Managing Knowledge Towards Enabling Healthcare Service Delivery

Managing Knowledge Towards Enabling Healthcare Service Delivery

Tiko Iyamu (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa) and Sharol Sibongile Mkhomazi (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3926-1.ch007


In every living being, health is essentially important, and as such, requires attention. Health related matters are at one point or the other embedded into humans' strategic, tactical and operational activities. However, due to human complexity, manifesting from factors such as food consumption and weather effect, healthcare services have increasingly become essential to individuals, groups and organisations in their daily life activities. As healthcare services increase in significance, the knowledge acquired and used in carrying out its services also becomes vital. The management of knowledge has increased in its relevance over the years. This could be attributed to the complexity in human activities. Thus, the management of knowledge has many challenges, which are never straight forward, and does not always produce positive result. Based on the challenges, it is critical to understand the enabling and constraint scenery of knowledge management. This article applied Structuration Theory to examine the different types of knowledge within the healthcare environment, using one of South African healthcare service providers as a case. This was done in order to gain better understanding on how certain knowledge are managed to give the result that they do. A better understanding of how knowledge is acquired and used within the healthcare environment would assist practitioners and managers, including Government and academic researchers in their roles and responsibilities.
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2. Knowledge Management

There is no accepted single definition of knowledge management (KM). However most of the definitions adopted by different scholars represent knowledge management as a social and learning process which facilitate organisational growth and competitiveness. KM is a process which could be used by individuals, organisations or communities facilitate improvement of events and activities in their environment (Weber, 2007). This includes leveraging data and information that are gathered, organised, managed, and shared. Hasanali (2002) describe knowledge management as a set of strategies and approaches which denotes a definite structure or a way of doing things that enables the flow of information to the right person at the right time.

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