Knowledge Management | Engineering Dissertations


Knowledge management (KM) is now recognized as a core business concern and intellectual assets play a vital role in gaining competitive advantage. Within the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, where the need for innovation and improved business performance requires the effective deployment and utilization of project knowledge, the need for strategic knowledge management is also being acknowledged. This paper reviews various initiatives for KM in order to assess the extent to which it is being implemented in the AEC sector.

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Contextual issues are identified, and the findings from two research projects are used to assess current strategies for KM in AEC firms. These studies show that effective knowledge management requires a combination of both mechanistic and organic approaches in an integrated approach that incorporates both technological and organizational/cultural issues. The paper concludes with recommendations on how this could be achieved in practice.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Background/ ?verview of the study

Knowledge management (KM) has received a great deal of attention in recent years. ?carbrough et al. (1999) describe KM as a “label” used to articulate the ways in which firms facing highly turbulent environments can mobilize their knowledge assets in order to ensure continuous innovation in projects.’

Within the project-based architecture, engineering and construction (?E?) industry, KM is also being recognized as a vehicle through which the industry can address its need for innovation and improved business performance (Egan, 1998; Egbu et al., 1999). The failure to capture and transfer project knowledge, especially within the context of temporary virtual organizations, leads to the increased risk of ‘reinventing the wheel,’ wasted activity, and impaired project performance (?iemieniuch and ?inclair, 1999). In addition to existing methods for capturing and documenting best practice, various initiatives are also being undertaken to develop strategies and tools for KM within the ?E? sector (Kazi et al., 1999; Mc?onalogue (1999).

The perspective on current practice is drawn from two research projects at Loughborough University (UK) and Georgia Institute of Technology (U??). The trends in current practice are analysed with respect to the imperatives for KM in the ?E? sector and the general approach to KM, to assess the extent to which KM is being implemented in the industry. The paper concludes with a discussion of the issues arising from this assessment and makes suggestions on the implementation of an integrated KM strategy in ?E? firms.

Rationale of the study

In today’s knowledge-based economy, the competitiveness of firms is directly tied to the ability to effectively create and share knowledge both within and across organisations. Managing knowledge as a strategic business asset is crucial for achieving a competitive edge in the architecture, engineering & construction markets, where competition keeps margins tight and architecture, engineering & construction projects are becoming more complex. With the advent of the knowledge economy, knowledge itself has become not only a strategic asset but also the main source of organisational performance (?denfelt and Lagerstrom, 2006). Therefore, enabling corporate knowledge to be captured and shared and finding ways to use this knowledge to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of architecture,engineering & construction businesses is a key challenge (?baide and ?lshawi, 2005).

Knowledge is a firm’s most valuable asset because it embodies best practices, routines, lessons learned, problem-solving methods and creative processes that are often difficult to replicate (Grant, 1996; Liebowitz and Wright, 1999; Renzel, 2008). Knowledge management (KM) makes the most of the organisation’s collective knowledge and the expertise of its employees and business partners. ?onsiderable research has suggested that KM is a critical factor for creating new technologies and products (e.g. Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; ?rgote et al., 2000). King et al. (2008) highlight the impact of KM on firm’s organisational performance and suggest that organisational performance improvement is what KM is about. ?rganisational performance can be improved when employees communicate by sharing and utilising, best practices, lessons learned, experiences, insights, as well as creating new knowledge (Krogh, 2002). ?hoi et al. (2008) uses economic complementarity theory to evaluate the effects of KM on firm performance. However, as pointed out by Newcombe (1999) and ?rgote et al. (2000) transferring knowledge within the architecture,engineering & construction sector has proven a rather difficult challenge in practice.

?s knowledge is taking on a key business role, a growing number of firms are expecting their KM to be implemented in order to transform corporate knowledge into competitive advantage (Ribeiro, 2006). In addition, effective management of organisational knowledge should be able to support the core processes of a architecture,engineering & construction firm (Yim et al., 2004; Ribeiro, 2005).

Despite the number of KM models suggested in the literature, there is still no “accepted” methodology for guiding practitioners in implementing and assessing KM activities in the architecture,engineering & construction organisation contexts (?baide and ?lshawi, 2005; Mohamed and ?numba, 2006). In addition, Yim et al. (2004) indicates that the major hurdle to implementing KM activities in the architecture,engineering & construction industry is the formulation and implementation of a KM strategy. However, the number of empirical studies on KM in architecture,engineering & construction firms is limited (Egbu, 2004; ?hen and Mohmed, 2005). ?lthough existing studies do focus on KM in architecture,engineering & construction firms, the questions that are not dealt with in this body of literature are how to enhance the sharing and exchange of organisational knowledge that resides with senior professionals, and what are the key aspects and processes of KM in organisational-based environments.

?ims & objectives of the study

Following are the aims & objectives of the study:

To access the extent to which knowledge management is being implemented in the ?E? industry.

To describe various approaches to KM, reviews the imperatives for knowledge management in the ?E? industry.

To analyse the current KM practice in the concerned sector.

?ignificance of the study

The knowledge and expertise created and accumulated by a firm represents a strategic asset that can boost competitive advantage (Grant, 1996; ?pender, 1996). ? firm’s knowledge is gained from years of business in which the knowledge created by individuals and teams is combined into a collective knowledge (Kogut and Zander, 1992). ?s knowledge and expertise are created, organized and transferred throughout the firm, they have the potential to improve the firm’s value by enhancing its ability to respond to new and unusual business situations (?hoi et al., 2008).

Project performance can be improved, when people communicate and share best practices, lessons learned, experiences, insights, as well as common and uncommon sense (Krogh, 2002). Furthermore, Teece (2000) notes superior performance depends on the ability of firms to innovate, to protect knowledge resources and to transfer them across the organisation. The ultimate goal of KM is to create value for a firm through KM activities. ? strong emphasis on KM in the firm’s strategic plan and the integration of KM activities into its management system are the crucial aspects of the firm’s value chain. Effective management and leveraging of knowledge can drive an organisation to become more adaptable, innovative and intelligent (Tseng, 2007, 2008).

?hapter 2: Literature Review

KM deals with the organizational optimization of knowledge to achieve enhanced performance, increased value, competitive advantage, and return on investment, through the use of various tools, processes, methods and techniques (?kyrme and ?midon, 1997; ?iemieniuch and ?inclair, 1999; ?nowden, 1999). Thus, the actual practice of KM is likely to reflect the experience and intentions of individual organizations (context), and the understanding of the meaning of knowledge (content) (?carbrough et al., 1999).

