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The social determinants for theiInstitutionalisation of knowledge sharing in a selected organisation in the Western Cape, South Africa
Ndjoy, Henri Vincent Ndjave
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The aim of this study was to explore the social determinants for the institutionalisation of knowledge sharing within an organisation. Institutionalisation offers stabilising benefits and contributes to nurturing a culture of knowledge sharing. Systematic sharing of knowledge cannot take place unless there are procedures, policies and guidelines for knowledge sharing. Giddens’s concept of duality of structure was used as the theoretical lens. Institutionalisation is considered to be rules that are shared and that recognise categories of social actors and their applicable activities or relationships (Barley & Tolbert, 1997). Challenges arise when knowledge sharing is not as efficient as it should be due to many constraints. One of them is inadequate procedures and policies for knowledge sharing. Systematic sharing of knowledge cannot take place unless there are procedures, guidelines and policies for knowledge sharing (Riege 2005). Sharing of knowledge cannot be effective if suitable procedures and processes are not in place (Riege, 2005:28-32). The research used a mixed method approach and employed an interpretive case study methodology. A focus group was conducted from a qualitative stance, followed by a survey from a quantitative perspective with senior, medium and junior-level staff members working within the Development Information and Geographic Information Systems department of a selected municipality in the Western Cape, South Africa. The sample represents a hundred percent of the population being all sixty staff members for the DI & GIS department, from which seven were used for the focus group from the qualitative perspective and the remainder for the quantitative survey. For the qualitative side, content analysis was used to analyse data generated from the focus group, while a descriptive statistical analysis was employed to analyse the data gathered from the quantitative survey. The findings suggest that organisational structure, policies, processes, corporate governance and technology are major enablers for the institutionalisation of knowledge sharing in an organisation. Management support and organisational culture were also recognised as social factors for knowledge sharing institutionalisation. New strategies for reinforcing efforts to nurture and invigorate the institutionalisation of knowledge sharing within an organisation were generated and presented as a general framework.