M.IT At the University of Pretoria

I have enrolled in this program back in 2015, completed my subjects and am now completing my mini-dissertation. As part of this mini-dissertation I need to investigate my research subject Knowledge Management, and in particular what obstacles there might be in the SME IT services marker in South Africa that could prevent a successful implementation of knowledge management.
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Knowledge management programmes have been proven to provide organisations with a highly competitive edge; however, not all organisations have such a programme. Some knowledge management programmes succeed, yet many have found the programme to fail for various reasons.

Neither the organisation nor the knowledge management programme has to be large for the programme to be successful. However, it is important for all organisations wanting to implement a knowledge management programme to know what the possible obstacles may be that could prevent the programme from achieving success.

A quick study to compare the organisational environment and culture of the organisation could be done to identify possible obstacles in the organisation. Once the organisation knows what obstacles lie in their way, they can focus on minimising or removing these obstacles to stand a better chance of successfully implementing and running the intended knowledge management programme.

This study sought to investigate what the literature says about the organisational culture and environment where knowledge management programmes have succeeded and what obstacles could be in the way of successfully implementing and running such a programme.

Once this was known, the study compared an organisation in the South African IT services and development sector to see if any of the obstacles found in the literature were present.

The study found that some, but not all, obstacles were present in this organisation. Some of the obstacles found in the literature were not only absent but, in actual fact, the complete opposite was found. One such discrepancy is that the literature states that employees may not want to share knowledge as they may fear a loss of job security if others also possess “their” knowledge. In the organisation, however, it was found that every respondent wanted to share their knowledge and had no concerns of job security loss due to knowledge sharing.

Keywords: business culture, business environment, information technology industry, knowledge management, knowledge management failures, knowledge management strategy, South Africa, obstacles, problems

Thank you


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