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Knowledge management capability and organizational memory: a study of public sector agencies

Henry Adobor (Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, School of Business and Engineering, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA)
Enyonam Kudonoo (College of Business Administration, Ashesi University, Accra, Ghana)
Alireza Daneshfar (Department of Accounting, University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 28 August 2019

Issue publication date: 3 September 2019




The purpose of this paper is to explore organizational memory (OM) in three public agencies in a developing country context. Research suggests that knowledge management (KM) can build a nation’s intellectual capital and improve the effectiveness of public sector management. Therefore, how knowledge is preserved is important.


The study targeted three large public institutions in Ghana. The study used a survey of 756 individuals in managerial and operational level positions in institutions to test the hypotheses in the study.


The findings confirm that knowledge management capability (KMC) has a positive and significant impact on OM. Knowledge acquisition and retention capabilities, in particular, are critical variables in building OM.

Research limitations/implications

The research relied on self-reports and so one cannot completely rule out social desirability and consistency biases. Using cross-sectional data also makes it difficult to make inferences about the causality.

Practical implications

Public agencies desirous of building their OM will need to build critical KMC and infrastructure.


This paper links KMC to OM in public institutions in an emerging country context.



Adobor, H., Kudonoo, E. and Daneshfar, A. (2019), "Knowledge management capability and organizational memory: a study of public sector agencies", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 671-687.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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