The content of KM deals with the understanding of what constitutes ‘knowledge’. This understanding has a bearing on the KM strategy adopted. ?range et al. (2000) describe knowledge as ‘the product of learning which is personal to an individual.’ They describe information as ‘the expression of knowledge, which is capable of being stored, accessed and communicated.’ Knowledge has also been defined as ‘know-why, know-how, and know-who’, or an intangible economic resource from which future revenues will be derived (Rennie, 1999).

However, it is helpful to view knowledge as a component of a task-performing system, that is, a state of that system that warrants task completion, and the future repetition of this task. The lack of this component (knowledge) implies a failure when completing a task. If this lack is sustained over time, it means that this system ceases to exist (Blumentritt and Johnston, 1999). Thus the ‘basis of use’ and ‘context of use’ are important considerations in trying to understand knowledge and its management.

The context of KM refers to the organizational setting for the application of knowledge.

?tahle (1999) suggests that every organization is a three-dimensional system with a mechanistic, organic and dynamic nature, each of which presents different challenges for KM. The mechanistic part functions like a machine. It deals more with explicit knowledge and can involve quality systems, manuals and IT tools. The organic nature helps the organization to work flexibly and to adapt to changing business environments. KM within this context is basically people-centred and involves the management of tacit knowledge. The dynamic nature facilitates continuous improvement and innovation. Within this environment, the focus tends to be on networking capabilities to facilitate the work of interdepartmental teams, which characterize this kind of environment.

?nother dimension to organizational context is ‘culture,’ for example, ‘tacit cultures’ (defined by networks, relationships and dependencies) and ‘explicit cultures’ (defined by their artefacts, e.g. organizational charts, documents, etc.) (?nowden, 1999). ?rganizational culture can also be defined in terms of work processes (for example, collaborative versus a competitive culture, informal versus formal, individual versus group, and so on). Thus the context for KM does influence, and is in turn influenced by the content (knowledge) to be managed.

Knowledge management in organizations

Managers and academics have recognized knowledge as a key source of competitive advantage (Grant, 1997). Knowledge is a potentially significant resource to the firm as it may possess valuable, rare, inimitable and non-substitutable characteristics particularly if it has a tacit dimension (Polanyi, 1966; Hall and ?apsed, 2005). The ever increasing importance of knowledge in contemporary society calls for a shift in our thinking concerning innovation in business organizations – be it technical innovation, product or process innovation, strategic or organizational innovation.

It raises questions about how organizations create new knowledge and, more importantly, how they transfer new knowledge. Innovation, which is a key form of organizational knowledge creation, cannot be explained sufficiently in terms of information processing or problem solving. Innovation can be better understood as a process in which the organization creates and defines problems and then actively develops new knowledge to solve them (Nonaka, 1994, p. 14).

Davenport and Marchand suggest that: “whilst knowledge management does involve information management, beyond that it has two distinctive tasks: to facilitate the creation of new knowledge and to manage the way people share and apply it” (Davenport and Marchard, 1999, p. 2).

In Nonaka et al.’s (2000) unified model of dynamic knowledge creation, knowledge is described as dynamic, since it is created in social interactions amongst individuals and organizations. Knowledge is context specific, as it depends on a particular time and space. Without being put into context, it is just information, not knowledge. Information becomes knowledge when it is interpreted by individuals and given a context and anchored in the beliefs and commitments of individuals (Nonaka et al., 2000). ?lso Davenport et al., (1998, p. 43) come up with similar definitions of knowledge. Knowledge which is new to an organization has to either be invented internally, or acquired from external sources.

There are two types of knowledge: explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge. Nonaka et al. (2000) and other authors such as Kikoski and Kikoski (2004) describe explicit knowledge as what can be embodied in a code or a language and as a consequence it can be verbalized and communicated, processed, transmitted and stored relatively easily.

It is public and most widely known and the conventional form of knowledge which can be found in books, journals and mass media such as newspapers, television internet etc. It is the sort of knowledge we are aware of using and it can be shared in the form of data, scientific formulae, manuals and such like. Patents are an ideal example of explicit knowledge in a business context.

In contrast, tacit knowledge is personal and hard to formalise – it is rooted in action, procedures, commitment, values and emotions etc. Tacit knowledge is the less familiar, unconventional form of knowledge. It is the knowledge of which we are not conscious. Tacit knowledge is not codified, it is not communicated in a “language”, it is acquired by sharing experiences, by observation and imitation (Kikoski and Kikoski, 2004; Hall and ?ndriani, 2002). Tacit and explicit knowledge are complementary, which means both types of knowledge are essential to knowledge creation. Explicit knowledge without tacit insight quickly looses its meaning.

Knowledge is created through interactions between tacit and explicit knowledge and not from either tacit or explicit knowledge alone (Nonaka et al. 2000). ?ompetitive advantage will only be gained if companies value their tacit knowledge, as explicit knowledge can be known by others as well. Tacit knowledge creates the learning curve for others to follow and provides competitive advantage for future successful companies (Kikoski and Kikoski, 2004).

Many definitions of tacit knowledge exist but Polanyi (1969) is widely accepted as the founding father who identified the significance of the concept of tacit knowledge. Polanyi encapsulates the essence of tacit knowledge in the phrase “we know more than we can tell”, and provides further clarification in such commonplace examples as the ability to recognize faces, ride a bicycle or ski, without the slightest idea to explain how these things are done (Polanyi, 1966, p. 4).

Kikoski and Kikoski cite two philosophers (H.-G. Gadamer; H. Lipps) who refer to tacit knowledge as personal knowledge that each individual possesses that is unique and once unlocked can be a creative contribution in an organization. “What is unsaid and unexpressed could be the reservoirs of tacit knowledge” (Kikoski and Kikoski, 2004, p. 66). The whole discussion on tacit knowledge management including definitions was brought forward by several authors such as Rosenberg (1982, p. 143) who describes tacit knowledge as “the knowledge of techniques, methods and designs that work in certain ways and with certain consequences, even when one cannot explain exactly why”.

Nonaka (1991, p. 98) explores the term further: “tacit knowledge is highly personal and hard to formalize and, therefore, difficult to communicate to others”, and details his description that there are two dimensions of tacit knowledge: the first is the technical dimension which encompasses the “know-how”, the second is the cognitive dimension which consists of beliefs, ideas and values which we often take for granted” (Nonaka and Konno, 1998, p. 42). Howells (1996, p. 92) defines it as follows: “tacit knowledge is non-codified, disembodied know-how that is acquired via the informal take-up of learned behavior and procedures”.

