Establishing knowledge management for competitive advantage in an enterprise

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. A.S.A. du Toit en_US
dc.contributor.author Ndlela, Lorna Thembisile
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-12T08:22:35Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-12T08:22:35Z
dc.date.issued 2012-09-12
dc.date.submitted 1999
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/7560
dc.description M.Inf. en_US
dc.description.abstract Enterprises are becoming more dependent on people than ever before and in the twenty first century, an enterprise's survival and success will highly depend on the ability to manage knowledge as a source for competitive advantage. This study is concerned with the establishment of a knowledge management program that will ensure sustainable competitive advantage within the enterprise. The main problem under investigation is to assess the importance of knowledge management within an enterprise and to ascertain how knowledge management can ensure sustained competitive advantage in an enterprise. In the first three chapters of the study a literature survey is done to get a better understanding of what knowledge management is, the importance of corporate culture when implementing a knowledge management program and how knowledge management can be a source for sustainable competitive advantage or business edge. The advancement in information technology has allowed enterprises to leverage people's knowledge onto higher competitive level by improving competencies and processes, reducing mistakes, etc. and the optimal application of knowledge in a knowledge-based environment is playing an ever-increasing role in enterprise success. The second part of the study was an empirical study where a qualitative research was conducted in the Eskom Transmission Group. The aim of the research was to investigate understanding of the knowledge management concept amongst business leaders, determine enablers and barriers to implementing a knowledge management, and to also determine whether knowledge is seen as a source for competitive advantage. Structured interviews were conducted with ten business leaders in the Eskom Transmission Group. The data obtained from the interviews were analysed and interpreted according to the grounded theory. It was found that although knowledge management is old but as a formalised concept in the business environment in South Africa it is new and there is no common definition or understanding of the concept. It is however evident that the need to manage knowledge is understood and its importance to the sustainability of the business. The majority of the respondents agree that people issues are critical to the success of knowledge management in an enterprise, as people own knowledge. It is suggested that enterprises should adopt a holistic and integrated approach when establishing a knowledge management program. The holistic approach together with the framework and guidelines as given in chapter six would afford enterprises the ability to manage and harness their knowledge for sustainable competitive advantage. Broad recommendations for establishing a knowledge management program that will be a source of sustainable competitive advantage are proposed. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Knowledge management en_US
dc.subject Competition en_US
dc.subject Strategic planning en_US
dc.title Establishing knowledge management for competitive advantage in an enterprise en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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