Original Research

Management of intellectual capital held by Tanzania’s higher learning institutions: Strategies and challenges

John J. Iwata, Ruth Hoskins
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 22, No 1 | a1151 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v22i1.1151 | © 2020 John J. Iwata, Ruth Hoskins | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 September 2019 | Published: 30 November 2020

About the author(s)

John J. Iwata, Department of Information Studies, College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Ruth Hoskins, Department of Information Studies, College of Humanities, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

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Background: The economic well-being of any organisation in the world today significantly depends on the intellectual capital possessed by these institutions. However, with its richness in intellectual capital, some higher learning institutions in Tanzania are facing financial hardships.

Objectives: To establish methods used by Tanzania’s higher learning institutions in managing the intellectual capital in their possession, with the focus of establishing a link between such practices and the financial performance of such institutions.

Methods: This study was conducted using a multiple case study design, employing a purely qualitative research approach. Purposive sampling technique was used to involve respondents in this study. Collected data were analysed using thematic content analysis.

Results: The visited institutions had a wide range of intellectual capital such as human, relational and structural capital. The intellectual capital found was managed using various methods, including careful recruitment of staff and knowledge-sharing strategies. Although the practices of managing some aspects of such capital were at a very basic level at the registry points, the practice was found to be very important for the economic well-being of the institution.

Conclusion: Tanzania’s higher learning institutions possess a wide range of intellectual capital, and its management methods vary depending on the aspect of such capital. More importantly, the intellectual capital had a significant link with the financial performance of the institutions. However, the process of managing intellectual capital faced some challenges, including improper succession planning and the lack of a sharing culture.


economic well-being; Tanzania; higher learning institutions; intellectual capital; intellectual capital management; knowledge management.


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