Knowledge Management As A Reform Mechanism In Public Sector Administration

Browne, Rachel
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The purpose of this research is to explore Knowledge Management (KM) as a reformist strategy for public service administration. KM as a conceptual approach to reforming organisational practice has been widely researched and discussed in a private sector context, with little attention paid to its implications for the public sector. With the comments made by the Public Service Commission in its state of the public service report, 2002 – ‘One of the major challenges of democratisation has been to change the nature of our state and its public service to become developmental and service oriented ’ – setting the stage, the report will investigate how a KM approach to reform might contribute towards changing the modus operandi of the public service to meet this critical goal. The qualitative research focuses on the human or social component in public service organisation and will work from the premise that reformist management approaches must be located within a wider transformation agenda in the public sector. Within this wider agenda, therefore, the research develops a perspective on reform based on a knowledge-driven organisational strategy using the Treasury as a medium of study. Key findings of the research indicate that although knowledge management approaches are beginning to be identified at the National Treasury, they are in the main isolated and not integrated into a wider knowledge-driven strategic approach that is conceptualised at the leadership level and uniformly implemented by means of ‘knowledge champions’ across the departmental divisions.
Knowledge management, Public sector