Mousaion - Volume 23, Issue 1, 2005
Volumes & issues
Volume 23, Issue 1, 2005
Author Archie L. DickSource: Mousaion 23, pp 1 –18 (2005)More Less
Information professionals in some developing countries are likely to view context differently from those in developed countries. Context becomes even more problematic when the searchers for information are ordinary citizens and the retrieval tool is a piece of national legislation that promotes access to information held by the state and the private sector. These and other difficulties become apparent in a case study of South Africa's Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000 (PAIA). Using this legislation, context is examined from the perspective that power is access to information, which focuses on tensions in the struggle for access. This article argues that an enabling context or culture of access is just as important as progressive information legislation in developing countries. It identifies shortcomings of the Ingwersen and Jarvelin nested model of context. Ways of modifying the nested model of context and promoting a culture of access are recommended.
Source: Mousaion 23, pp 19 –38 (2005)More Less
This article surveys the bibliographic sources that cover books published in South Africa since the arrival of the printing press in the late eighteenth century, and identifies a number of development trends: (1) individual bibliographic efforts by enthusiastic bibliophiles preceded formal, officially supported bibliographic work by a considerable margin; (2) the introduction of legal deposit was not immediately followed by bibliographic work based on legal deposit collections; (3) the establishment in 1959 of a comprehensive current national bibliography based on legal deposit, the South African National Bibliography (SANB), brought South African bibliographic work in line with modern national bibliographic practice in leading countries; (4) bibliographic work by individuals continued well after the establishment of an official national bibliography, but their efforts were increasingly directed at subsets of the national production; (5) the successful establishment of the SANB was followed by formal retrospective national bibliographic projects; (6) resource constraints continue to hamper both current and retrospective national bibliographic work, (7) the proliferation of modern media poses new challenges and (8) the convergence of media and heritage institutions of various traditions presents a further layer of complexity, but may also offer new solutions in the form of resource sharing and partnerships.
Improving the quality of research outputs in higher education through knowledge sharing and collaboration : a case studyAuthor Patrick NgulubeSource: Mousaion 23, pp 39 –61 (2005)More Less
The article highlights some drawbacks of not managing knowledge in academia and suggests knowledge-sharing strategies that can be used to leverage knowledge on research procedures. The study investigated the research procedures used by Master of Information Studies students at the University of Natal in South Africa between 1982 and 2002. The results indicated that there was no uniformity in the research procedures used in the theses. For instance, issues relating to sampling, validating survey protocols and summarising research findings were not always handled according to established methodological standards. The variability in research processes that were employed partly implied that the levels of knowledge of research supervisors differed. It is evident from the research outputs that knowledge that is scattered among research supervisors is not easily accessible. In that regard, this article provides a model for academic institutions interested in bridging existing knowledge gaps and enhancing performance of research supervisors.
Source: Mousaion 23, pp 62 –81 (2005)More Less
In the latter part of the nineties, Davenport (1998) emphasised that although many companies were beginning to feel that knowledge was their most valued asset, only a few had actively begun to manage knowledge efficiently and effectively, especially on a daily basis. One can contend that this statement by Davenport is still applicable today. Companies are still struggling to get to grips with knowledge management. Fortunately, since Davenport made this statement, a lot of work has been done on knowledge management. This article builds on the work of authors such as Zack, Davenport, Earl, Snyman and Kruger and others, and argues that not only should knowledge be governed by strategy before detailed knowledge management plans can be made, but more importantly that sound knowledge management practice should be based on predetermined principles and strategies. Arguing from this perspective, this article not only emphasises the strategic link between knowledge management and strategy, but also focuses on determining whether or not there are any principles and strategies available that operate from a knowledge management perspective, to guide strategists in their efforts to manage knowledge effectively.
Knowledge management within the multinational organization : the impact of the African concept of ubuntu on knowledge processesAuthor Deonie BothaSource: Mousaion 23, pp 82 –96 (2005)More Less
Eastern, Western and African cultures each have their own preferences towards knowledge processes. This impacts on the manner in which these processes are integrated and transformed into knowledge management initiatives. The preferences of the various cultural styles towards certain knowledge processes are discussed. Specific focus is placed on the manner in which the African philosophy of ubuntu influences a preference for certain knowledge processes. The aim of this discussion is to create an understanding of the differences in the preferences of cultural styles towards knowledge processes and thus of knowledge management initiatives in multinational organisations. An understanding of this nature could contribute to a change in the way that existing knowledge management initiatives are applied within the context of international organisations. This would greatly enhance and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of knowledge management initiatives on a global scale.
Author Mary-Lynn SuttieSource: Mousaion 23, pp 97 –118 (2005)More Less
This article explores the early history of the University of South Africa (Unisa) Library from its tentative roots in the 1940s to maturity in the mid 1970s when South Africa was confronted by dramatic political upheaval. It traces its growth and examines its strategies to achieve a comprehensive information service for students studying by correspondence. The peculiar modalities of such 'distance education' led to various innovations. For example, the Unisa Library pioneered computerisation, a comprehensive subject librarian service and an elaborate study collection organised through a number of branch libraries. The intriguing political struggles of Unisa to maintain its identity as a bilingual (Afrikaans-English) institution offering working adults, both black and white, the chance to study part-time are also analysed, and the rapid expansion of the Unisa Library's book, journal and archival collections is discussed. Rapacious apartheid education depended on, but also had to contend with, strong university leadership under A.J.H. van der Walt, Samuel Pauw and Theo van Wijk. Unisa's growing stature in the 1970s allowed its library to punch above its weight in information circles. Its sponsorship by mainly Afrikaner big business demonstrated close links with the white establishment, which proved beneficial in transforming the Unisa Library into a premier research facility by 1976.
The same, but with a difference : South African children's literature in relation to Australian and Canadian children's literatureAuthor Thomas Van der WaltSource: Mousaion 23, pp 119 –141 (2005)More Less
In this exploratory article attention is paid to noticeable similarities between South African, Canadian and Australian children's literature. Because children's literature, like all literature, can be seen as a mirror of the cultural history and social situation in a country, similarities in the children's literature of these three former British colonies are to be expected. Aspects that will be referred to are the influence of, and relationship to, Britain, the 'mother country'; the landscape; former disposition towards the rural and more recent dealing with urbanisation; the indigenous populations; the use of languages; socio-economic issues and the place of the local children's literature within the global picture. In spite of these similar elements in the respective literatures, they also have unique characteristics that distinguish them from the other. One of the aspects that makes South African children's literature unique is the dealing with (or failing to deal with) apartheid in books for children. This issue is dealt with in the last section of the article.
Shaping the network society : The new role of civil society in cyberspace, edited by Douglas Schuler and Peter Day : book reviewAuthor Karin McGuirkSource: Mousaion 23, pp 142 –146 (2005)More Less
Shaping the network society is essential reading for students and practitioners of the new forms of democracy in the so-called information age. This book is about the emergence of civil society in cyberspace and resulted from the Seventh Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing (DIAC) Symposium, Seattle 2000.