Knowledge management according to organisational size : a South African perspective

19 Jun 2014

BACKGROUND: To date, few studies have focused on how embedded Knowledge Managment (KM) is found in the roots of an organisation. Specifically, not much is known whether employees and managers hold similar perceptions regarding KM or if organisational size plays a role in the establishment of KM maturity. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this article was to determine what role organisational size plays in the establishment of KM maturity and how different managerial levels viewed their organisations KM maturity. METHOD: The authors gained insight into KM maturity in different industry groupings over a five-year period from a large urban South African University engaged in numerous collaboration programmes with industry. In total, 434 employees were interviewed over three grouping levels (operational, middle and senior management). RESULTS: The findings support arguments that irrespective of organisational size, knowledgeorientated issues are applicable to all organisations. However, with significant differences in scores recorded over all maturity sections in South Africa, the findings indicated that different sized organisations address knowledge-orientated issues differently. CONCLUSION: Findings challenge the argument that the manner in which knowledge-orientated issues are addressed differ only slightly depending on organisational size. Smaller-sized organisations prefer a more personal approach, whilst larger-sized organisations prefer knowledge transfer via technology. Irrespective of organisational size, commitment holds the key to KM success. Commitment shown by middle management regarding KM is a differentiator.