Original Research

An investigation into the knowledge–sharing practices for innovation in higher education institutions of developing countries

Alfred H. Mazorodze, Peter Mkhize
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 18, No 1 | a1230 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v18i1.1230 | © 2022 Alfred H. Mazorodze, Peter Mkhize | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 April 2022 | Published: 29 September 2022

About the author(s)

Alfred H. Mazorodze, Department of Information Systems, School of Computing, University of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
Peter Mkhize, Department of Information Systems, School of Computing, University of South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

The adoption of knowledge-sharing practices in higher education result in improved decision-making, improved access to information and increased collaboration. A knowledge-sharing culture enables the free exchange of knowledge amongst academics and this drives institutions towards innovation.

This study examines the extent to which knowledge-sharing practices have been adopted at higher education institutions (HEIs) of developing countries.

The article reports on an inquiry conducted at HEIs in Zimbabwe to determine the knowledge-sharing practices in place.

A survey was used to collect quantitative data from 240 purposefully selected academics at the HEIs. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics.

This study established that HEIs have not fully implemented the knowledge-sharing practices. Empirical evidence confirms that attendance of conferences is important for knowledge sharing where 43% of the participants approved the proposition. Coaching and mentoring improve academic skills such that 21.7% of the participants approved the premise. Subscribing to international journals increases the visibility of scientific research work and only 18.3% of the participants confirmed that their institutions subscribe to internationally recognised journals. Surprisingly, 60% of the participants confirmed that their institutions do not offer knowledge-sharing workshops. Unremarkably, 23.3% of the participants confirmed that their institutions do not have a knowledge-sharing culture.

Transdisciplinarity Contribution: Higher education institutions have not fully exploited the knowledge-sharing practices that could make them more innovative. The institutions are still at the trial stage of adopting knowledge-sharing practices. This study therefore recommends the creation of communities of practice (COPs) specifically for knowledge sharing.


Keywords

knowledge sharing; communities of practice; academic; higher education institutions; innovation; coaching and mentoring.

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