Utilisation of information technology to support information and knowledge management by lawyers in Polokwane City

Solomon Bopape

Abstract


A revolution in information and communication technology is taking place in the world. With this technological revolution, information and knowledge are also considered as crucial assets for every organization. Law firms are regarded as one of the industries which are information and knowledge-intensive. The utilization of information technology can play an essential role in supporting information and knowledge management in law firms. An investigation into the extent to which lawyers or law firms in Polokwane city utilize information technology to support information and knowledge management was conducted through a survey questionnaire based on the Technology Acceptance Model. The findings of this research showed that lawyers utilise information technology systems or applications that are common, such as word processing, e-mail, client billing and online databases for searching legal information. Other information and knowledge management tools, such as Intranets, extranets and web portals, were the least and non-utilised applications by these lawyers. The main reason for non-utilization of such systems may be linked to non- exposure to information technology and unfamiliarity with information and knowledge management tools. It is, therefore, recommended that legal schools should include, in their curriculum, modules on the application and role of information technology in the legal practice. Recommendations for future research related to this subject are also provided.

Keywords


Information management; information technology; knowledge management; lawyers and law firms

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7553/76-2-76

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