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- Volume 15, Issue 2, 2013
South African Journal of Information Management - Volume 15, Issue 2, 2013
Volumes & issues
Volume 15, Issue 2, 2013
Pathways for retaining human capital in academic departments of a South African university : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i2.560More Less
Background : The article underscores the process of knowledge retention for academics in select academic departments in the College of Human Sciences (CHS) at the University of South Africa (UNISA). The knowledge economy is ubiquitous and necessitates that organisations foster innovation and improve efficiency, effectiveness, competitiveness and productivity through knowledge retention. In an academic setting, which is the focus of this article, the situation is no different because there seems to be an accord worldwide that the quality of higher education largely depends on the qualifications of staff and professorial capability in quality research, instruction and doctoral level certification. By implication, it is critical that the retention of knowledge should be prioritised to ensure the curtailment of the impact of knowledge attrition.
Objective : The study intends to profile knowledge assets in CHS, determine retention strategies and offer suggestions about regenerating knowledge retention initiatives.
Research methodology : A quantitative approach, more specifically the informetrics technique of data mining, was adopted to profile academics in CHS at UNISA.
Results : The results confirm the assertion that there is a discrepancy between senior academics who are probably due to leave the university in the next few years, and entrants who will replace them. The issue is worsened by the lack of an institutional framework to guide, standardise, strengthen or prioritise the process of knowledge retention.
Conclusion : The study recommends the prioritisation, formalisation and institutionalisation of knowledge retention through the implementation of a broad range of knowledge retention strategies.
Barriers to tacit knowledge retention : an understanding of the perceptions of the knowledge management of people inside and outside the organisation : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i2.556More Less
Background : Knowledge loss causes challenges for organisations that wish to remain competitive. These organisations must identify the risks that could lead to knowledge loss and become aware of issues that affect knowledge retention.
Objectives : The objective of this research was to identify tacit knowledge retention barriers that could cause knowledge loss in an organisation. The paper presents a framework for the assessment of the impact of these barriers and discusses the research findings in order to critique that framework.
Method : A quantitative strategy was used to interpret the findings. The target population is information technology (IT) professionals in a government organisation. Interviews were conducted in order to produce a more context-sensitive interpretation of the findings. A quantitative research approach was used to ensure the findings would precisely reflect the target population.
Results : The majority of respondents confirmed that career development requires professional development, training prospects and improves the employability of employees. The agreed result was that respondents seek autonomy, that is, the ability to make decisions. Job stress and burnout are experienced because of problems with in filling posts, and the competition between the private and public sectors for experienced IT employees.
Conclusion : Certain determinants were found that affect barriers in knowledge management: organisational commitment, job satisfaction, job characteristics and talent management. These need to be measured to prevent barriers from occurring. Implications are drawn from the study; these provide a focus for further research to bridge some gaps in information technology that currently limit the widespread use of knowledge management.
A cost-benefit analysis of document management strategies used at a financial institution in Zimbabwe : a case study : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –10 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i2.540More Less
Background : Choosing a cost-effective document management approach has become a priority to many organisations, especially in view of the rapidly changing technological environment in which information is being created and managed. A literature survey indicated that document management strategies have the potential to provide some substantial cost-saving benefits if they are used judiciously.
Objectives : This study investigated a commercial bank's document management approaches in a bid to ascertain the costs and benefits of each strategy and related issues.
Method : A quantitative research approach was employed through a case study which was used to gather data from a sampled population in the bank.
Results : The document management approaches used were not coordinated to improve operational efficiency. There were regulations governing documents management. The skills and competences of staff on both document management and cost analysis are limited. That is partly due to limited training opportunities availed to them. That means that economies are not achieved in the management of records. That has a negative impact on the overall efficiency, effectiveness and legal compliance of the banking institution.
Conclusion : The financial institutions should create regulations enabling periodical cost-benefit analysis of document management regimes used by the bank at least at quarterly intervals as recommended by the National Archives of Australia. A hybrid approach in managing records is recommended for adoption by the financial institution. There should be on-the-job staff training complimented by attendance at relevant workshops and seminars to improve the staff's understanding of both the cost-benefit analysis concept and document management.
An exploration of the role of records management in corporate governance in South Africa : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i2.575More Less
Background : Corporate governance maybe approached through several functions such as auditing, an internal audit committee, information management, compliance, corporate citizenship and risk management. However, most organisations, including governmental bodies, regularly exclude records management from the criteria for a good corporate-governance infrastructure. Proper records management could be the backbone of establishing good corporate governance.
Objectives : Utilising the King report III on corporate governance as a framework, this quantitative study explores the role of records management in corporate governance in governmental bodies of South Africa.
