, with the focus being on the leadership actions, their selected operating models and resultant organisational innovations designs, rather than on technological innovations.
Conclusion : This study cautioned the preference for technological innovation within organisations and suggested alternative innovation forms (such as organisational and management innovation) be used to remain competitive in a complex environment.
Integrated Financial Management Information Systems : guidelines for effective implementation by the public sector of South Africa : original researchAuthor Christoffel J. HendriksSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v14i1.529More Less
Background : Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (IFMIS) can improve public sector management by providing real-time financial information to managers in order to enhance their decision-making capabilities. The South African Public Service is currently busy with the implementation of an IFMIS. However, the implementation of such a project has proved to be a very demanding undertaking and has not been met with resounding success.
Objectives : The research was conducted in order to identify the challenges and risks that are involved in the implementation of the IFMIS in South Africa. After identification of the challenges and risks, solutions or guidelines were developed that may make the implementation more successful.
Method : The methodology that was used is that of a literature study where theories were explored and used to solve a research problem. Based on the theoretical research, solutions and guidelines were developed to solve challenges and risks experienced.
Results : The results indicated that there are a number of challenges involved with the implementation of an IFMIS. A set of best practice guidelines was developed that may make the implementation more successful.
Conclusion : The sheer size and complexity of an IFMIS poses significant challenges and a number of risks to the implementation process. There are, however, critical success factors or best practices that can be used for the project to succeed. It is recommended that these best practices be used by the South African Public Service.
Applying geographic information systems to delineate residential suburbs and summarise data based on individual parcel attributes : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i1.538More Less
Background : Information aggregation to suburb level is of interest to engineers and urban planners. Readily available suburb boundaries do not always correspond to the suburb names recorded for individual properties in different data bases and unwanted errors are inherent. This mismatch of suburb names at different spatial scales poses a particular problem to analysts. As part of a parallel research project into the development of a robust guideline for suburb-based water demand analyses it was necessary to evaluate a large number of suburbs in terms of various attributes, one of which was the total suburb area.
Objectives : Suburb boundaries were needed to assess the total suburb area. The objective of this research was to develop a novel geographic information system (GIS) application to delineate suburbs with boundaries corresponding to information contained in another data base comprising individual property records. The suburb boundaries derived in this manner may not relate to municipal boundaries, or sociopolitical boundaries, nor do they have to. The fundamentally correct suburb boundary would be the one encompassing what is perceived to be the suburb based on the suburb name in a particular data base that also contains other interesting attributes, such as water use, of individual properties.
Method : The ArcGIS environment was used to delineate suburbs by means of triangulated irregular network (TIN) modelling. Boundaries for suburbs with predominantly residential land use were created that included all residential properties according to the suburb name field as recorded in the treasury system. Other vacant areas were also included so as to obtain the total suburb area. The methodology was developed to assist research in the field of potable water services, but the method presented could be applied to other services that require management of information at suburb level.
Results : This article illustrates how a tedious task of suburb delineation could be automated in the GIS environment. The tool prevents subjective results that would be prone to error. The automated procedure described could effectively delineate a large number of predominantly residential suburbs in a relatively short time span and produce repeatable results. A reasonable outline could only be obtained if a sufficient number of parcels in the area contained the same suburb name. Functionality was added to the tool so that a limit could be set for this purpose. The default was that if more than 20% of the records were erroneous it was considered impractical to delineate a suburb. The derived suburb boundaries correspond to useful information in other data bases and would thus enable more effective management of the information.
Conclusion : A novel procedure to delineate suburb boundaries in the GIS environment was illustrated in this article. Information at two different spatial scales, namely, individual consumers and suburbs, could be married for the purpose of further research into suburban attributes. The tool was applied as part of a parallel research project to delineate 468 suburbs in this manner, results of which were submitted for publication elsewhere.
The impact of work experience of small and medium-sized enterprises owners or managers on their competitive intelligence awareness and practices : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –6 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i1.551More Less
Background : Information technology has assisted in globalisation, which then assisted in making international trade easier. Consequently, businesses no longer compete with local competitors only but also with international ones, leading to intense competition in all business sectors. Businesses will hardly practice what they are not aware of and therefore needs to know about their competitive landscape. Competitive intelligence (CI) gathers information from both the internal and external business environments, and analyses these for use by decision makers. Whilst awareness of the importance of CI is wide, it is not practiced optimally, making the need for creating awareness of the benefits of CI important.
Objectives : The objective of this research was to establish the influence of owners' and managers' working experience of CI practice and awareness in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) environment.
Method : This research was quantitative in nature and a questionnaire was used to collect data from SMEs owners and managers in The City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality.
Results : This research indicates that SMEs in the study are aware of CI through education and training. Moreover, the study reveals that the working experience of owners and managers has a great influence on awareness and practice of CI and one should implement training programmes in this domain to assist with building competitive advantage.
Conclusion : Small and medium-sized enterprises owners or managers' years of working experience has a greater influence on awareness and practice of CI. Put differently, years of working experience is a great predictor of CI awareness and practice.
Critical success factors for business intelligence in the South African financial services sector : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –12 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i1.545More Less
Background : Business intelligence (BI) has become an important part of the solution to providing businesses with the vital decision-making information they need to ensure sustainability and to build shareholder value. Critical success factors (CSFs) provide insight into those factors that organisations need to address to improve new BI projects' chances of success.
Objectives : This research aimed to determine which CSFs are the most important in the financial services sector of South Africa.
Method : The authors used a Delphi-technique approach with key project stakeholders in three BI projects in different business units of a leading South African financial services group.
Results : Authors regarded CSF categories of 'committed management support and champion', 'business vision', 'user involvement' and 'data quality' as the most critical for BI success.
Conclusions : Researchers in the BI field should note that the ranking of CSFs in this study only correlate partially with those a European study uncovered. However, the five factors the authors postulated in their theoretical framework ranked in the seven highest CSFs. Therefore, they provide a very strong validation of the framework. Research in other industries and other emerging economies may discover similar differences and partial similarities. Of special interest would be the degree of correlation between this study and future, and similar emerging market studies. Practitioners, especially BI project managers, would do well to check that they address the CSFs the authors uncovered before undertaking BI projects.
Policy gaps and technological deficiencies in social networking environments : implications for information sharing : original researchAuthor Stephen M. MutulaSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –9 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i1.542More Less
Background : With the growing adoption and acceptance of social networking, there are increased concerns about the violation of the users' legitimate rights such as privacy, confidentiality, trust, security, safety, content ownership, content accuracy, integrity, access and accessibility to computer and digital networks amongst others.
Objectives : The study sought to investigate the following research objectives to: (1) describe the types of social networks, (2) examine global penetration of the social networks, (3) outline the users' legitimate rights that must be protected in the social networking sites (SNS), (4) determine the methods employed by SNS to protect the users' legitimate rights and (5) identify the policy gaps and technological deficiencies in the protection of the users' legitimate rights in the SNS.
Method : A literature survey and content analysis of the SNS user policies were used to address objective four and objective five respectively.
Results : The most actively used sites were Facebook and Twitter. Asian markets were leading in participation and in creating content than any other region. Business, education, politics and governance sectors were actively using social networking sites. Social networking sites relied upon user trust and internet security features which however, were inefficient and inadequate.
Conclusion : Whilst SNS were impacting people of varying ages and of various professional persuasions, there were increased concerns about the violation and infringement of the users' legitimate rights. Reliance on user trust and technological security features SNS to protect the users' legitimate rights seemed ineffectual and inadequate.