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Guidelines for assessing the knowledge management maturity of organizations

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Author(s): C. J. Kruger | M. M.M. Snyman

Journal: South African Journal of Information Management
ISSN 1560-683X

Volume: 9;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2009;
Original page

ABSTRACT
In a recent article Kruger and Snyman hypothesized that progressions in knowledge management maturity (from a strategic perspective) are directly related to an increased ability to speed up the strategic cycle of imitation, consolidation and innovation. The arguments proposed, however, neglected to supply the reader with a practical toolkit or even a roadmap (a time-related matrix, or questionnaire) to successfully measure succession in knowledge management maturity. This article builds on the previous one and proposes a questionnaire consisting of six sections, containing 101 descriptive questions, to enable organizations to test and assess their knowledge management maturity empirically. The development of an instrument to measure knowledge management maturity required adhering to a research design that combined theoretical propositions with practical experimentation. As a point of departure, a knowledge management maturity matrix consisting of seven maturity levels was formulated. All questions contained within the matrix were benchmarked against a survey questionnaire developed by the public management service of the OECD (PUMA) and were also pre-tested and validated. This process of refinement led to the formulation of the Knowledge Management Maturity Questionnaire. To avoid any taint of this research being based only on theoretical propositions, the questionnaire was tested by 178 master students of the University of Pretoria, South Africa, in nine different industries. The proposed questionnaire provides a bridge between theoretical propositions and practical usability, not only enabling knowledge management practitioners to assess the level of knowledge management maturity reached successfully but, more importantly, also serving as a guideline to institutionalize further and future knowledge management endeavours.
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