Knowledge Management in South African Project-Based Firms

Shoniwa, Martin
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Knowledge management is a key source of innovation in organisations. Knowledge acquired from dealing with one client can be recycled through a process of knowledge transfer and storage to improve innovation and to affect the performance of organisations. In our information economy, producing and distributing information and knowledge are a major source of wealth and prosperity. In this context, it becomes important for organizations to manage their knowledge as a key strategic resource with particular reference to the nature of the operations of the firm. The main problem is to evaluate how project based firms source knowledge from projects, how they optimize their knowledge resources and how they meet challenges in project knowledge management in South Africa. This research is qualitative in nature and the type of research is an interpretive study. Based on a literature review, a semi-structured interview was conducted and the data collected was codified, categorised and compared with the literature review to confirm the key findings. The key findings of this research were aligned to each part of the main research problem as follows. • Project based firms can source their project knowledge through dialogue, using web portals, organisational culture, fostering sociable environments, building relationships and choosing diversified knowledge workers. • Project based firms can optimise their knowledge assets for projects through bundling knowledge into transferable packages, strict policing of document standardisation, using classification, tags and codes, exposing and acknowledging knowledge workers, protocols and standardising information systems. • Project based firms can meet the challenges of managing project knowledge through strict protocols, using professional external facilitators for project audits, creating conducive environments for sharing mistakes and keeping a centralised knowledge repository and team member directory. The key message is that the principles of knowledge management which have been applied in businesses and organisations can also be applied to project based firms with great effect and profitability
MBA thesis
Knowledge management