How to Implement Knowledge Management in Emerging Governments in Africa and Beyond: A Case Study on the South African Government



knowledge management; knowledge management implementation framework; service delivery; South Africa; South African government


This paper is based on the premise that public officials in developing countries lack the necessary skills to implement Knowledge Management (KM) successfully, so a framework is required to facilitate this process. South Africa is the case study. It is therefore necessary to develop a Knowledge Management Implementation Framework (KMIF). Consequently, one of the objectives of this paper is to validate this need and then outline a KMIF that can help government departments in developing countries implement KM and foster a KM culture. A mixed methodology approach was used, combining qualitative and quantitative data collection. Based on the Taro Yamane formula, 139 people were selected from a target population of 221 officials involved in KM in the South African government. DATAtab, a web-based statistics application, was used to analyze the responses. A comprehensive review of several secondary literature sources was carried out. For the literature review, relevant peer-reviewed articles were downloaded from Google Scholar, ResearchGate, Scopus, and Phil Papers. The study posits that officials charged with KM implementation in the South African government lack the necessary implementation skillset, that a need for a KMIF exists, and subsequently outlines a three-stage KMIF to facilitate their efforts. This study recommends that the proposed three-stage KMIF be adopted since it will provide the government (i) a simplified and structured way of realizing KM; (ii) it will be an effective tool that officials can use to guide them on how to implement KM, and (iii) it will cultivate a KM culture within the government. Even though the study is original to the South African government, the findings, however, may be applied to other emerging governments in Africa and beyond. Despite its theoretical nature, the paper lacks empirical validation, leaving it open to further investigation.


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How to Cite

BARBIER, L., & TENGEH, R. K. (2023). How to Implement Knowledge Management in Emerging Governments in Africa and Beyond: A Case Study on the South African Government. Management Dynamics in the Knowledge Economy, 11(2), 170–189. Retrieved from