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Enablers and Barriers to Knowledge Management in Universities: Perspectives from South Africa and Mauritius

Rowley, Jennifer and Veer Ramjeawon, Poonam (2020) Enablers and Barriers to Knowledge Management in Universities: Perspectives from South Africa and Mauritius. Aslib Journal of Information Management. (In Press)

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Abstract

Purpose Universities need to manage their knowledge assets, and, to work creatively to maximize the enablers and minimize the barriers associated with knowledge management processes. This research offers a comparative perspective on knowledge management in universities in two countries whose university sectors are at different stages of their development, South Africa and Mauritius. Design/methodology/approach Semi-structured interviews were conducted with expert informants from 10 high-ranking universities in Mauritius and South Africa, who held senior roles in research and its management within their respective universities Findings Both enablers and barriers (eandb) were evident in relation to: strategies and policies, organizational structures, rewards and incentives, culture, technology, leadership, human resources, resources and funding, and university-industry linkages, although the significance of these eandbs varied between the three knowledge processes, knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer. Overall, Mauritius, with a less developed university sector, faced more challenges in respect of knowledge management than did South Africa. Originality/value This study's theoretical contribution is a holistic framework for enabling KM in universities on the basis of a mapping between KM eandb's and KM processes. This comparative country level study, embracing a number of universities, offers insights into national policy, and cultural expectations that influence the extent and nature of barriers and enablers to effective KM. The insights offered by this study will be valuable for Mauritius and South Africa, and also for universities in other countries.

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