Enhancing insights on the knowledge management competency for South African senior public service managers : conceptual and practice perspectives

08 Nov 2016

The 21st century knowledge-based reality poses daunting challenges for the senior public service managers of the South African Public Service. Enhancing insights on and understanding of critical concepts and practices are becoming increasingly vital for senior public service managers to engage in impact-driven and effective knowledge management. Knowledge management is one of the core management competencies required by the performance management and development framework as stipulated in the 2003 Public Service Handbook (Senior Management Service). This article is a value-adding attempt to describe and explain critical concepts and practices that underpin, support, and enable knowledge management which is a prerequisite for high quality performance and effective public service delivery. Understanding the types of knowledge and the distinguishing terms of the hierarchical building blocks for relationship enables conceptual clarity and concise application. The importance of knowledge sharing as a key process in knowledge activities is emphasised. Enabling and promoting communities in supporting knowledge interactions are vital. Knowledge management as a human-centric activity requires insights into the elements of intellectual capital. A human-centric process also requires the nurturing of the human values as an important enabler. Leadership action is necessary to create a supportive and an influencing environment for knowledge management.