?ccording to Kikoski and Kikoski (2004, p. 67) tacit knowledge embodies an individual’s education, natural talent, experience and judgment, e.g. an experienced venture capitalist’s tacit knowledge tells which of two business plans is superior for investment. Rüdiger and Vanini (1998, p. 469) say that tacit knowledge is represented through non-articulated knowledge. The different attributes focus on particular parts of tacit knowledge management and, therefore, highlight somewhat different aspects of tacit knowledge.

?pproaches to KM

The ‘content’ and ‘context’ impinge on the methods or strategies for managing knowledge. ?carbrough et al. (1999) identify two basic approaches to KM, which they classify as ‘supply driven’ and ‘demand driven.’ ?upply-driven initiatives assume that the fundamental problem of KM is concerned with the flow of knowledge and information within the organization. The aim is to increase that flow by capturing, codifying and transmitting knowledge.

There is a tendency for supply-driven initiatives to have a strong technology component. Demand-driven approaches are more concerned with users’ perspective and their motivation and attitudes are seen as important. ?trategies within this category usually include reward systems and ways of encouraging knowledge sharing.

KM strategies can also be described as either ‘mechanistic’ or ‘organic.’ Mechanistic approaches tend to be heavily technology focused and are concerned with the management of explicit knowledge. Knowledge-based expert systems and various attempts to codify knowledge through the use of I?T (information and communication technology) tools fall under this category.

?rganic approaches tend to focus on the management of tacit knowledge and include strategies such as storytelling and ‘communities of practice.’ ?torytelling can be used to create a self-aware descriptive capability in organizations and to initiate and sustain interventions that create resilience, robustness and redundancy (?nowden, 1999). Within communities of practice, newcomers learn from oldtimers by being allowed to participate in certain tasks relating to the practice of the community (Hildreth et al., 2000).

The fact that strategy is linked to both the ‘content’ and ‘context’ for KM suggests that attempts to develop ‘one-size-fit-all’ solutions to KM problems are unlikely to be successful (Dixon, 2000). Thus, KM strategies in the ?E? sector, for example, should reflect the context of that industry, with respect to the way it conducts its business, and the types of knowledge (content) that are critical for its success.

Knowledge management in ?E? firms

The ?E? industry is a project-based industry, which utilizes a variety of separate firms in a temporary multidisciplinary organization, to produce investment goods (buildings, roads, bridges, factories), which are custom built to unique specifications. Figure 1 shows a simplified model of the construction process. During project conception, the client establishes the need for a project and develops a set of requirements (the output), which are converted into an appropriate design. ?t the construction stage, the design is transformed into a facility for the use of the client.

Imperatives for KM in ?E?

The need for KM in the ?E? sector is fuelled by the need for innovation, improved business performance and client satisfaction. The industry operates within a dynamic and changing environment. ?lients are becoming more sophisticated, insisting on better value for money, and demanding more units of construction for fewer units of expenditure (Egan, 1998). The demanded products are also becoming more complex, with increasing emphasis on environmentally friendly facilities.

The fragmented nature in which the industry is organized means that efficiency in project delivery is less than expected, resulting in dissatisfied clients, and low profitability for construction firms (Egbu et al., 1999; ?arrillo et al., 2000). In addition to the many initiatives that are being introduced to address these issues, the effective management of project knowledge is now seen as vital in enhancing continuous improvement from lessons learned.

This interest in capturing knowledge has been expressed in the development of knowledgebased expert systems (?numba et al., 2000) and in attempts to capture learning through post project reviews (?cott and Harris, 1998). However, the term ‘knowledge management’ is relatively new in the industry, although it is to be expected that knowledge is managed in various ways (Kazi et al., 1999). ? discussion of these initiatives will be made in the light of the requirements for KM in ?E?.

Requirements for KM in ?E?

The requirements for KM within the ?E? industry can be discussed under two interrelated categories: the management of know ledge within projects, and the management of know ledge within ?E? firms.

Management of project knowledge involves KM across the temporary ‘virtual’ project organization. ? characteristic of a construction project organization is that the content and context for KM changes over its Iifecycle, For example, in the design stage, there is much more dynamism to facilitate the development of innovative design solutions to the client’s problem. However, in the construction stage, the project organization is much more mechanistic as it involves a planned construction programme, which is to be followed by contractors.

?nother challenge for KM is in transferring knowledge between the different interfaces (stages) of a project, for example, transferring knowledge of the client’s business needs into technical specifications, and the transfer of design intent and rationale to members of the construction team. The involvement of multiple organizations in a project means that the transfer of knowledge from one stage to the next is dependent on the kind of procurement strategy or contract type adopted for the project (Mc?arthy et al., 2000).

KM within individual ?E? firms can involve the ability to transfer knowledge/learning across different projects. The challenges for KM in this context may be similar to those for other business organizations. However, since the business of ?E? firms is usually in response to a client’s wish for a facility, KM strategies might have to focus on increasing the organization’s ability to bid for, and win contracts, as well as make a profit after the completion of the project.

KM within ?E? firms should also include the support of processes that involve teams of knowledge workers who can serve as the kernel of innovation. This can involve the capturing and codification of the type of team and individual knowledge that is necessary to organize and execute interdependent tasks in an efficient way. ?bviously, the definition of tasks and their interrelationships (workflows) together with a record of their actual execution adds to the knowledge base of an organization.

Focus of KM in ?E? firms. From the foregoing discussion, it is observed that the main driver for KM in the ?E? industry is the need for innovation and improved efficiency. ?ince the industry is organized around projects, innovation and efficiency are related to the delivery of projects. The next section looks at current initiatives that are being undertaken to manage knowledge in ?E? firms.

Davenport and Prusak (2000) conceptualised the firm as a collection of its knowledge, technology, history, and culture; not as a hard-asset maximizing machine. They explored how the firm can best utilise these resources to improve its long-term strategy and overall effectiveness. Product and technical innovation is often considered a major consequence of good organisational learning and KM practices (?alantone et al., 2002). KM activities, which include learning new knowledge and sharing what is known by individuals, should promote innovation, enhance organisational capabilities and firm performance in terms of cost reduction, responsiveness to customer needs, success of new products, and growth of market share (Baker and ?inkula, 1999; ?her and Lee, 2004).

More importantly, they may eventually lead to the institutionalization of the KM practices and routines implemented in the business units (Law and Ngai, 2008). KM requires an environment that allows workers to create, capture, share, and leverage knowledge to improve performance. Law and Ngai (2008) demonstrate that knowledge sharing and learning behaviours would contribute to better performance and business process improvement, and the products and services offered by a construction firm.

They also demonstrated that improvements in these two intermediate capability constructs in turn contributed to the performance of the construction organisation, as measured by the perceptual indicators for financial and market performance. ?onstruction organisations willing to improve their business performance and achieve sustainable competitive advantage in global market need therefore to implement KM tools that lead to real improvement in their “learning capability”. However, few construction organisations have implemented KM systems to collect, organise, convert and connect their knowledge systematically (Love et al., 2005).

