Comparative assessment of information and knowledge sharing among academics in selected universities in Nigeria and South Africa

Keywords: South Africa, Nigeria, iinformation and knowledge sharing, academics


This study investigated information and knowledge sharing among academics in selected universities in Nigeria and South Africa. The study employed quantitative and qualitative research methods. The combined techniques of purposive and probability random sampling were used to select universities and respondents respectively. The questionnaire was administered to a total of 382 respondents comprising only academic staff in both countries. A response rate of 81.41% (311 academics) was achieved. The respondents were drawn from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Federal University of Technology Minna (FUT) and Umaru Musa Yar’adua University (UMYU) in Nigeria, and the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban University of Technology (DUT) and the University of Zululand (UZ) in South Africa. The sample of universities comprised a mixture of established, comprehensive and technology-based universities. The majority of the surveyed academics from the selected universities in both countries were male, from the Humanities, and with master’s degrees as their highest qualifications. The majority of academics also had eleven to twenty years of experience in academia. All of the surveyed academics were familiar with information and knowledge sharing and participated in knowledge sharing in different ways. The majority of the respondents in the sample from both countries used computers, information and data storage devices, mobile phones and internet facilities for information and knowledge sharing but the use of old and new technologies varied across the countries with South African academics using more new technologies for information and knowledge sharing. The study notes that the Nigerian respondents revealed significant challenges to information and knowledge sharing in their universities, such as a lack of electricity; inadequate print and electronic information resources; poor research management and support; poor conference, seminar and workshop attendance and communication; and poor attitudes towards sharing among the academics. Not all the sampled universities from across countries shared the same challenges. The study recommends the provision of adequate ICT resources and improved research management, research support, and awareness.


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