Original Research

Knowledge management practices at selected banks in South Africa

Joel Chigada, Patrick Ngulube
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 17, No 1 | a634 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v17i1.634 | © 2015 Joel Chigada, Patrick Ngulube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 August 2014 | Published: 23 June 2015

About the author(s)

Joel Chigada, Department of Information Science, University of South Africa, South Africa
Patrick Ngulube, School of Interdisciplinary Research and Postgraduate Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Effective knowledge organisations (EKO) create dynamic capabilities through the acquisition, creation, sharing and retention of knowledge. These EKOs are designed to enable an organisation to improve best practices in business. As knowledge is different from other organisational resources, decision-makers ought to understand the importance of knowledge to an organisation. In order to fully utilise knowledge-management (KM) practices and to enhance efficiency, management should appreciate and understand the importance of KM. A proper understanding of KM will add value to organisational knowledge.

Objective: This study focused on investigating the knowledge-management practices at selected banks in South Africa. The objective was to establish the extent to which selected banks had implemented knowledge-management practices such as the acquisition, sharing and retention of knowledge.

Method: Quantitative and qualitative data for this study were collected through the use of a multi-methods approach. Data were collected from middle and senior managers through the use of questionnaires and an interview protocol. All usable quantitative data were analysed using Survey Monkey and Microsoft Excel 2010 whilst thematic analysis was used to extract detailed, rich and complex data accounts from interviews.

Results: Though the study revealed the presence of KM practices at selected banks, KM concepts were not universally understood, thus impeding the organisation-wide implementation of KM practices. Knowledge-management practices were only discussed as a footnote because no formal policies existed to add value to KM initiatives.

Conclusion: The study concludes that organisations such as banks should perform a knowledge inventory. Knowledge inventories will become handy during the process of developing KM policies and practices for integrating work processes, collaborating and sharing (including the efficient use of knowledge technology platforms) and developing an enabling institutional culture.


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