Knowledge sharing practices amongst academics at the Zimbabwe Open University
Chikono, Albert Nhawo
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This study investigated knowledge sharing (KS) practices at the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) in Zimbabwe. The study assessed the knowledge sharing practices in the ZOU regional campus faculty departments and identified gaps, with the aim to find out how knowledge is being managed, shared in an Open and distance learning institution and if knowledge management (KM) is playing a role. The quantitative study was undertaken at the 10 regional campuses of the Zimbabwe Open University. A questionnaire survey was carried out to collect data from a sample of 100 academic staff in the 10 Regional Centres. The underlying question was whether the university academic members were aware of the knowledge that exists, how this knowledge is created and, shared and flows in the organization. The study also sought to establish the views of academic staff, on the benefits that can be reaped from KM practices. The study confirmed that there is willingness to engage in knowledge sharing activities. However, the lack of a clear knowledge policy negatively impacts on the university’s ability to competitively position itself in the knowledge economy as a knowledge driven university and this impacts research productivity and distance learning course delivery at the ZOU. One of the key recommendations emanating from this research is that the university should have a Knowledge policy aligned to its strategic plan which will act as a guideline on the sharing of knowledge internally and externally as well as make it mandatory for academic staff to publish internally as well as to store their publications in the university repository.