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Scarcity of Knowledge Management jobs in South Africa?

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On the South Africa KM Group – a subgroup of the KM Practitioners Group – on Linkedin Elmi Bester asks:
“In our first Knowledge Conversations Hangout earlier today, one of the topics was the apparent scarcity of KM jobs in South Africa. For instance, graduates …

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The chief knowledge officer in South Africa

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Abstract: The knowledge economy has become a reality for many enterprises. In the knowledge economy, it is not products and services that give enterprises a competitive advantage, but how well they manage their knowledge, in other words, what they know and whether they know how to do new things quickly. Bontis (2002:1) states that knowledge management – how an organization makes use of its intellectual capital – is one of the greatest challenges facing enterprises today. However, knowledge management requires an individual with specific knowledge and skills to champion the concept of knowledge management and spearhead the enormous challenges needed to overcome inherent obstacles to the free flow of knowledge within an enterprise. A new role with the title of chief knowledge officer (CKO) has emerged to manage this unique organizational asset – intellectual capital.

It is difficult to estimate how many positions exist for CKOs, as most of these positions are internal appointments and few advertisements for this position appear in the press. (Bontis 2002:3; TFPL 1999a:4; Tiwana 2000:405) Earl and Scott (2001) estimate that there are approximately 50 CKOs in the world. A few positions for CKOs have also emerged in South Africa. However, much confusion still exists about who and what the CKO is, what his or her responsibilities are and what skills he or she should possess. From an analysis of job advertisements for knowledge managers in South Africa, it became clear that, although an awareness of the need for a person to manage intellectual capital at a strategic level does exist in South African enterprises, a comprehensive understanding of the position and role of the CKO is lacking (Snyman 2001).

The aim of this research was to investigate the South African business world’s perspective of the role and responsibilities of the CKO and to analyse these findings against a theoretical background. To achieve this aim, the following aspects were investigated:

  • The concept of CKO
  • The role and responsibilities of the CKO
  • Qualifications, knowledge and skills required for the position of CKO
  • How persons in CKO positions in South Africa weigh up against requirements in the literature.

K.C. Chauke, M.M.M. Snyman: Position and role of the chief knowledge officer in South Africa – a discrepancy between theory and practice? South African Journal of Information Management; Vol 5, No 1 (2003)

©2014 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All Rights Reserved. No Unauthorised Duplication Allowed.

Survey Findings on Knowledge Managers’ Characteristics and Activities

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Abstract: Knowledge management (the process) and knowledge managers (the people) are recent organizational phenomena. The latter (the knowledge managers) are those key individuals charged with the task of making the former (knowledge management) successful. Due to the recent emergence of these organizational initiatives, a …


MBA knowledge management course: is there an impact after graduation

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Abstract: The purpose of this paper is twofold. The first is to present the structure of a course entitled ‘Strategic Knowledge Management’ taught at the MBA level at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Canada. The second goal is to report on the survey …


Case Study: The Knowledge Management honours degree programme @ Southampton Solent University

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Abstract: During 2007/8, Southampton Solent University worked on a Leadership Foundation project focused on the utility of the multi-functional team approach as a vehicle to deliver innovation in strategic and operational terms in higher education (HE). The Task-Orientated Multi-Functional Team Approach (TOMFTA) project took two …


What makes for a successful knowledge manager?

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Weblogs | Knowledge Management education & training worldwide

Abstract: In the SIKM Leaders Community, Patti Anklam recently asked for suggestions about what makes knowledge managers effective. She cited my list:

Share what you have learned, created, and proved
Innovate to be more creative, inventive, imaginative
Reuse what others have already learned, created, and proved
Collaborate with others …


Roles in the Knowledge Management organisation

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Weblogs | Knowledge Management education & training worldwide

Abstract: A fully mature KM organisation will contain several recognised KM positions in order to ensure and facilitator the creation, transfer and re-use of knowledge. Some of these are listed below. Sometimes several of these roles are combined into a single position.
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Nick Milton: …


Knowledge Management Careers and Skills

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Weblogs | Knowledge Management education & training worldwide

Careers in Knowledge Management
Abstract: In this section I am going to take a look at what one needs to pursue a career in knowledge management. Below I will start by talking a bit about the kind of KM educations and courses one can find from …