Original Research

Utilising knowledge management methods to manage beads-making indigenous knowledge among the Krobo communities in Ghana

Beatrice K. Agyemang, Patrick Ngulube, Luyanda Dube
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 21, No 1 | a1008 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v21i1.1008 | © 2019 Beatrice K. Agyemang, Patrick Ngulube, Luyanda Dube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 May 2018 | Published: 30 May 2019

About the author(s)

Beatrice K. Agyemang, Library, Presbyterian College of Education Akropong, Ghana
Patrick Ngulube, Department of Interdisciplinary Research and Postgraduate Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Luyanda Dube, Department of Information Science, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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Background: The indigenous beads-making industry in the Krobo communities in Ghana plays a significant role in improving the livelihood of rural dwellers and the national economy. However, studies have demonstrated that a host of indigenous industries in Ghana have been on the decline over the past century. Application of knowledge management (KM) methods to beads-making tacit indigenous knowledge (IK) can enhance the management and preservation of the industry in the same systematic manner as external knowledge.

Objective: Being part of a PhD project, this study investigated how KM methods can be used to manage beads-making IK knowledge in the Krobo communities in eastern Ghana.

Method: Qualitative data were collected using participant observation, semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Data were analysed thematically, and extracted manually from the transcripts and summarised into various themes.

Results: The findings of the study revealed that the socialisation process of the knowledge creation model was intensively practised in the beads-making communities to create and utilise knowledge, while the internalisation, combination and externalisation processes were practised at a low rate. On the contrary, organising ‘ba’ and dialoguing ‘ba’ were practised and found in the communities, while systematising ‘ba’ and exercising ‘ba’ were rarely practised.

Conclusion: The study concludes that the knowledge creation model can be partially used to manage indigenous beads-making IK in the Krobo communities in Ghana. The study recommended, among other things, the need for officials of community radio stations, especially state-owned radio and the information centres in the local communities, to develop and broadcast programmes to disseminate information relevant to beads producers so that beads-making knowledge creation and development in the communities do not disappear, and that they should utilise storytelling, drama, traditional dance and singing competitions in the local languages to support the preservation of indigenous beads making.


Knowledge management; indigenous knowledge; beads making; Ghana; Krobo communities.


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