n South African Journal of Business Management - Knowledge management practices in the South African business sector : preliminary findings of a longitudinal study

Volume 33, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2078-5585


This article reports the findings of the first phase of a longitudinal research project on knowledge management (KM) practices in the South African business sector. The overall objectives of the research are to describe prevalent knowledge management practices, to identify patterns and trends, and to develop knowledge management benchmarking and strategic management tools for the business sector. During the first phase of the project a data collection and analysis instrument for a recurring survey of knowledge management practices was developed and verified. The statistical verification of the instrument was based on a pilot survey of seventy-four respondents representing fifty-three companies in the South African industry, using one-way analysis of variance, cross-tabular chi-squared tests and principal component analysis. The data collected during the pilot survey was considered to be sufficient for a first order analysis of KM practices. The survey tested respondent perceptions on six factors scored by aggregation from 24 indicators. The selection of the factors and indicators was based on a KM reference model developed for the purpose of the research. The findings indicated clear patterns of organisational performance related to the factors of the model. The patterns corroborated to a large extent the published findings of research on KM practices in industrialised countries. This provided the confidence to use the preliminary findings as the basis of hypotheses to guide the further phases of the project.

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