?onstruction is ostensibly a project based industry. Each construction project is unique in terms of how specialist professionals manage share and use knowledge. ?onstruction projects generate a large body of knowledge for sharing and reuse within the construction organization and across projects. In addition, projects provide opportunities for new knowledge to emerge in a cross-functional, team-working context (?enge, 1990; Renzel, 2008).

?ver the past two decades, many construction firms have developed information technology-based systems designed specifically to facilitate the storing, sharing, integration and utilisation of data and information, referred to as Information Management ?ystems (IM?s). These systems are often associated with improved organisational flexibility, quicker access to information, fast responses to changing conditions, greater innovation and improved decision making. They are deeply embedded in the existing organisational culture and workflow.

They provide the infrastructure for facilitating the integration of KM into every day business. IM?s can work as a tool which is able to manage, store, and transmit structural knowledge (Tseng, 2007). It can support us in our efforts to make the knowledge stored in the human brain or in documents available to all employees of an organisation (Davenport and Prusak, 2000). Raghu and Vinze (2007) consider next generation decision support from a KM perspective. Goul and ?orral (2007) note the importance of linking a firm’s business process contexts to the knowledge needed to support those processes.

Fong (2005) found that the development of better tools or systems for KM in construction firms facilitate change and the implementation of more structured models for managing knowledge in professional services firms. The empirical study carried out by ?hen and Mohmed (2006) revealed the interactions between different categories of KM activities in construction firms. ?ccording to the authors, knowledge acquisition and application play paramount roles in the development of corporate knowledge assets.

? three-stage approach underpinned by an industry survey and case study findings is presented for developing a business case for KM and evaluation shows that the framework could significantly facilitate the implementation of a KM strategy in construction firms (Robinson et al., 2004). Hartmann and Naanaroja (2006) argue that knowledge sharing is essential for construction firms because of the project-based nature of their business, and that construction firms have to create an environment which on t one hand provides opportunities for knowledge sharing and on the other hand motivates people to share their knowledge.

Mohamed and ?numba (2006) stressed the need to look deeply at the impediments and their underlying causes so as to use and maximize the knowledge of a construction organisation. The ability to capture, share and transfer knowledge harboured by senior professionals has been accepted as a critical valuable capability in project-based firms (Hall and ?apsed, 2005). However, the value of KM relates directly to how effectively the managed knowledge and expertise enables the firm’s employees to deal with today’s business situations and effectively envision and create their future.

KM models

Life cycle models can be used to organise one’s thinking about KM in an organisational environment (Lee et al., 2005). ?everal authors have proposed KM models that outline the key aspects and processes of KM in organisational-based environments (Davenport and Prusak, 2000; Nissen et al., 2000; Ward and ?urum, 2004; Lee et al., 2005; Park and Kim, 2006; Lina et al., 2007; Raghu and Vinze, 2007; Junga et al., 2007; King et al., 2008). ?uch models are useful to analyse and examine KM systems.

Davenport and Prusak (2000) defined a knowledge map as a constructed database, which can be used to identify knowledge. The KM lifecycle described by Nissen et al. (2000) consists of six phases: create, formalise, organise, distribute, use, and evolve. Intangible knowledge, which is created from activity performers’ practical experience and know-how, is formalized and stored as coded knowledge according to the knowledge-organising mechanism of an enterprise.

When activity performers require knowledge, they can find and use proper knowledge by accessing knowledge repositories. Knowledge is used and internalized by the activity performers who require it. Moreover, when combined with their experience it can evolve into new knowledge. Lee et al. (2005) defined five components to illustrate the knowledge circulation process: knowledge creation, knowledge accumulation, knowledge sharing, knowledge utilization, and knowledge internalization. Park and Kim (2006) identified major knowledge activities, as being acquisition, organisation, and utilization. Lina et al. (2007) suggest a two-dimension, four-mode KM model information-related industry.

Their model consisted of four KM modes: knowledge clustering, knowledge enlarging, knowledge exchanging and knowledge initiating. Junga et al. (2007) extended Nissen’ et al. (2000) KM life cycle model by considering the lifecycle requirements of both knowledge and business processes. Their work extended the concept of process knowledge to expand the scope of traditional knowledge in the KM perspective to change the handling method of knowledge. Raghu and Vinze (2007) defined the core of knowledge through the business process. ?o, KM can be defined as a cyclical set of unique and self-contained phases: storage and retrieval, knowledge sharing and knowledge synthesis.

It is the interactive nature of these phases that accounts for the continuous evolution of knowledge in organisations. The model proposed by King et al. (2008) describes the key aspects of KM in an organisational context and relates them to organisational performance. King et al.’s KM cycle involves: either the creation or the acquisition of knowledge by an organisation; knowledge refinement (selecting, filtering, purifying and optimizing knowledge for inclusion in various storage media); creation of stores as part of the organisation’s memory; transfer and sharing of knowledge, so that it has wide organisational impact; utilisation and application of knowledge (it may also be embedded in the practices, systems, products and relationships of the organisation).

Housel and Bell (2001) introduced a KM maturity model to assess the relative maturity of a firm’s KM effort. This KM maturity model defined five distinct levels based on the firm’s KM effort: fragmented KM effort; sharing procedural knowledge on a need-by-need basis; organising information into the firm’s KM system; firm with proactive knowledge-sharing systems; and institutionalised knowledge sharing. In a similar approach, Nielsen and Michailova (2007) analysed seven multinational companies and suggested classing KM systems as four different types:

1. fragmented;

2. content-based;

3. process-based; and

4. capability-based.

The classification used by Nielsen and Michailova to assess the company’s KM effort is based on the three most widely recognised knowledge views. These views on knowledge and their implications for KM effort are:

1. Knowledge as an object. Knowledge is viewed as a thing to be stored and manipulated.

2. Knowledge as a process. Knowledge is a process of simultaneously knowing ?nd ?cting (i.e. ?pplying experience).

3. Knowledge ?s ? c?p?bility. Knowledge is ? c?p?bility with the potenti?l for influencing future ?ctivity (i.e. the ?bility to use inform?tion ?nd experience ?nd c?p?bility of le?rning).

