Students as Knowledge Ambassadors

Abstract: Universities in Kenya have invested in library services and resources to support their teaching and learning activities. However, these resources are not used adequately leading some universities to develop partnership programmes with students, known as knowledge ambassadors, to educate their peers about library resources and services available in their institutions. This study sought to describe the concept of knowledge ambassadors from a knowledge management perspective; investigate where and how it has been deployed in universities in Kenya; analyse how effective knowledge ambassador programmes in Kenyan universities have been; identify the challenges affecting its effective use for tacit knowledge creation and sharing; and propose strategies which can be used by academic institutions in Kenya to enhance the effectiveness of their knowledge ambassador programmes.
Primary data was collected through interviews with knowledge ambassadors and librarians selected through information-oriented purposive sampling from four public universities in Kenya. The findings indicate that eight private and public universities in Kenya have launched knowledge ambassador programmes. The benefits of the programmes include increased usage of the information resources by users in the institutions as well as deepened user participation in the design, development and deployment of library services and products. The findings also revealed that the impact of the programmes is hampered by time constraints; misconception about the expectations of the ambassadors; inadequate infrastructure; and inadequate funding. These findings can be used by universities in Kenya to develop policy frameworks which leverage the impact of knowledge ambassador programmes on tacit knowledge creation, validation, sharing and use.

Lucy Kibe, Tom Kwanya: Knowledge Ambassadors: Enhancing Tacit Knowledge Transfer in Kenyan Universities. In: L. Uden,et al. (eds.): Knowledge Management in Organizations. 10th International Conference, KMO 2015, Maribor, Slovenia, August 24-28, 2015, Proceedings. Springer (Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, Volume 224), 2015, pp 794-805.

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