Vol. 4 No. 1 (2019)

Knowledge Management among Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOS) in Nairobi City County, Kenya

Jackline Wasinda
United Nations SACCO
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Joseph Kiplang’at
The Technical University of Kenya
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Philemon Chebon
The Technical University of Kenya
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Rationale of Study – Savings and Credit Cooperative (SACCO) movement in Kenya plays a critical role in national development by eradicating poverty amongst citizens. However, the SACCO sector faces numerous challenges which include weak and non-standard processes, shifting markets, rapid product obsolescence, hyper-competition and financial upheavals. The aim of this study was to explore the potential of knowledge management as a strategy for achieving competitive advantage among SACCOs in Nairobi City County in Kenya.

Methodology – The study was informed by ‘Knowledge-based theory of the firm’ published by Carla Curado in 1959. The theory states that knowledge is the most strategically-significant resource in a firm. Qualitative method was employed in gathering data from three purposively selected SACCOs in Nairobi City County. Purposive sampling was further used to select heads of key departments, records officers, and ICT personnel as respondents in the study. Data was collected through unstructured interviews. The data was analyzed thematically. 

Findings – The study revealed that SACCOs lack structured approaches to manage knowledge. The study concludes that the haphazard knowledge management practices cannot be equated to good knowledge management practices and cannot give SACCOs a competitive advantage. The study also revealed that negative personality traits, unhealthy competition, and lack of mutual trust amongst staff hindered effective knowledge management. It also emerged that operational factors like lack of resources, lack of top management support, and demanding work schedules also affected the ability of staff to share knowledge. 

Implications – The findings of this study may benefit SACCOs seeking to understand and manage their unique knowledge to remain competitive.

Originality – This is an original and empirical study on a subject which is less explored especially in Kenya.


Competitive Advantage, Knowledge, Knowledge Management, Knowledge Sharing, Cooperatives, Kenya

Students’ Perceived Areas of Difficulty during Library Practicum in Nigerian University Libraries

Joseph Chukwusa
Delta State University Library
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Rationale of Study – The practicum scheme is a scheduled, run, and evaluated programme. The programme provides opportunity for students to incorporate and apply classroom learning in library and information science in the workplace environment thereby enabling them to learn from experts. The study investigated students’ perceived areas of difficulty during library practicum in Delta State and Prof. Aghagbo Nwako university libraries in Nigeria. It investigated students’ areas of learning difficulties during library practicum; teaching difficulties encountered by library supervisors during library practicum; and the relationship between the students’ and supervisors’ learning and teaching difficulties during library practicum.

Methodology – This was a descriptive research using a questionnaire for data gathering. The population of the study consisted of all 154 final year students (2017/2018 session) of the Department of Library and Information Science in the two universities studied. The population also included 30 supervisors of the practicum. Data was analysed through descriptive statistics.

Findings – The study revealed that the use of classification schemes, filing of catalogue cards, indexing and abstracting of materials, descriptive cataloguing and use of computers were the areas of learning and teaching difficulties experienced by the students and supervisors. Suggestions were made and it was concluded that library authorities should see to it that teaching materials are made available to the students on practicum because the exercise is undertaken just once in the students’ academic life time before proceeding to the world of work. 

Implications – The findings of this study may be useful for identifying the different learning and teaching difficulties of students and industry-based supervisors with a view to proffering solutions to the identified lapses.

Originality – This is an original and empirical study on library practicum in two universities in Nigeria.


Library practicum, library internship, practical training, Students’ Work Experience Scheme SIWES


Vol. 1 No. 1 (2016) 

The factors determining knowledge sharing intention among information professionals in Nigeria

Tella Adeyinka
Department of Library and Information Science,

University of Ilorin, Nigeria


Rationale of Study - Several studies have considered the factors determining the knowledge sharing intention among employees. However, studies focusing on information professionals and  factors determining their knowledge sharing intention through a path model are either limited or been ignored.

Methodology - In this study, the researcher developed and tested a path model that explains the factors that determine the intention of information professionals in Nigeria to share knowledge with their colleagues through a survey design.