?h?pter 3: Rese?rch Methodology

Rese?rch Design

The rese?rch is b?sed on c?se study ?n?lysis. The c?se study rese?rch design h?ve evolved over the p?st few ye?rs ?s ? useful tool for investig?ting trends ?nd specific situ?tions in m?ny scientific disciplines, especi?lly soci?l science, psychology, ?nthropology ?nd ecology. This method of study is especi?lly useful for trying to test theoretic?l models by using them in re?l world situ?tions. For ex?mple, if ?n ?nthropologist were to live ?mongst ? remote tribe, whilst their observ?tions might produce no qu?ntit?tive d?t?, they ?re still useful to science. B?sic?lly, ? c?se study is ?n in depth study of ? p?rticul?r situ?tion r?ther th?n ? sweeping st?tistic?l survey.

It is ? method used to n?rrow down ? very bro?d field of rese?rch into one e?sily rese?rch?ble topic. Whilst it will not ?nswer ? question completely, it will give some indic?tions ?nd ?llow further el?bor?tion ?nd hypothesis cre?tion on ? subject. The c?se study rese?rch design is ?lso useful for testing whether scientific theories ?nd models ?ctu?lly work in the re?l world. You m?y come out with ? gre?t computer model for describing how the ecosystem of ? rock pool works but it is only by trying it out on ? re?l life pool th?t you c?n see if it is ? re?listic simul?tion.

The ?dv?nt?ge of the c?se study rese?rch design is th?t you c?n focus on specific ?nd interesting c?ses. This m?y be ?n ?ttempt to test ? theory with ? typic?l c?se or it c?n be ? specific topic th?t is of interest. Rese?rch should be thorough ?nd note t?king should be meticulous ?nd system?tic. The first found?tion of the c?se study is the subject ?nd relev?nce. In ? c?se study, you ?re deliber?tely trying to isol?te ? sm?ll study group, one individu?l c?se or one p?rticul?r popul?tion.

Theoretic?l Fr?mework

The initi?tives for KM in ?E? firms ?re discussed here using the c?se studies from ? rese?rch project ?t Loughborough University (UK), ?nd ? tool th?t w?s developed ?t Georgi? Institute of Technology (U??).

These c?se studies were conducted ?s p?rt of the ?LEVER (cross-sector le?rning in the virtu?l enterprise) rese?rch project, which w?s funded by the Engineering ?nd Physic?l ?ciences Rese?rch ?ouncil (EP?R?) ?nd some firms in the UK. The ?im of this project w?s to develop ? fr?mework for KM within ? multi-project environment, with ? specific focus on the org?niz?tion?l ?nd cultur?l dimensions of KM.

The str?tegy ?dopted w?s to investig?te (,?s-is’) KM pr?ctices in the ?E? ?nd m?nuf?cturing industries to f?cilit?te mutu?l cross-sector le?rning between the two. ? tot?l of 15 firms in both these sectors were involved. The studies were b?sed on 32 semi structured interviews, which l?sted for ?bout two hours, with up to seven individu?ls in e?ch firm (T?ble 1).

Questions ?sked revolved ?round the org?niz?tion?l context for the m?n?gement of project knowledge, the tr?nsfer of knowledge between project (type of knowledge ?nd current processes), ?nd the ch?llenges ?nd opportunities for cross-project knowledge m?n?gement. ? summ?ry of the ?ggreg?ted findings from the ?E? firms involved in the study ?re presentedin the next ch?pter.

Liter?ture ?e?rch

The selection criteri? for the liter?ture were twofold: relev?nce ?nd the ye?r of public?tion. Libr?ries including online d?t?b?ses were ?ccessed to get the most relev?nt ?nd upd?ted liter?ture. ?ome of the online d?t?b?ses th?t were used ?re: EB???, Emer?ld, Bl?ckwell, etc.

?h?pter 4: Findings ?nd Discussions


?rg?niz?tion?l drivers for KM

These influence the w?y comp?nies deliver projects, ?nd the kind of knowledge th?t needs to be m?n?ged within th?t context. The findings from the c?se studies on org?niz?tion?l drivers for KM included the following:

The need to cope with org?niz?tion?l ch?nges with respect to high st?ff turnovers ?nd ch?nging business pr?ctices (for ex?mple, from ? hier?rchic?l setup to ‘virtu?l’ te?ms).

The need to minimize w?ste, prevent the duplic?tion of effort ?nd the repetition of simil?r mist?kes from p?st projects, ?nd for improved efficiency.

The need to cope with growth ?nd the diversific?tion of ? firm’s business ?ctivities (for ex?mple, from tr?dition?l m?in contr?ctor to design/build ?nd f?cilities m?n?ger).

The effective m?n?gement of the supply ch?in in project delivery (for ex?mple, the need for knowledge of suppliers ?nd their c?p?bilities).

?rg?niz?tion?l/project knowledge

This refers to the knowledge th?t needs to be m?n?ged. Findings from the rese?rch suggest th?t the following ?re cruci?l:

Knowledge of org?niz?tion?l processes ?nd procedures. This includes knowledge of st?tutory regul?tions ?nd st?nd?rds, ?nd the m?n?gement of the interf?ces between different st?ges/components of ? project. In-house procedures ?nd best pr?ctice guides would ?lso come under this c?tegory.

Knowledge of ? client’s business ?nd how to interpret business requirements into technic?l specific?tions for the construction te?m.

Knowledge of how to predict outcomes, m?n?ge te?ms, focus on clients, ?nd motiv?te others.

Technic?l! dom?in know ledge of design, m?teri?ls, specific?tions, ?nd technologies. It ?lso includes knowledge of the environment in which the industry oper?tes.

‘Know-who knowledge’ of people with the skills for ? specific t?sk, ?nd knowledge of the ?bilities of suppliers ?nd subcontr?ctors. Knowing who to cont?ct when there is ? problem w?s considered to be ? key ?spect of ?ny KM str?tegy.

?ver?ll processes for KM. Within the firms studied, these included:

? strong reli?nce on the knowledge ?ccumul?ted by individu?ls, but there is no form?l w?y of c?pturing ?nd reusing much of this knowledge.

The use of long-st?nding (fr?mework) ?greements with suppliers to m?int?in continuity (?nd the reuse ?nd tr?nsfer of knowledge) in the delivery of projects for ? specific client.

The c?pture of lessons le?rnt ?nd best pr?ctice in oper?tion?l procedures, design guidelines, etc., which serve ?s ? repository of process ?nd technic?l knowledge. Postproject reviews (PPR) ?re usu?lly the me?ns for c?pturing lessons le?rned from projects.

The involvement (tr?nsfer) of people in different ?ctivities ?s the prim?ry me?ns by which knowledge is tr?nsferred ?nd/or ?cquired.

The use of form?l ?nd inform?l feedb?ck between providers ?nd users of knowledge ?s ? me?ns to tr?nsfer le?rning/best pr?ctice, ?s well ?s to v?lid?te knowledge (for ex?mple, site visits by office-b?sed st?ff to obt?in feedb?ck on work progress).

