Many corporate firms, although operating within this age of information and the knowledge economy, still rely on the skill and expertise of individuals to the extent that the ‘organisational memory’ can be severely weakened when that individual’s store of knowledge (skill, know-how, individual memory of corporate behaviour) ceases to function as an input. This highlights a parallel lack of system in organising collective and strategic knowledge - to collate and retain the most valuable and necessary units of knowledge. These circumstances will be compared to the general technikon situation, in which a related, academic, lack of knowledge management is all too evident.
The DET emphasis on strategic planning for institutions of higher learning will position technikons as either vocational training colleges or as research oriented technical universities. The issue of ‘research’ thus becomes key to academic knowledge management as well as the means of institutional survival.