n Mousaion - Impact of organisational culture on internal knowledge production : a case study of the Africa Institute of South Africa




This article reports on a study that investigated the impact of organisational culture on internal knowledge production and assessed the challenges of producing knowledge at the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA), which is seen as a model knowledge producing think tank in sub-Saharan Africa. The broad objectives of the study were: identifying AISA's achievements in knowledge production; finding out the challenges AISA confronts in producing knowledge; examining how AISA's organisational culture impacts on internal knowledge production; and suggesting ways in which knowledge production at AISA and other think tanks may be improved. A case study was conducted and self-administered questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, document analysis, and observation were used to collect data. The findings showed that AISA's knowledge production efforts are confronted by several challenges, including: organisational culture and employees' negative attitudes towards sharing knowledge freely, and employees encountering difficulties in finding the information and knowledge they need. If these challenges could be identified and clearly confined, it is argued that AISA would be in a better position to effectively produce and utilise knowledge, enabling it to achieve its objectives more efficiently. It is recommended that AISA acquire knowledge from external sources; produce knowledge internally which it uses and is used by its clientele; and establish itself as a knowledge-based organisation by creating a knowledge friendly culture as a framework for addressing the issue of organisational culture. The study results will hopefully lay a foundation for understanding ways of improving knowledge production at AISA and thus influence positive public policy in sub-Saharan Africa.


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