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- Volume 6, Issue 1, 2004
South African Journal of Information Management - Volume 6, Issue 1, 2004
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Volume 6, Issue 1, 2004
Author M.M.M. SnymanSource: South African Journal of Information Management 6 (2004)More Less
This article covers research conducted on communication, knowledge sharing and computer-mediated knowledge sharing, relating to organizations functioning in the South African environment. Research data was collected using an HTML based e-mail questionnaire distributed in an answer-ready format. Results were obtained in an analysis-ready format via e-mail responses, after which the obtained data were analysed, using simplified statistical techniques. Though the results cannot be generalized due to a lack of respondents, they do give an indication of knowledge sharing perceptions in the associated organizations. The results function as an introduction into further research regarding computer-mediated knowledge sharing in the South African context and may be used to engage in further in-depth research into the specific field of computer-mediated knowledge sharing as a sub-section of knowledge management processes.
Author R. SewlalSource: South African Journal of Information Management 6 (2004)More Less
Competitive intelligence (CI) refers to the legal and ethical collection of information about competitors' activities in the market place. To stay competitive in the business world, a company must pro-actively formulate competitive strategies, be aware of the product and business information of its competitors to market its products competitively and identify new products for development before entering into new business areas. The World-Wide Web (Web) is one of the latest media for sharing information and provides another emerging and important avenue and source of CI for companies, but this information should be properly evaluated. CI is critical if companies are to stay competitive in the market place and to discover Web information, CI users need to constantly access Web sites and Web pages for related information. CI is problematic in developing countries. In this study, several factors contributing to this aspect of business were investigated. A literature review was conducted together with empirical research using a survey to determine the seriousness of the problem in South Africa. Some salient results showed that the Web was an effective information-gathering tool but was not being used as a CI tool; the information on the Web lacks accuracy, as the information cannot be verified; there was a lack of CI knowledge and practice; and there was an inadequate CI culture in most organizations.
Author S.E. Arnoldi-van der WaltSource: South African Journal of Information Management 6 (2004)More Less
Many writers foresaw that the 21st century would see a totally new society, a society influenced and manipulated by technology. The change from an industrial society to the newly formed information society may be compared to the impact the industrial revolution had on the decentralized society of the previous era where the society was transformed into a society with a centralized industrial economy. The way in which business was conducted was characteristic of this centralized industrial economy - customers' needs were artificially created and manipulated and the business focus was product-orientated, dictating the terms and conditions of business processes. Pre-defined rules for success were preserved and applied over and over to ensure success. With the advent of the information revolution, technology empowered customers and the business focus changed from being product-orientated to being customer-orientated. Customers were to dictate to business what they needed. This change forced organizations to deliver products on demand and placed employees in the frontline of service provision. Managements were confronted with situations where they could no longer control business processes by laying down rules for success. They were forced to empower their employees with correct information, to enable them to meet their clients' unprecedented needs. In an effort to support employees, information technology was applied to re-engineer business processes for enhancing information flow within the organization. But the great diversity in architecture and the lack of communication abilities caused those information systems to fail. However, the unique communication and virtualization capabilities of the World-Wide Web (Web) facilitate a subjective context and living space for continuous human interaction and the retrieval and delivery of the information and knowledge required to customized products to customers' needs.