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Development of a model for knowledge auditing in the Eastern Cape estuaries with special reference to the Tyolomnqa estuary.

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Estuaries are irreplaceable natural resources that must be managed carefully for the mutual benefit of all who enjoy and depend on them. The estuarine environment is a very dynamic and complex environment, which poses threats and challenges to estuary managers and estuary users. As estuarine management is a very knowledge-intensive task, researchers in the Eastern Cape Estuaries Management Programme (ECEMP), estuary managers and estuary users have recently turned their attention to knowledge management as one of the important means of ensuring continued success and effective management of estuaries. However, knowledge management as an emerging field has been slow in formulating universally accepted methodologies for auditing, capturing, creating, acquiring, sharing and utilising knowledge. Existing methodologies do not adequately address, in particular, the knowledge audit requirements of non-traditional or non-constrained and non-formalised organisations. The purpose of this study was to develop a context-specific model for auditing knowledge in the Eastern Cape estuaries, with special reference to the Tyolomnqa Estuary. The study intended to identify the knowledge community, analyse existing knowledge and knowledge needs and gaps in the Tyolomnqa Estuary area. In order to achieve the objectives, the descriptive research design, employing the case study approach was used in the study. Focus groups and unstructured interviews were used to collect data. A literature review, concentrating on values and issues surrounding the management of estuaries and key issues in knowledge management and knowledge auditing, was carried out. The collected data was analysed according to themes such as knowledge sources, knowledge identification and knowledge needs and gaps. The study found that the communities of the Tyolomnqa Estuary lack knowledge concerning the management of estuaries. The study also established that the community has little knowledge on who to contact for expert advice in addressing estuarine issues. Furthermore, the study found that the community needed knowledge on how to address estuarine management issues and how that knowledge could be accessed. Based on the findings and the literature review, the study proposes a context-specific knowledge audit model for non-traditional organisations. The model is meant to assist non-traditional organisations to evaluate their knowledge health or status, and to develop a much better understanding of the know-how and how it can be used to effectively sustain their services. The model can be used to successfully implement knowledge management strategies in non-traditional organisations. The model needs to be tested for verification and validation purposes.


Thesis (M.I.S.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2003.


Knowledge management--Eastern Cape., Estuaries--Eastern Cape--Tyolomnqa River Estuary., Estuaries--South Africa--Management., Coastal zone management--Eastern Cape--Citizen participation., Conservation of natural resources--Eastern Cape--Citizen participation., Environmental protection--Eastern Cape--Citizen participation., Information audits--Eastern Cape., Theses--Library and information science.