Original Research

Nexus between reward culture and knowledge creation in selected academic libraries in Uganda

Namale E. Lwanga, Patrick Ngulube
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 21, No 1 | a1022 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v21i1.1022 | © 2019 Namale E. Lwanga, Patrick Ngulube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 August 2018 | Published: 10 July 2019

About the author(s)

Namale E. Lwanga, Library Services Department, Uganda Institute of Management, Kampala, Uganda
Patrick Ngulube, Department of Interdisciplinary Research and Postgraduate Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

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Background: Knowledge management has become increasingly significant in libraries because of rapid technological changes and the subsequent practices that have become enshrined in the way business is conducted. Knowledge creation as part of knowledge management is key to the sustainable survival of an organisation. The extant literature demonstrates that academic libraries have been engaged in knowledge creation in higher education institutions over the years. A number of studies have been undertaken in the field of knowledge management in Uganda; however, they all focused on knowledge management practices, such as creation, acquisition, documentation, application and sharing without adequately linking them to the reward culture. Consequently, little research has been conducted on the influence of reward culture on knowledge creation in academic libraries in Uganda. This gap in literature reinforces the need to closely examine reward culture in academic libraries in Uganda, as this will improve the understanding of some motivational factors in knowledge creation.

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate the connection between knowledge creation and reward culture in an academic library environment in Uganda.

Methods: A multi-method research strategy that involved the use of quantitative and qualitative research methods was adopted. Eighty staff members from three libraries participated in the survey, which employed a self-administered questionnaire to collect data. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three heads of the libraries. Data pertaining to reward culture and knowledge creation were also collected from institutional documents. The data were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively.

Results: The major findings of the study are that the non-financial reward culture has more influence on knowledge creation as compared to the financial reward culture in academic libraries. Policies of the libraries are vague on whether there are financial or non-financial rewards attached to knowledge creation. However, both the non-financial and financial reward cultures influence knowledge creation in libraries to varying extents.

Conclusion: The results of these multiple case studies may not be generalised to many contexts, but the study illuminates the influence of the reward system on knowledge creation. The key finding of the study was that academic libraries’ policies on knowledge creation did not come out clearly on whether there were financial or non-financial rewards attached to knowledge creation.


knowledge management; knowledge creation; reward culture; academic library


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