Knowledge Management and Sharing in Local Government: A Social Identity Theory Perspective


  • Nico Schutte
  • Nicolene Barkhuizen


Keywords: Knowledge management, social identity theory, knowledge sharing, learning organisation, public service, organisational effectiveness


Abstract: Service sectors, like local governments, offer various services to assist and develop communities and, as such, society at large. Therefore the interaction between people, knowledge, and technology play a vital role in attaining high service quality, economic development, and growth. Knowledge management (KM) techniques and tools can be applied in local government systems to improve service delivery and create service excellence. In addition a social identity theory perspective could give an indication of how local government officials categorise themselves in their social environment and as a salient group influence KM management and ‑sharing. The main objective of this paper was to investigate the extent to which social identity theory influences knowledge management and sharing in a South African local government institution. Semi‑structured interviews and focus groups were used to obtain data from 22 government officials. The findings highlight some of the issues interlinking KM with self‑categorisation, group identity, and local government service delivery improvement, giving a framework for adopting KM in local government.



1 Aug 2015