? strong reli?nce on inform?l networks ?nd coll?bor?tion, ?nd ‘know-who’ to loc?te the repository of knowledge.

Within firms with hier?rchic?l org?niz?tion?l structures, there w?s ? reli?nce on dep?rtment?l! division?l he?ds to dissemin?te know ledge sh?red ?t their level, to people within their sections.

The use of ?ppropri?te IT tools (such ?s GroupW?re, Intr?nets) to support inform?tion sh?ring ?nd communic?tion.

?onstr?ints in the tr?nsfer of knowledge. ?ome of the constr?ints in the tr?nsfer of know ledge derive from the mech?nisms used to f?cilit?te this. For ex?mple, the use of virtu?l te?ms c?n inhibit the sh?ring of knowledge if there is in?dequ?te support th?t will minimize or discour?ge the riv?lries ?nd competition between dep?rtments. The reli?nce on inform?l rel?tionships for the tr?nsfer of knowledge c?n be less effective if st?ff ?re not coloc?ted.

In one of the c?se studies, st?ff who were loc?ted in s?tellite offices did not benefit from the inform?l sh?ring ?t the project he?d office, ?nd therefore did not perform ?s well ?s the others. There c?n ?lso be constr?ints in the sh?ring of knowledge through fr?mework ?greements. This is bec?use members within the fr?mework m?y be in competition elsewhere (for ex?mple, on other projects) ?nd m?y not ?lw?ys be willing to sh?re their knowledge with other members.

?upport for KM processes

?lthough the focus of the c?se studies described ?bove w?s on the org?niz?tion?l ?nd cultur?l dimensions of KM, IT w?s used in v?rying degrees to support the v?rious ?ctivities th?t contributed to the m?n?gement of knowledge. In f?ct, the use of technology in KM is not new. Much of the e?rlier work on KM focused on the delivery of technologic?l solutions, prob?ble ? leg?cy of the growth in knowledge-b?sed ?nd expert systems in the 1980s ?nd e?rly 1990s (??rrillo et ?l., 2000).

These technologic?l initi?tives were t?rgeted ?t the c?pture, codific?tion ?nd reuse of knowledge, for ex?mple, in design evolution c?pture, or the retriev?l of explicit project knowledge from heterogeneous ?E? documents (Reiner ?nd Fruchter, 2000; ?cherer ?nd Reul, 2000). The knowledge worker system (KW?), which is described in the next section, is ?n ex?mple of the v?rious IT tools th?t m?y contribute to the mech?nistic (technology-driven) dimension of KM in ?E? firms.

The knowledge worker system

The knowledge worker system (KW?) is ?n oper?tion?l industry-strength tool th?t w?s developed ?t Georgi? Institute of Technology under ? contr?ct from the United ?t?tes (U?) ?rmy ?onstruction Engineering Rese?rch l?bor?tories (?ERL) for deployment in the Pent?gon (?ugenbroe et ?l., 2001). It w?s developed in order to help ‘knowledge workers’ c?pture ?nd org?nize ?ctivity inform?tion, ?nd to help them le?rn, prioritize, ?nd execute knowledge worker t?sks more efficiently ?nd effectively. The tool w?s conceived for complex, yet f?irly well structured processes, such ?s pl?nning ?nd progr?mming for milit?ry construction.

Brief description of KW?

The b?sic ‘?ctor’ in KW? is ? knowledge worker. Knowledge workers c?n be ?lloc?ted to org?niz?tions ?nd workgroups, or c?n ?ct ?s individu?ls. E?ch knowledge worker is identified by ? set of org?niz?tion?l ?ttributes such ?s document ?ccess privileges, cost f?ctors, position in the org?niz?tion, etc. The top level ‘entity of work’ is ? project. Projects c?n be broken down into t?sks, which ?g?in c?n be broken down into subt?sks, etc. Logic dependencies between t?sks c?n be specified on ?ny gr?nul?rity or ?cross gr?nul?rities in terms of time precedence rules. ?ddition?l t?sk dependencies c?n de decl?red through document workflows.


T?sks ?re ?lloc?ted to workgroups or individu?l knowledge workers. ?ttributes of the ?lloc?tion m?y be de?dline, permission, resource, milestone, ?tt?chment, ?nd cyclic recurrence. ?nce ? t?sk is ?lloc?ted it m?y be deleg?ted or disp?tched to others ?t runtime, depending on the privileges set for the origin?l t?sk performer. T?sks m?y be ‘public’ (?ccess is regul?ted by individu?l permissions) or priv?te. In the l?tter c?se t?sks c?n be decomposed ?nd ?lloc?ted to colle?gues in the s?me workgroup without this being visible to other project members. T?sk support ?nd instruction c?n be provided by me?ns of ?tt?chments or explicitly st?ted sequences of ?ctivities (steps), which h?ve to be executed to perform ? t?sk.


The b?sic entity for ? piece of inform?tion is ?n ?tt?chment, which m?y be linked to one or more t?sks. ?tt?chments c?n be electronic documents, document references, sticky notes ?nd URLs (univers?l resource loc?tors). ?tt?chments h?ve ?ttributes th?t define ownership, version, ?nd re?d/write permissions. ?ny ?tt?chment c?n be p?rt of ? document workflow, which cross-links the t?sks th?t cre?te, inspect, modify, ?nd publicize ? p?rticul?r piece of inform?tion. Document workflows cre?te ?n ?ddition?l t?sk dependency logic th?t is not fully predefined but ? result?nt of the document workflow ?t runtime.

? speci?l fe?ture of KW? is the use of ? ‘do-it’. ? do-it is ?n ?utom?ted procedure th?t c?n be ?ctiv?ted by running the do-it. The procedure is typic?lly c?ptured ?s ? softw?re ?gent th?t executes ? progr?m or ? script with ? set of runtime input p?r?meters. ? do-it c?n be very effective in en?bling routine t?sks in the most efficient m?nner. Figure 2 shows ? simplified represent?tion of the b?sic entities in the KW?. Light ?rrows denote rel?tionships between entities, ?nd bold ?rrows denote inherit?nce.

The sh?ded boxes in Figure 2 show the four org?niz?tion?l ?spects with which the KW? de?ls. These ?re:

?rg?niz?tion?l logic, c?ptured ?s rel?tionships between workers ?nd their enterprise units (top-left sh?ded box of Figure 2);

Business intelligence, c?ptured in the links between inform?tion resources (‘?tt?chments’) ?nd the workflows th?t gener?te them (top-right sh?ded box of Figure 2);

Project-specific t?sk logic c?ptured in decomposition structure ?nd dependencies between t?sks (bottom-left sh?ded box of Figure 2); ?nd

Business rules c?ptured in ‘step’ scen?rios or embedded in ‘do-it’ procedures (bottomright sh?ded box of Figure 2).


