Business and academic communities have indicated that organisations have the ability to maintain a long-term competitive advantage through leveraging knowledge within the organisation. This is through the implementation of a knowledge management programme. During implementation of the programme, employees’ commitment and participation is crucial in ensuring successful execution of the knowledge management programme. Change management has been identified as one of the strategic inputs which enable organisational commitment towards this programme.
This study aimed at establishing the change strategies that organisations undertake when implementing knowledge management, as well as determining the relevance of Kotter’s eight steps of change during knowledge management implementation. An exploratory design, using a qualitative research methodology approach, was utilised. Twelve organisations formed part of the sample and a total of 13 semi-structured interviews were conducted. The data that was collected underwent content analysis and was thereafter aligned to the change management models.
The findings from this research indicated that Beer and Nohria’s proposed change strategies, specifically Theory E&O (combination) is the most dominant strategy overall when implementing knowledge management.
Kotter’s eight steps revealed that all steps are relevant when implementing knowledge management. It was concluded that as more of the steps are included and executed during implementation, the success of the knowledge management initiative increases.