Utilization of Indigenous Knowledge for Competitiveness among Curio Makers of Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe

Utilization of Indigenous Knowledge for Competitiveness among Curio Makers of Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe

Esabel Maisiri (National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0838-0.ch011


Knowledge-based creativity and competitiveness in the cultural industry is determined by the form of work organization and the knowledge enabling conditions prevailing in the operating environment of an organization. Against this background, a case study was conducted to assess the extent to which knowledge enabling conditions prevailing in the environment of curio makers that operated from Matobo National Park, supported competitiveness. Knowledge creation dimensions on intention, individual and group autonomy, fluctuation/creative chaos, information redundancy and requisite variety outlined in the Knowledge Creation Theory provided a perspective for understanding the study phenomena. Individual autonomy, fluctuation/creative chaos, requisite variety and intentional components on trust, collaboration, learning, and incentives and rewards were present. Information redundancy was absent. The curios showed creativity but lacked in uniqueness. The recommendations included development of structures that delineate and provide guidance on a knowledge vision.
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Conceptual Understanding Of Cultural Industries

Cultural industries are institutions in the creative knowledge sector (Thorsby, 2008). They act as “systems ... that mediate the flow of cultural goods between producers and consumers (Hirsch, 1972, as cited in Lampel, Lant, & Shamsie, 2000, p. 265). Their environment provides a context for learning and knowledge sharing during knowledge creation and use in the production of goods and service.

Products from cultural industries, that include contemporary arts, have become important trade goods in Zimbabwe (Braedt & Standa-Gunda, 2000, p. 368), like in the rest of Africa (Smith, 2014). The products are targeted for the tourist market, and contribute significantly to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For example, in Zimbabwe, total contribution to the GDP by the travel and tourism sector in 2013 was 11.4%, and the forecast for 2024 is 14.2% (Turner, 2014). One of the product categories are the curios.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Knowledge Management: The “deliberate and systematic coordination of an organization’s people, technology, processes, and organizational structure in order to add value through reuse and innovation” ( Dalkir, 2011 :4).

Creativity: An ability to be imaginative, develop new ideas and to turn the imagination into reality, which is an innovation.

Knowledge Creation: The extent to which an organization can create and share new knowledge for its embodiment into products, services, and systems.

Knowledge Creation Enablers: Environmental conditions that catalyse the generation of knowledge.

Tacit Knowledge: Knowledge that is intangible, subjective, rooted in practice and difficult to communicate.

Innovation: The product of creativity. It can be physical as in an object or intangible as in an idea.

Artifacts: Objects produced intentionally for some purpose. The objects can be produced by one individual or by a group of people.

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