Title page for ETD etd-06012005-151750

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Squier, Martie Maria
URN etd-06012005-151750
Document Title The principles and practice of knowledge management
Degree M IS (Information Science)
Department Information Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof M M M Snyman
  • Organizational learning
  • Knowledge management
Date 2004-04-18
Availability unrestricted
The aim of the study is to provide a theoretical background to knowledge management and related concepts and to determine the current situation with regard to knowledge management implementation in industry, specifically financial organisations.

Organisations all over the world are realising that knowledge in the form of expertise and competence is the organisationís most important asset and that its quality and availability affect all aspects of the organisation. More and more executives and managers realise that in modern organisations, all available work is centred on knowledge-intensive activities and the organisationís success is directly related to the quality and relevance of these activities, particularly through knowledge workersí willingness to use that knowledge to the advantage of the organisation.

Knowledge management is seen as a business process, integrating knowledge, people, processes, strategies, techniques and technologies. It is the process through which organisations create and use their institutional or collective knowledge assets. Knowledge management is not only about managing these knowledge assets but also about managing the processes that act upon the assets. These processes include developing knowledge and preserving knowledge within organisations, including learning processes and the management of information systems.

Knowledge management techniques and technologies play an important role in supporting knowledge management processes and activities. Technology and people related techniques bring to knowledge management the ability to carry out knowledge management processes quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively, making it an enabling solution.

When implementing a knowledge management initiative the knowledge management strategy is closely linked to the overall business strategy. The study proposed a knowledge management implementation framework. The emphasis of the framework was on the management of the organisation, people, processes and infrastructure as well as the alignment of the knowledge management strategy to the overall business strategy of the organisation.

Based on the theoretical background, three well-known financial organisations were used in a case study to investigate the current state of knowledge management implementation in industry. Finally conclusions, based on the literature survey and the case studies are given. From the conclusions, gaps in the literature have been identified and addressed in the discussion of possible further research possibilities.

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