Vol. 8 No.2 (2023)

Preservation of organisational memory at the National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe

Thandolwenkosi Nyathi
National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Zimbabwe
thandolwenkosi@gmail.com

Samuel Chabikwa
College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA)
chabis@unisa.ac.za

Patrick Ngulube
College of Graduate Studies, University of South Africa (UNISA)
ngulup@unisa.ac.za

Abstract

Rationale of Study – The study aimed to assess the memory preservation practices at NUST. It sought to identify the records and information sources that made up organisational memory, determine their state of preservation, establish the policies for that preservation, and suggest best practices.

Methodology – The study was qualitative, and a case study design was utilised. Data collection utilised semi-structured interviews and document analysis to gather qualitative data. The study purposively sampled 14 participants from a total population frame of 82. Data was analysed thematically.

Findings – The study's main findings showed that organisational memory records are not recognised as such, nor are their importance acknowledged in the university's survival. Organisational memory continues to be neglected and destroyed because of inadequate information management systems, a lack of knowledge about how to preserve it, and the lack of implementation of a records management policy implies that NUST’s organisational memory is managed without reference to standards and best practice benchmarks.

Implications – The study offers best practices for documenting, protecting, and strengthening organisational memory, as well as for creating, putting into practice, and disseminating a preservation policy.

Originality – The study adds to the body of knowledge on the preservation of organisational memory in state universities in Zimbabwe and emphasises the relationship between competitive advantage, records management, memory preservation, and governance.

Keywords

Preservation, knowledge and information, policies, best practices, Zimbabwe