Use of Knowledge Management Strategies to Prevent Knowledge Loss in a Government Agency


  • Ike Hlongwane University of South Africa
  • Kamogelo Molekwa Tshwane municipality, Pretoria, South Africa



knowledge management, tacit and explicit knowledge, loss of knowledge, government agency, knowledge sharing, knowledge retention


There is increasing evidence that tacit knowledge is “the important strategic resource that assists in accomplishing a task (Woo, 2004).” According to Haughton (2021), Knowledge is a valuable asset, and managing that knowledge is now recognised as a significant contributor to organizations in the current business climate’. When people with expertise leave a job, the organization often loses critical tacit knowledge because the person did not pass it on to others. This knowledge gap can be costly and time-consuming or impossible to replace (Leonard, 2014). However, government institutions and agencies are known to be not good when it comes to knowledge management (KM) implementation and thus often suffer knowledge loss when employees/people with expertise leave a job, retire, or  pass away. A qualitative study was conducted in one of the government agencies which has recently embarked on KM initiatives to find out what their strategies and challenges are in preventing knowledge loss. The study used the Knowledge Management Capability Assessment Tool (KM CAT) theory to assess KM initiatives in the agency. The data was collected by purposefully interviewing senior officials/managers in the agency’s KM directorate. Despite the results of the study revealing that there are several challenges experienced by the agency in its endeavour to implement an effective and efficient KM process and strategy to help stem the tight against loss of knowledge, there are signs of good improvement. However, the agency needs to be resolute in its adoption of a systematic approach to KM to ensure the full utilisation of the organisation’s knowledge base, coupled with the potential of individual skills, competencies, thoughts, innovations, and ideas to create a more efficient and effective organisation.