Original Research

Knowledge management a competitive edge for law firms in Botswana in the changing business environment

Madeleine Fombad
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 17, No 1 | a633 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v17i1.633 | © 2015 Madeleine Fombad | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 August 2014 | Published: 31 August 2015


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Abstract

Background: Law firms in Botswana offer a particularly interesting context to explore the effects of transition in the knowledge economy. Acquiring and leveraging knowledge effectively in law firms through knowledge management can result in competitive advantage; yet the adoption of this approach remains in its infancy.

Objectives: This article investigates the factors that will motivate the adoption of knowledge management in law firms in Botswana, and creates an awareness of the potential benefits of knowledge management in these firms.

Method: The article uses both quantitative and qualitative research methods and the survey research design. A survey was performed on all 115 registered law firms and 217 lawyers in Botswana. Interviews were conducted with selected lawyers for more insight.

Results: Several changes in the legal environment have motivated law firms to adopt knowledge management. Furthermore, lawyers appreciate the potential benefits of knowledge management.

Conclusion: With the rise of the knowledge-based economy, coupled with the pressures faced by the legal industry in recent years, law firms in Botswana can no longer afford to rely on the traditional methods of managing knowledge. Knowledge management will, therefore, enhance the cost effectiveness of these firms. Strategic knowledge management certainly helps to prepare law firms in Botswana to be alive to the fact that the systematic harnessing of legal knowledge is no longer a luxury, but an absolute necessity in the knowledge economy. It will also provide an enabling business environment for private sector development and growth and, therefore, facilitate Botswana’s drive towards the knowledge-based economy.


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