Understanding tacit knowledge loss in public enterprises of South Africa

SA Journal of Human Resource Management

Field Value
Title Understanding tacit knowledge loss in public enterprises of South Africa
Creator Phaladi, Malefetjane P. Ngulube, Patrick
Subject knowledge management; human resource management; organisational behaviour knowledge loss risks; human resource management; knowledge management; knowledge-based theory; resource-based theory; South Africa; state-owned enterprises.
Description Orientation: South African state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are facing a perpetual struggle of institutional tacit knowledge loss, which poses a risk to these entities and threatens their sustainability. The research project endeavoured to tackle these challenges from knowledge management (KM) and human resource management (HRM) perspectives and proposes a plethora of integrated knowledge-driven HRM processes to mitigate risks associated with loss of tacit knowledge.Research purpose: The study provides an integrated understanding of the issues relating to the causes of enterprise tacit knowledge loss and extent to which there is recognition of company knowledge loss in selected SOEs in South Africa.Motivation for the study: There is limited research that provides an integrated approach to tacit knowledge loss from KM and HRM standpoints.Research approach/design and method: The exploratory sequential mixed-methods research design was used in this study. In the qualitative phase of this research, data were collected from the annual reports of the SOEs and unstructured interviews with 20 purposively selected human resource (HR) managers, which was subsequently analysed thematically using ATLAS.ti software. The quantitative data from 145 out of 585 respondents were analysed statistically using Statistical Analysis Software (SAS).Main findings: The study revealed that organisational tacit knowledge loss is largely caused by voluntary and involuntary employee turnover and a lack of retention strategies. This adversely affects the knowledge base and the knowledge absorptive and protective capacities of the SOEs.Practical implications/managerial implications: The study concludes that the journey for ensuring effective knowledge transfer and retention of valuable enterprise knowledge starts with the appreciation of knowledge as a key firm-specific strategic issue.Contribution/value-add: This study offers an integrated understanding of the causes of tacit knowledge loss for effective management in SOEs researched interdependently from KM and HRM perspectives.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor Tshwane University of Technology, Research and Innovation Portfolio University of South Africa
Date 2024-01-12
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Mixed Methods Research; Exploratory Sequential Design; Interview; Document Analysis; Survey Questionnaire
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/sajhrm.v22i0.2229
Source SA Journal of Human Resource Management; Vol 22 (2024); 10 pages 2071-078X 1683-7584
Language eng
The following web links (URLs) may trigger a file download or direct you to an alternative webpage to gain access to a publication file format of the published article:

https://sajhrm.co.za/index.php/sajhrm/article/view/2229/3551 https://sajhrm.co.za/index.php/sajhrm/article/view/2229/3552 https://sajhrm.co.za/index.php/sajhrm/article/view/2229/3553 https://sajhrm.co.za/index.php/sajhrm/article/view/2229/3554
Coverage South Africa n/a human resource managers; knowledge management practitioners and employees in the SOEs
Rights Copyright (c) 2024 Malefetjane P. Phaladi, Patrick Ngulube https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0