Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

Knowledge Management within the Globalised Organisation: The Impact of the African Concept of "Ubuntu" on Knowledge Management Practices

Deonie Botha.

Knowledge management involves five knowledge processes, namely: Knowledge generation: This refers to activities that increase the stock of organisational knowledge; Knowledge codification: This refers to the activities involved in capturing tacit knowledge from individuals and changing it into explicit knowledge; Knowledge organisation: These activities classify and categorise the knowledge for the purpose of storage and retrieval; Knowledge transfer or dissemination: These are activities, which are used to disseminate the knowledge to the users; Knowledge use: The application of knowledge for performing business activities, making decisions and finding opportunities.
Western and Eastern national cultures each have their own unique manner in which knowledge processes are managed and thus integrated and transformed into knowledge management practices.
Globalisation, created a scenario in which both Western and Eastern multinational organisations were relocated to South Africa. However, these organisations simply cannot apply existing Western and Eastern knowledge management practices in South African organisations. This is due to the fact that South African organisations consist mainly of employees and a clientele with an African frame of mind and with a more "Africanised" view on how knowledge management practices should manifest itself.
An integrated framework, based on a combination of the characteristics of the Western, Eastern and African national cultures, are needed in order to ensure a change in the way that existing knowledge management practices are applied within the context of multinational organisations in South Africa. This would greatly enhance and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of knowledge management practices on a global scale.
The following issues will be addressed during the presentation: Knowledge processes and knowledge management practices within organizations;· Impact of globalisation on knowledge management practices;· The impact of Western and Eastern national cultures on knowledge management practices;· The characteristics of the African national culture or "Ubuntu"; "Ubuntu" and knowledge management practices


Deonie Botha  (South Africa)
Department of Information Science Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology
University of Pretoria

Deonie Botha is a full-time lecturer at the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria. She is involved in lecturing Information Science and Library Science but specialises in Information and Knowledge Management, which she lectures on both pre- as well as postgraduate level. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch and obtained a MInf (Masters in Information Science) degree from the University of South Africa (UNISA). In 2002 she obtained a Diploma in Human Resource Management for which she received the Merit Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Centre for Business Management at UNISA. She recently completed a certificate course in Competitive Intelligence at the University of Pretoria and is currently enrolled for a Ph.D. as well as a certificate course in Sense- and Decisionmaking at the same university. Deonie has participated in a variety of local as well as international conferences and is the author of several articles on the use of metadata and metadata schemas.

  • Knowledge management practises
  • Globalisation
  • South Africa
  • Eastern national culture
  • Western national culture
  • Ubuntu
  • African national culture
Person as Subject
  • Hofstede, Geert

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)