Skip to main content
Unpublished Paper
The Gatekeeper and the knowledge environment-who they are, how they work Empirical evidences from High-tech Manufacturing and R&D Firms
0005 (2012)
  • Deogratias Harorimana, The University of the South Pacific

Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study was to critically study the role of the Knowledge Gatekeeper within the manufacturing and high tech selected case studies and by explaining who they are, how they work and identify and analyse the barriers to knowledge creation and knowledge sharing. Methodology: The research was guided by an inductive approach with a multiple case study strategy. Research instruments included a questionnaire and interviews from respectively 105 and 40 respondents. Findings: In the African Manufacturing context, and in absence of sophisticated technologies and highly qualified personnel, technical knowledge can be obtained from organizational informal network. Four forms of knowledge gatekeepers are operating in between a formal and informal organisation network. They include Tecknow-logical Knowledge Gatekeepers (TKlG); Communities of Practices (CoPs), Key Persons (KP) referred to sometimes as Key Man all collect information, they vet and contextualise it before they can share or transfer to their professional networks. TKlG people are predominantly operating within the boundaries of an informal network. They are not fulfilling an administrative role or any contractual obligation. They are inclined to share information and knowledge with only a few technological experts within their network from whom they expect some level of peer recognition by citing their contributions in meetings, financial rewards, in findings reporting, and Intellectual property rights. Key Persons and CKO are acting as key people because this is part of their daily routine jobs and they have been appointed by the organisation .They are not necessarily the experts. They are considered as “key people” for the daily operations and are operating within a formalised network of the organisation. Communities of Practice (CoPs) constitute a form of K.M with a collective relationship with an element of TKlG as a sub-set. CoP is perceived to be a source of transformational power and a way through which knowledge is accessed from organisational informal network that is available within. Key barriers to successful knowledge management are trust, the relational context, and the identity between the source and recipient of knowledge. These factors are reflected in the form of formal and informal procedures that are put in place for members to abide with. Originality: This study demonstrates the complexity of knowledge management using knowledge gatekeepers. We defined who they are, and discussed the barriers that firms need to consider as part of their knowledge management strategies

  • Knowledge Gatekeepers,
  • Knowledge Management Strategy,
  • Organisation Knowledge,
  • CoPs,
  • Manufacturing,
  • R&D,
  • Rwanda,
  • Uganda.
Publication Date
Winter January, 2012
All feedback, critiques welcome on this paper.
Citation Information
Deogratias Harorimana. "The Gatekeeper and the knowledge environment-who they are, how they work Empirical evidences from High-tech Manufacturing and R&D Firms" 0005 (2012)
Available at: