Knowledge management practices in county institutions: a comparative study of Nairobi and Embu county governments.
Knowledge management (KM) is an effort to increase useful knowledge within the organization by encouraging proper creation, codification, usage, sharing and storage of information within organization and communities of practice. Issues on county institutions to be competitive in the knowledge economy and create effective and decision, they must effectively manage their knowledge assets. Unfortunately, most counties and organizations at large don’t adequately leverage on their knowledge due to lack of a systematic and well coordinated approach to managing their knowledge management practices (KMP). The aim of this study was to assess the level of knowledge management practices in county institutions and propose strategies to enhance the processes in regard Nairobi and Embu county governments. The specific objectives of the study were to: Examine level of knowledge management practices ; establish the types of knowledge management tools; assess the competences of information professionals; find out the challenges facing knowledge management practices; Propose possible solutions to knowledge management at Nairobi and Embu county governments. The study is a comparative study, which utilized qualitative research methodology. The sample size constituted of 266 respondents drawn from Nairobi and Embu county governments. Purposive sampling technique was used to select respondents from the two counties, this includes the county secretary, head of departments and key informants were drawn from the counties. Data was collected with the aid of a semi-structured interview schedule and self-administered questionnaires. Data presentation is mainly descriptive while analysis adopted the thematic analysis approach. Key findings of the study show that respondents in Nairobi County were not aware of knowledge management principles and practices at the Nairobi County while others indicated that they were knowledgeable. Knowledge management tools should support the goals of knowledge management initiatives. These tools will assist in information development, storage and access as well as facilitate knowledge transfer and sharing. On competencies and skills, knowledge competencies are critical to performance. The study recommends that County institutions should engage a serious knowledge competence among its staff members. The study also recommends that both Nairobi and Embu County Governments should adopt knowledge management practices and principles to have effective and efficient delivery of services. In addition, both counties should adopt the usage of knowledge management tools as enablers to sustain and improve the performance. The study further recommends that to overcome the barriers to knowledge management we have to move away from the silo mentality to a knowledge-sharing culture. The study recommended that communities of practice should be voluntary but recognized and rewarded by the organization.