Knowledge Sharing and Transfer Frameworks: Lessons from Sub-Saharan South Africa.




knowledge, knowledge sharing and transfer, South Africa, qualitative research, performance management, performance innovation, innovation enablers


The success of Sub-Saharan South Africa’s public sector could be deemed dependent on context-relevant knowledge sharing and transfer (KST) frameworks to facilitate knowledge exchange. Knowledge sharing and transfer frameworks which facilitate knowledge management (KM) are still largely influenced by Western research studies, these contributions dominate the field. The extant knowledge sharing and transfer public management frameworks increasingly reflect a predominantly western oriented bias towards objectivist perspectives on knowledge, the alternate practice-based knowledge sharing and transfer frameworks, considered responsive to Sub-Saharan African knowledge exchange problems are under-investigated. This paper thus aims to understand ‘what KST framework factors enhance public management in Sub-Saharan South Africa’. The research was designed as a qualitative study underpinned by interpretivist philosophy. Qualitative data were collected from 15 public sector practitioners, using the semi-structured interview technique. Thematic Analysis and Trans Positional Cognition Approach was used to analyse the data collected. The findings from this study yielded four themes namely, Unique antecedent performance factors; Human performance factors; Organisational performance factors and Continuous learning performance strategies. Rahman’s knowledge sharing and transfer conceptual model was adopted as a theoretical framework and used to better understand the findings of this work. Applying the theoretical framework, we note elements within Rahman’s model could be deemed more applicable in a Western context as it only confirmed two of the study’s four findings. We therefore propose the output of this study as new knowledge within the Knowledge sharing and transfer frameworks’ domain.  Our contribution is compatible with the Sub-Saharan South African organisational context. The implication of this within context is that KST implementation in sub-Saharan South Africa could deemed bottom up oriented as against the western approach which is top-down.  This study thus contributes to a better understanding of KST Framework implementation in Sub Saharan South Africa and provides opportunity for future research work in this field.