Knowledge Management and E-Governance

Modular value: 20 credits

Lecturer: Brian Lucas

The effective management of knowledge and information is critically important to all modern organisations. This module examines how knowledge management, information and communication technologies, and e-governance are being applied in international development and explores their impacts on organisational management, service delivery, and citizenship. The module takes a management-oriented approach and focuses on issues of development management and public sector management in developing countries. We will discuss current theoretical frameworks relating to data, information, and knowledge, and apply current methodologies to the design, deployment, and management of information and knowledge systems.

The module emphasises the importance of social and organisational factors, and concepts such as knowledge networks and communities of practice will figure prominently. We will also discuss current ideas about the relatively new phenomenon of e governance and its impacts on public services and citizen engagement, looking at benefits as well as risks and the challenges and barriers to implementation of e-governance systems.

Topics covered include:

  • The information age and public management
  • Information and the public policy process
  • Theoretical frameworks for information and knowledge management
  • Managing information flows in organisations
  • Knowledge networks and communities of practice
  • Planning and implementing information systems
  • E-governance success factors and case studies
  • Security, privacy and civil liberties

By the end of the module you will be able:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of current theories of and methodologies for information and knowledge management, and critically evaluate their strengths, weaknesses, and applicability to various contexts in international development work and public sector organisations in developing countries
  • Identify and critically analyse factors that support or inhibit effective knowledge management in organisations
  • Identify and critically analyse drivers of and barriers to the adoption of information and communications technologies in international development work and in public sector organisations in developing countries
  • Critically analyse case studies in information and knowledge management using relevant theoretical frameworks and analytical tools
  • Design information and knowledge management systems at a conceptual level as solutions to practical problems, using relevant theoretical frameworks and analytical tools
  • Critically discuss the impacts of e-governance and information and communication technologies on citizenship, service delivery, and management

Teaching and learning approach

Classroom sessions will consist of: lectures including guest presentations and videos; in-class discussions and activities; and student group presentations. Students are responsible for individual reading and a written assignment; developing a group presentation on an assigned case study; and participating in online discussions on WebCT.


The assessment for the module will consist of:

  • one 3,000 word assignment (50%) 
  • a 2-hour exam (50%).

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