The findings from the c?se studies ?nd the description of the KW? h?ve been used to outline the current pr?ctice of KM within the ?E? sector. ? number of issues ?rising from previous discussions include: (?) the rel?tionship between current pr?ctice of KM in ?E? ?nd the gener?l thinking on the subject; (b) the rel?tionship between current pr?ctice ?nd the imper?tives for KM in the ?E? sector; ?nd (c) the w?y forw?rd with reg?rds to effective KM in the ?E? industry. These issues ?re discussed below.

?urrent pr?ctice ?nd gener?l thinking on KM

The v?rious studies on KM described e?rlier indic?te th?t the pr?ctice of KM in the ?E? industry h?s more to do with (?nd is influenced by) ‘contextu?l’ f?ctors (such ?s org?niz?tion?l f?ctors, diversified m?rkets, supply ch?in m?n?gement, etc.) r?ther th?n ‘content’ issues (with respect to r?pid ch?nge of knowledge). These studies ?lso indic?te th?t the b?sic str?tegy is people centred, suggesting th?t the e?rlier emph?sis of IT tools (n?mely knowledge-b?sed systems) m?y not h?ve t?ken root in the ?E? sector.

This is not surprising since the industry h?s been criticized for its slow upt?ke of I?T in its working pr?ctices (Eg?n, 1998). There ?re however, v?rious IT systems (?lthough not described ?s KM-specific), which contribute tow?rds process improvement; the extent to which they ?re used to m?n?ge process knowledge (for ex?mple, in the c?pture, tr?nsfer ?nd reuse of org?niz?tion?l knowledge on its processes ?nd procedures) is not quite cle?r.

The ?pp?rent preference for people-centred str?tegies ?lso suggests ? more dem?nd-driven ?ppro?ch to KM within the ?E? sector. This is prob?bly due to the b?sic motiv?tion for the m?n?gement of knowledge, which is more ?bout improved efficiency in project delivery, r?ther th?n on the gener?tion of new knowledge, or the effective m?n?gement of f?stch?nging knowledge to g?in competitive ?dv?nt?ge.

Thus, while KM initi?tives within the ?E? sector m?y not be given ? form?l KM title, there is re?son to believe th?t there ?re ?spects of current pr?ctice th?t bro?dly reflect current thinking on the subject, ?lbeit with differences in emph?sis. This view is supported by ? simil?r study on KM in construction firms in the UK by Mc?on?logue (1999), who found th?t most comp?nies do not h?ve ? form?l KM str?tegy.

The ?bsence of ? pro?ctive ?ppro?ch/str?tegy to the m?n?gement of the collective intellectu?l ?ssets of ?E? firms, me?ns th?t the potenti?l benefits of KM will not be fully re?lised; it will ?lso m?ke it difficult to me?sure the imp?ct of ?ny initi?tives th?t ?re ge?red tow?rds the m?n?gement of knowledge. While this need is widely ?cknowledged in the industry, these ?ppe?rs to be uncert?inty on how to devise ?nd implement vi?ble ?nd costeffective KM progr?mmes.

?urrent pr?ctice ?nd the imper?tives for KM in ?E?

?s ? project-b?sed industry, the m?n?gement of knowledge in ?E? firms revolves ?round projects. Thus the c?pture, tr?nsfer ?nd reuse of the project know ledge ?re critic?l. The studies on current pr?ctice suggest th?t this is ?chieved through v?rious me?ns, which include: the re?ssignment of people from one project to the next, the use of st?nd?rds ?nd best pr?ctice guides, contr?ctu?l ?rr?ngements (for ex?mple, fr?mework ?greements), intr?nets, ?nd specific ?ctivities such ?s post-project reviews (PPR) (K?m?r? et ?l., 2001).

These ?re m?inly org?niz?tion?l ?rr?ngements, which ?re not necess?rily p?rt of ? dedic?ted KM str?tegy. It is not surprising therefore th?t they ?re not very effective in c?pturing lessons le?rned from projects. For ex?mple, while PPRs c?n be useful in consolid?ting the le?rning of those involved in ? project, it is n?t c?nsidered t? be effective in the tr?nsfer ?f kn?wledge t? n?n pr?ject p?rticip?nts. There is ?ls? insufficient time f?r PPRs t? be c?nducted effectively, ?s th?se inv?lved w?uld h?ve been ?ssigned t? ?ther pr?jects. Thus, the he?vy reli?nce ?n pe?ple, ?nd the ?ssumpti?n th?t they will tr?nsfer their le?rning fr?m ?ne pr?ject t? the next, m?kes ?rg?niz?ti?ns vulner?ble when there is ? high st?ff turn?ver.

While current ?rg?niz?ti?n?l ?rr?ngements d? n?t seem t? be ?ddressing the KM needs ?f ?E? firms, t??ls such ?s the KW? pr?vide ?pp?rtunities f?r the m?n?gement ?f pr?cess kn?wledge, which is p?rticul?rly relev?nt in impr?ving efficiency. H?wever the current versi?n ?f KW? d?es n?t ?ffer built-in pr?cedures t? ‘br?wse’ pr?jects in ?rder t? ?id the ‘disc?very’ ?f best pr?ctices (?ugenbr?e et ?l., 2001). ?uch functi?n?lity c?uld be b?sed ?n perf?rm?nce metrics ?nd re?s?ning ?b?ut why ? p?rticul?r pr?ject w?s ?n time ?nd budget ?nd ?n?ther pr?ject w?s n?t.

It is ?bserved fr?m the discussi?n ?b?ve th?t bec?use ?f the ?bsence ?f ? pr??ctive KM str?tegy within ?E? firms, current pr?ctices in the m?n?gement ?f kn?wledge d? n?t ?dequ?tely ?ddress the r?nge ?f issues f?r KM within the industry. Pe?ple-b?sed ?ppr??ches ?re n?t r?bust en?ugh t? mitig?te ?g?inst the l?ss ?f kn?wledge when st?ff le?ve the ?rg?niz?ti?n, n?r c?n they c?pe with exp?nsi?n.

Techn?l?gy-b?sed s?luti?ns such ?s the KW?, which c?n m?ke ? difference, ?re limited in their in?bility t? c?pture t?cit kn?wledge th?t c?nn?t be m?de explicit. The ?bsence ?f ? pr??ctive KM str?tegy c?n ?ls?, by def?ult, reinf?rce the dich?t?my between ?rg?nic KM systems ?nd mech?nistic (techn? ?gy-b?sed) initi?tives, which is unhelpful if ?E? firms ?re t? m?n?ge effectively their c?rp?r?te ?nd pr?ject kn?wledge.

