Autochthonous management knowledge/knowledge management in Africa

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Purpose: There is a growing desire for more scientific and technical knowledge regarding Africa. This is because Africa has the potential and opportunity to generate impactful research. However, this potential is not optimized because of several constraints, including the lack of systematic reviews and models of knowledge management and paradoxical trends in Africa. The purpose of this paper is to review studies on knowledge management and associated paradoxes in Africa and a paradox-conscious African knowledge management model. The autochthonous African model that the authors propose has implications for global knowledge management. Design/methodology/approach: The authors review studies on knowledge management and paradoxes on Africa. Findings: The authors propose a model and identify 12 paradoxes broadly categorized as industrial, political and social. Practical implications: The paradoxical tensions characteristic of Africa may be considered integral to business and policy rather than local expressions to be solved through international “best practice.” Originality/value: The model this paper propose enables theoretical and empirical studies of knowledge management sensitive to the paradoxical tensions associated with autochthonous management knowledge and autochthonous knowledge management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1493-1512
JournalJournal Of Knowledge Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Africa
  • Autochthonous knowledge management
  • Autochthonous management knowledge
  • Paradox


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