Method : Report data were collected through questionnaires directed to records managers and auditors in governmental bodies, as well as interviews with purposively selected auditors from the Auditor-General of South Africa. Data were analysed using various analytical tools and through written descriptions, numerical summarisations and tables.
Results : The study revealed that records management is not regarded as an essential component for corporate governance. Records management is only discussed as a footnote; as a result it is a forgotten function with no consequences in government administration in South Africa. The study further revealed that most governmental bodies have established internal audit units and audit committees. However, records-management professionals were excluded from such committees.
Conclusion : The study concludes by arguing that if records management is removed as a footnote of the public-sector operations and placed in the centre of operational concern, it will undoubtedly make a meaningful contribution to good corporate governance.
Source: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i2.567More Less
Background : Competitive intelligence (CI) provides actionable intelligence, which provides a competitive edge in enterprises. However, without proper process, it is difficult to develop actionable intelligence. There are disagreements about how the CI process should be structured. For CI professionals to focus on producing actionable intelligence, and to do so with simplicity, they need a common CI process model.
Objectives : The purpose of this research is to review the current literature on CI, to look at the aims of identifying and analysing CI process models, and finally to propose a universal CI process model.
Method : The study was qualitative in nature and content analysis was conducted on all identified sources establishing and analysing CI process models. To identify relevant literature, academic databases and search engines were used. Moreover, a review of references in related studies led to more relevant sources, the references of which were further reviewed and analysed. To ensure reliability, only peer-reviewed articles were used.
Results : The findings reveal that the majority of scholars view the CI process as a cycle of interrelated phases. The output of one phase is the input of the next phase.
Conclusion : The CI process is a cycle of interrelated phases. The output of one phase is the input of the next phase. These phases are influenced by the following factors: decision makers, process and structure, organisational awareness and culture, and feedback.
Source: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –7 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i2.559More Less
Background : Enterprises face intense competition caused by globalisation. Consequently, enterprises look for tools that provide a competitive advantage. Competitive intelligence (CI) provides a competitive advantage to enterprises of all sizes. There are many definitions of CI but no universally accepted one.
Objectives : The purpose of this research is to review the current literature on CI with the aim of identifying and analysing CI definitions to establish the commonalities and differences, to propose a universal and comprehensive definition of CI and to set the borders of CI for common understanding amongst CI stakeholders.
Method : The study was qualitative in nature and content analysis was conducted on all identified sources establishing and analysing CI definitions. To identify relevant literature, academic databases and search engines were used. A review of references in related studies led to more relevant sources, the references of which were further reviewed and analysed. Keywords 'competitive intelligence', 'marketing intelligence' and 'business intelligence' were used in search engines to find relevant sources. To ensure reliability, only peer-reviewed articles were used.
Results : The majority of scholars define CI as a process and acknowledge that CI is collected from the internal and external or competitive environment. They also outline the goals of CI, which are to help in decision-making and provide a competitive advantage.
Conclusion : The proposed definition outlines the process, purpose, source, deliverables, beneficiaries, benefit, ethicality and legality of CI, sets out the borders of CI and ensures a common understanding amongst CI stakeholders.
Knowledge management awareness in a research and development facility : investigating employee perceptions : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –6 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i2.592More Less
Background : Research and development (R&D) facilities are dependent on knowledge to develop new and improve existing technologies. R&D employees' perceptions of the use and management of knowledge are important as these individuals are the source of the innovation needed to generate and develop new processes and services.
Objectives : This study aimed to understand Sasol R&D employees' perceptions of knowledge management (KM). The study also assessed the attitude of Sasol R&D management towards KM.
Method : The target population for this research included different levels of seniority and education in Sasol R&D. A questionnaire was distributed to a sample of 150 employees in R&D and 50 more who work closely with R&D in support functions.
Results : It was found that the importance of KM is understood by Sasol R&D employees and management. It was established that Sasol R&D management regard KM as important, but that their commitment to KM initiatives is not necessarily evident for employees. A concern highlighted by the study was that employees were not aware of the duties of the identified KM champions within their facility.
Conclusion : It was suggested that Sasol R&D employees should be made aware of the duties of KM champions. It was also established that Sasol R&D management needs to be more visible in their support of KM initiatives. Recommendations based on the findings of the study can assist Sasol R&D, and other facilities attempting to implement a KM strategy, to gain insight into the perceptions of employees and the role management needs to play in the facilitation of this process.
Significant factors for enabling knowledge sharing between government agencies within South Africa : original researchSource: South African Journal of Information Management 15, pp 1 –8 (2013) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v15i2.569More Less
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.