The adoption of Knowledge Management (KM) practices and strategies within organisations is a response to the current "knowledge-based economic revolution- (Neef 1999). The revolution has been facilitated by shifts from analogue to digital communications, the reorganisation of organisations through innovative BPR, complex real-time supply chains facilitated by eMarketplace solutions, employment upskilling, the accelerated pace of change, expansion of global telecommunications, the opening of new global markets and the lowering of trade barriers, global relocation, and the changing nature of the organisation. .
Thus, the organisation's external environment feeds and expands on the wave of different forms of innovative knowledge creation. This requires the organisation to adopt a method of metamorphosing; pulling at its stores of knowledge to create an inimitable competitive edge. .
Nonaka (1991) states; "In an economy where the only certainty is uncertainty, the one sure source of lasting competitive advantage is knowledge. Successful companies are those that consistently create new knowledge, disseminate it widely throughout the organization, and quickly embody it in new technologies and products."".
KM is a fairly new management discipline in the West, and as such, theorists have varying views as to what KM caters to and what it strategically embodies in terms of ensuring organisations stay ahead of the game. .
For example, Malhotra (1998) states, "Knowledge management caters to the critical issues of organizational adaptation, survival and competence in face of increasingly discontinuous environmental change . Essentially, it embodies organizational processes that seek synergistic combination of data and information processing capacity of information technologies, and the creative and innovative capacity of human beings."" .
Malhotra΄s viewpoint encapsulates a holistic approach to KM in terms of snaring data, information, technologies and innovative human resources.