Findings - The results revealed that a correlation exists between the overall knowledge sharing intention score and the other knowledge sharing intention factors. The results demonstrate that citizenship behaviour had the highest correlation with knowledge sharing intention (r = 0.852). This is followed by creativity and innovation (r=0.704), and interaction frequency (r = 0.558). The results of the regression of knowledge sharing intention on the ten related factors show an adjusted R-square value of 0.661, and an F-ratio of 105.37; the latter of which is significant at 0.05 level (0.000 < 0.05). These indicate that the ten independent variables jointly (as indicated by the R-square value) explained 76.5% of the variations in the knowledge sharing intention by the information professionals.

Implications - The research findings have a big bearing on policy formulation and decision making in information and knowledgeorganisations, the public and private information sector players, professional associations and information and knowledge training institutions. 

Originality - This research has a great value in the sense that it is one of the pioneer studies on information sharing in the context of information research in Nigeria.


Knowledge Management Jobs in Kenya: A Functional Analysis

Dr. Tom Kwanya, Jared Ogutu, Eric Muthuri, Tajerua Turandi, Erick Maina & Christone Omach
Department of Information and Knowledge Management 
The Technical University of Kenya


Rationale of study – Most organisations in Kenya face challenges integrating the knowledge management function in their structures due to the lack of a clear understanding of what knowledge managers should do. Consequently, there currently exist varied, unpredictable and often shallow job descriptions associated with knowledge managers.

Methodology - The researchers conducted a functional analysis of knowledge management jobs in Kenya in an effort to establish the general job titles used to refer to knowledge management specialists, ascertain their position in the organisational structure, explore their job responsibilities and requirements, as well as understand any special requirements associated with knowledge management roles. Data was obtained through a content analysis of job advertisements carried in the Daily Nation and Standard, which are the leading newspapers in Kenya,. Additional data was also obtained from online job advertisement platforms.

Findings - Most organisations in Kenya do not have a good understanding of what knowledge management specialists do. Consequently, existing knowledge management positions have ambiguous and diverse job descriptions and requirements.

Implications - The findings of this study can be used by organisations in Kenya to develop appropriate knowledge management job descriptions for knowledge management professionals. The findings may also be used by the relevant training institutions to develop and deploy relevant curricula to equip the

potential knowledge management professionals with the requisite skills.

Originality - The researchers propose a model job description for knowledge management specialists which may be applied by organisations in Kenya and beyond.


Distance librarianship in Kenyan Universities

Joan Wakasa Murumba
Department of Computer Science and Informatics,
Karatina University


Rationale of Study - Many institutions of higher learning in Kenya are now delivering their programmes through distance learning and the library is providing support by offering information resources and services to students who are off campus. This research sought to establish the effectiveness of libraries in providing information resources and services to open and distance learners ODLs.

Findings– The study found that academic libraries were generally effective in delivering services to ODLs. This was exemplified by the existence of institutional repositories where research papers were available to ODLs the majority of the students were trained on basic computer skills enabling them to use digital resources effectively as well as collaboration during information repackaging between faculty, ICT staff and ODL personnel.

Implications– This study is of importance to university libraries, librarians, ODLs and administrators in universities in Kenya. The findings can be used to develop policies, programmes and infrastructure in academic libraries in Kenya to enable them to support distance learning effectively.

Originality– This paper highlights the role libraries can play to ODL university students, an aspect that can greatly influence information resource and service delivery. It makes a significant contribution to the distance librarianship practice and policy.

Vol. 1 No. 2 (2016) 

Resource Description and Access (RDA): enhancing information discovery through effective description

Catherine Thuku
Library of Congress, Nairobi

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Rationale of Study – Resource Description and Access (RDA) is the new cataloguing content standard providing instructions and guidelines for creating effective bibliographic data for information resources in all formats of content and media. It replaces the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, 2nd edition (AACR-2). This paper seeks to draw the attention of librarians to RDA as a means of promoting its application. 

Methodology – This study was conducted as a literature review analysing the origins and rationale of RDA, its structure, benefits, relationship with AACR-2, and how to implement it in libraries in developing countries such as Kenya. 

Findings – RDA is founded on established cataloguing principles, standards and models. It is schema-neutral and can work with the existing cataloguing formats such as Machine-Readable Cataloguing (MARC), formats for interchange of data over the Internet such as Extensible Markup Language (XML) and other structures that may be developed in the future. It is user-focused utilising terminology that is widely used and describes resources in a way that promotes specific user tasks - find, identify, select and obtain information resources as a way of enhancing their use. 

