n Journal of Public Administration - Reconstructing knowledge production for effective management in the legislatures in South Africa

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This article argues two issues - first, that the transformation of knowledge and knowledge production is still pertinent and yet an unresolved issue. The reconstruction of knowledge management as a discourse and practice in the legislatures cannot be fulfilled without the transformation of the knowledge base. The legislatures, through their oversight and public participation, have an opportunity to engender a people-connected knowledge production and knowledge management regime, but are not doing so. The article singles out knowledge production and argues that it is the foundation which needs to be 'decolonised' if ever knowledge management is to be an emancipatory praxis which connects with the tacit and explicit knowledges of marginalised communities serviced by legislatures. The article uses as the points of reference the various forms of public participation used by the legislatures, e.g. sector parliaments and publichearings. Knowledge management is inferred in the article to include knowledge production, codification, deployment and storage; it involves all the practices of embedding knowledge in organisational cultures and activities. The article furtherargues that the kind of knowledge currently used in parliamentary oversight functions should be not be taken for granted as if it is complete and uncontested. Legislative forums of public participation should be used as knowledge production forums to complement and expand the codified hegemonic knowledge paradigms dominating the field of knowledge management. The knowledge emanating from 'marginalised communities', based on their languages and experiences could be an enriching contribution to the diversification of the content of what is known and also the terms of validation of what constitutes knowledge.

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