Prof Jacob Tseko Mofokeng receiving his professorial certificate from Prof Stanley Mukhola.
Prof Mofokeng’s lecture focused on the adoption of knowledge management (KM) and knowledge exchange (KE) in the general detective section of the police service. He spoke about factors that influence the success or failure of KM and KE initiatives as manifested in the South African Police Services (SAPS). These factors include critical thinking, professionalism, mentorship, training and the organisational culture in the SAPS.
“Learning centres across the globe do not realise that they lack the concept of critical thinking,” said Prof Mofokeng. He defined critical thinking as the ability to seek all sides of an argument, test the soundness of the claims made, and ask the right questions, in order to arrive at quality interpretations.
He also spoke about detectives, whom he referred to as knowledge workers in South Africa, as having the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.
According to him, organisational culture is the most significant factor in effective knowledge management. “Effective organisational culture offers support and encourages knowledge exchange within the organisation,” said Prof Mofokeng.
Prof Mofokeng continued to speak about factors such as negligence in the foundation phase of our education system, which influences how people in general manage knowledge, and share what they know. He also addressed lack of mentorship for new detectives entering the field and a training curriculum that lacks coherence, connection as well as depth of understanding that accompanies systematic critical thinking.
“These factors, either directly or indirectly, frustrate KM and KE initiatives towards the improvement of service delivery within the Detective Service,” said Prof Mofokeng.
He recommended that leaders in the Detective Service should embrace knowledge workers for successful service delivery. He also recommended mentorship programmes and a training curriculum that would impart knowledge; and not just teach to forget.
He concluded by saying that there should be a blueprint for the training of detectives that will provide guidance for the development of the detective curriculum.
The respondent of the lecture, Prof Ian de Vries, former HOD of the Department of Safety and Security Management, now retired, reminded the audience that KM is a multidisciplinary approach in the South African Police Services, which affects quality service delivery.
“There is a feeling in the SAPS that knowledge exchange is not taking place effectively in the police service,” said Prof de Vries. He agreed that personal knowledge and organisational knowledge should be aligned for the successful transfer and sharing of knowledge.
Upon conferring the full professorship on Prof Mofokeng, Prof Mukhola said, “I know Prof Mofokeng as an honest, hardworking member of this Faculty and it gives me great pleasure to give him this medal.”
Before joining TUT, Prof Mofokeng was a functional member of the SAPS, Detective Service for ten years. He also worked in a support environment, as a Unit Commander in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Service Management at Component: Information and Systems Management (currently known as Division: Technology and Technical Management) for three years. He has published and co-published 21 articles in accredited journals and 6 in non-accredited journals. His current research inquiries are focused on transnational crime as well as on knowledge management.