Implications – This paper can be used by librarians to understand the benefits of RDA as a cataloguing platform and adopt the same to enhance the findability of information resources through effective description and access.  

Originality – Although this paper relies on existing scientific literature, it provides new perspectives for the Kenyan context. To that extent, it is original. 


Resource Description and Access, descriptive cataloguing, metadata, Functional Requirement of Bibliographic Records, cataloguing



A Conceptual Data Mining Model (DMM) used in Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI): a case study of Strathmore University library 

Mr. Ambayo Jackson Alunga
Assistant Lecturer, The Technical University of Kenya
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Prof. Ismail Ateya Lukandu
Academic and Research Director, Strathmore University

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Rationale - The process of locating and acquiring relevant information from libraries is getting more complicated due to the vast amount of information resources one has to plough through. To serve users purposefully, an academic library should be able to avail to users the tools and services that lessen the task of searching for information. 

Design - The research proposed a two-phase data mining through analysing the access behaviour of users. In the first phase, the Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm was used as the data mining method and separated users into several clusters depending on access records used. The clusters were in the form of course groupings. Users who have similar interests and behaviour were collected in the same cluster. In the second phase, the user records in the same cluster were analysed further. The second phase relied on association which was used to discover the relationship between users and information resources, users’ interests and their information access behaviour. 

Findings - It was ascertained that although users were able to locate and retrieve the information they needed, it was not up to the degree of satisfaction they expected. Furthermore, it took them some time to acquire the information. Using data mining together with selective dissemination of information would enable users to access relevant information without promptly thus saving time and other resources.  

Practical implications - The mining of user data within library databases would facilitate a better understanding of user needs and requirements leading to the development and delivery of specialised and more fulfilling services. 

Originality - The proposed DMM model is original as it is one of a kind that suggests integrating SDI with data mining in libraries. 


Data mining, bibliomining, Selective Dissemination of Information (SDI), information needs, knowledge discovery in databases (KDD), academic libraries 


Vol. 2 No. 1 (2017) 

Knowledge audit at National Archives of Zimbabwe: a step towards implementing knowledge management

Peterson Dewah

Lecturer, National University of Science and Technology
Honorary Lecturer, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Rationale of Study - The first step to implement knowledge management is preceded by an audit of the organisation’s knowledge and as such, this study sought to investigate the knowledge that National Archives of Zimbabwe (NAZ) needs, where that knowledge is, how it is being used, the problems experienced, and the improvements which can be made.

Methodology - A case study approach with a triangulation of data collection methods was employed. Data was collected through questionnaires, interviews and documentary analysis.

Findings - The study established that NAZ archivists possess vital tacit knowledge required by the organisation. However, they need to acquire knowledge on audio-visual records management, conservation of documents, and reprographics, among other areas. It also emerged that printed documents such as manuals and bookswere very useful sources of explicit knowledge for decision making. Another finding was that internal and external knowledge flow is hindered by poor communication and unwillingness of staff to share knowledge, among other barriers. The gaps established were that archivists very often were not sure about where to find relevant information or what to do. They were also unsure of whom to collaborate with.

Implications - This paper can be used as a stepping stone to initialise the implementation of knowledge management practice at the NAZ.

Originality - The paper presents the findings of a knowledge audit that was, for the first time, conducted at the National Archives of Zimbabwe, an organisation that has suffered knowledge attrition due to employee mobility.


Archives, explicit knowledge, knowledge audit, knowledge management, tacit knowledge, Zimbabwe


Provision of digital reference services in academic libraries in Kenya: a review

James M. Tutu
Acting University Librarian
Muranga University College, Kenya
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Rationale of the study - The popularity of internet as an avenue of communication and source of information has led to decreasing numbers of in-person reference transaction in academic libraries. Consequently, academic libraries have embraced digital reference services in order to provide library and information services far and wide, ubiquitously, and in varied modes and formats. The choice of channels to provide digital reference is essential in that it determines the effectiveness and efficient of the service. Thus it was imperative to establish channels used by academic libraries in Kenya to provide digital reference services, by specifically looking at channels used, factors that inform the choice of the channels and effectiveness of the channels.

Methodology - A descriptive research design and survey research methodology was used for the study. A questionnaire was used to collect data from heads of reference services in accredited and fully chartered academic libraries in Kenya. Purposive sampling was used to sample 19 university libraries that were offering digital reference out of 39 university libraries.

