Strategies for Knowledge Management Readiness in an Engineering Consulting organization in South Africa


  • Edigar Mahuni
  • Madeleine Fombad University of South Africa



knowledge management readiness, engineering consulting, knowledge, knowledge management, knowledge processes


This article investigates knowledge management readiness at an engineering consulting firm in South Africa known as Zutari (Pty) Ltd, or Zutari, and suggest a strategy to achieve readiness in engineering firms. Engineering consulting firms are knowledge-intensive firms that offer specialised services in the provision of independent expert knowledge in the fields of engineering, science and other related areas in the public and private sectors, infrastructure, and construction sectors Although knowledge management is widely acknowledged as a strategic enabler in engineering consulting firms, most initiatives fail, making a knowledge management readiness assessment essential before implementation. The target population was Zutari’s permanently employed technical professionals. Stratified and systematic sampling methods were applied to select a sample of 285 technical professionals. A questionnaire was used to gather quantitative data. The assessment model of Aydin and Tasci (2005) was used to assign readiness levels for the critical success factors under investigation. The findings reveal that the level of knowledge management awareness among Sutaria staff is quite high, even though knowledge management is practised informally. A knowledge management readiness strategy is suggested to get Sutaria to the expected level of readiness. Knowledge management is widely acknowledged as a strategic enabler by employees in Zutari, with information technology currently the only critical success factor at the expected level of readiness. A knowledge management strategy is suggested to assist Sutaria in achieving the expected level of readiness. Further research could test the effectiveness of the readiness strategy in different contexts using mixed methods research. This research will add new knowledge to the body of knowledge in the engineering consulting sector and help firms planning to implement knowledge management.  Not many studies have been conducted to test the organisational readiness for knowledge management in engineering consulting firms. This article adds to the body of knowledge in this field.


Author Biography

Edigar Mahuni