Findings - Twitter, ask-a-librarian or email, facebook, and frequently asked questions (FAQS) are most popular channels for digital reference in academic libraries in Kenya. The least used channels are live chat while those never used include: Skype, instant messaging, and library digital reference consortiums .Factors that informed the choice of the digital reference channels were ease of use; availability; cost; popularity and software features. Support was the least considered factor.

Implications - The findings will provide a reference point for other academic libraries considering offering digital reference service.

Originality - This is an original research study.


Digital reference, virtual reference, reference services, information services, academic libraries, Kenya

Vol. 2 No. 2 (2017)

Indigenous Knowledge in Acholi Nicknames

J.P. Odoch Pido

Department of Design and Creative Media
The Technical University of Kenya
P.O. Box 52428 – 00200
Nairobi, Kenya
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Rationale of Study – Nicknames are a cultural experience. In some contexts, they are perceived as ‘little’ names that are different from ‘official’ names. Therefore, a nickname is a part of personal identity. Nicknames are often discreet and sometimes opaque. This article explains the meaning of a nickname in the African context and specifically discusses Acholi nicknames (mwoch) as an indigenous way of generating, sharing and preserving knowledge.

Methodology – Data for this paper was obtained through interviews. The author interviewed purposively selected respondents from Mucwini in Kitgum and other parts of Acholi sub-region in northern Uganda. It is the nicknames that were the subject of these interviews that are presented, analysed and discussed in this article. The author also tapped into his childhood experience and knowledge of Acholi culture.

Findings – Overall Acholi nicknames communicate indigenous knowledge but they must be unlocked, deconstructed and explained in detail in order to share their meanings with the wider world in time and space. It is writing and publication that holds a promise of conserving the knowledge so easily lost because it is considered casual, trivial and peripheral to the core of cultures.

Implications – The findings of this study may be used to demonstrate the power of cultural practices, such as nicknames, to generate, share and preserve indigenous knowledge. They may also be used by governments and cultural institutions to mainstream indigenous knowledge in the preservation of the universe of knowledge in communities.

Originality – There is limited literature on African nicknames. This article adds an East African tone to ongoing discourse on names and nicknames by non-onomastics scholars who view nicknames as a form of indigenous expression and communication that is deeply rooted in knowledge and philosophy. If not elucidated, the knowledge remains hidden from scholars, and thus unproductive to creativity and eventually lost to all.


Acholi, Uganda, East Africa, nicknames, indigenous knowledge


A review of the status of e-government implementation in Kenya

Esther Nderitu Imbamba and Nancy Kimile

Department of Computing and Information Sciences
Maasai Mara University, P.O Box 861, Narok, Kenya
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Rationale of Study – Successful implementation of today’s government operations requires effective policy making and system monitoring through relevant data and information. E-government offers an increased portfolio of public services in a cost-effective and efficient manner hence enabling governments to reinvent the ways through which they interact with citizens, private sector, employees and other stakeholders. Consequently, many countries have invested significant resources into collecting, processing, integrating, analysing and reporting data through information and communication technologies (ICTs). The aim of this paper is to review the status of e-government implementation in Kenya.

Methodology – In order to measure the status of e-government, two indexes were used: 1) E-government Development Index (EGDI); and 2) Network Readiness Index (NRI). The study adopted a theoretical approach by conducting a review of literature on e-government in Kenya. Fit-Viability theory was used to assess the capacity of the Government of Kenya to roll out viable e-services to its citizens.

Findings – The findings indicate that Kenya has made significant progress in e-government implementation. The benefits of e-government implementation in Kenya currently include enhanced e-participation, accountability, planning, monitoring and information sharing. However, challenges such as inadequate infrastructure, policy and human capital development hamper the effectiveness of e-government projects in Kenya. These challenges may be surmounted through increased digital inclusivity, enhanced broadband connectivity, strengthened staff ICT skills and openness to new technologies.

Implications – The findings of this study may be used by the Government of Kenya to plan, roll out and monitor e-government projects with a view to enhancing their success and impact.

Originality – A number of studies on e-government in Kenya exist. Their focus has been on the factors affecting the effective implementation of e-government in Kenya. Periodical assessment of the status of the projects is lacking. This study seeks to fill this gap.


E-government; E-Government Assessment Schemes; E-Government Development Index; Network Readiness Index; Kenya

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