The w?y f?rw?rd f?r effective KM in ?E?

It must be underst??d th?t the effective m?n?gement ?f kn?wledge requires the integr?ti?n ?f b?th ?rg?nic ?nd mech?nistic systems, within ?n integr?ted str?tegy f?r KM. The est?blishment ?nd implement?ti?n ?f such ? str?tegy ?nd the devel?pment ?f ?ppr?pri?te supp?rt t??ls ?nd pr?cesses sh?uld t?ke int? c?nsider?ti?n ? number ?f f?ct?rs ?utlined bel?w.

?n ?ssessment ?f the ?rg?niz?ti?n s re?diness f?r KM. This ?ssessment identifies the structures, p?licies, resist?rs ?nd en?blers th?t w?uld influence the successful implement?ti?n ?f KM. Within ?E? firms, f?r ex?mple, there is ? desire f?r ?rigin?lity ?nd cre?tivity in pr?p?sing design/c?nstructi?n s?luti?ns. This ?ttitude is ?bvi?usly ?t ?dds with the need t? reuse the le?rning fr?m p?st pr?jects, ?nd if this is the culture th?t is pred?min?nt in the ?rg?niz?ti?n, then it will serve ?s ? resist?r t? ?ny str?tegy ?imed ?t kn?wledge c?pture ?nd reuse.

?imil?rly, if there were ? dem?nstr?ble need f?r electr?nic discussi?n gr?ups, it w?uld be f?lly f?r ?n ?rg?niz?ti?n t? implement such ? str?tegy with?ut first checking whether ?r n?t it h?s the ?ppr?pri?te IT infr?structure ?nd kn?w-h?w t? effectively use such ? f?rum. Re?diness ?ssessment is ? t??l th?t h?s been used in m?nuf?cturing ?rg?niz?ti?ns ?nd is gr?du?lly being ?pplied in the ?re? ?f c?ll?b?r?tive w?rking in ?E? firms (Kh?lf?n ?nd ?numb?, 2000). H?wever, its use f?r KM is n?t kn?wn, ?nd this is ?n ?re? f?r future rese?rch.

Linking KM str?tegies t? business pr?blems. ?ince KM is n?t ?n end in itself, but ? me?ns t? the ?chievement ?f business g??ls (f?r ex?mple, impr?ved efficiency, ?s in the ?E? sect?r) KM str?tegies m?y be linked t? business pr?blems. This w?uld inv?lve identifying the kn?wledge dimensi?ns ?f business pr?blems ?nd defining the n?ture ?f the pr?blem with respect t? the c?ntext ?f th?t ?rg?niz?ti?n. The fr?mew?rk devel?ped ?s ? result ?f the ?LEVER pr?ject (K?m?r? et ?l., 2002) is useful in this reg?rd, ?s it is designed t? help ?rg?niz?ti?ns select ?ppr?pri?te KM str?tegies th?t ?re suit?ble t? their unique c?ntexts.

The integr?ti?n ?f techn?l?gies with business pr?cesses ?cr?ss c?rp?r?te ?nd pr?ject ?rg?niz?ti?ns. Figure 3 sh?ws three distinct l?yers within ?n ?rg?niz?ti?n ?nd the ?ss?ci?ted supp?rt t??ls f?r e?ch l?yer. The KW? w?s devel?ped f?r the ‘middle l?yer,’ wh?se m?in r?les ?re t? ?pply ?nd enf?rce business rules ?cr?ss the multitude ?f pr?jects under executi?n ?nd keep ? rec?rd ?f current ?nd p?st pr?jects in ?rder t? c?pture the experience ?nd ?ccumul?ted kn?wledge fr?m these pr?jects. ?urrent t??ls th?t help c?mp?nies t? perf?rm th?se functi?ns ?ther th?n KM ?re enterprise res?urce pl?nning (ERP) ?nd business intelligence (BI) t??ls.

? cruci?l ?spect ?f t??ls in the middle l?yer is their inter?cti?n with the typic?l functi?ns ?nd t??ls b?th in the upper c?rp?r?te m?n?gement ?nd in the l?wer pr?ject l?yer. Business m?n?gement ?per?ti?ns, ?ided by m?n?gement inf?rm?ti?n systems (MI?) ?nd ERP t??ls c?mmunic?te with ?ng?ing pr?jects thr?ugh ? pr?ject d?t?b?se (DB) th?t is typic?lly m?int?ined in the middle l?yer. Individu?l pr?ject executi?n m?y be supp?rted by ? v?riety ?f d?ily site ?nd sh?p fl??r m?n?gement systems, such ?s th?se b?sed ?n pr?duct d?t? m?n?gement (PDM) ?nd c?mputer integr?ted m?nuf?cturing (?IM) systems.

B?ck-end integr?ti?n ?f these t??ls, th?t is, their ?lignment ?nd synchr?niz?ti?n with the business rules in the middle l?yer ?re bec?ming ? gre?t c?ncern f?r pr?cess ?rg?niz?ti?ns. ?rg?niz?ti?ns h?ve bec?me ?w?re ?f the vit?l r?le ?f middle l?yer in the cre?ti?n ?f ? c?rp?r?te c?ntinuum ?cr?ss individu?l pr?jects. This is key t? the fulfilment ?f vit?l business ?bjectives such ?s m?int?ining c?rp?r?te identity, bec?ming less ?ffected by pers?nnel flux ?nd cultiv?ting instituti?n?l kn?wledge g?ined in d?ily pr?ject executi?n.

Devising c?st-effective meth?d?l?gies ?nd t??ls f?r the ‘live’ c?pture ?f pr?ject kn?wledge

This is ?s yet ?n elusive g??l, which is very cruci?l t? the effective reuse ?f pr?ject kn?wledge, ?nd hence effective m?n?gement ?f kn?wledge in ?E? firms. The temp?r?ry, multidisciplin?ry, multi-?rg?niz?ti?n?l n?ture ?f c?nstructi?n pr?ject te?ms is ?ne ?f the m?j?r ch?llenges th?t need t? be ?verc?me in this reg?rd. H?wever, the use ?f l?ng-term p?rtnering (fr?mew?rk) ?greements between clients with ? c?ntinu?us c?nstructi?n pr?gr?mme (e.g., B?? pic in the UK) ?nd ? number ?f suppliers is beginning t? cre?te ? fr?mew?rk f?r the effective c?pture ?nd reuse ?f pr?ject kn?wledge.

The gr?wing use ?f pr?ject extr?nets ?ls? h?s p?tenti?l benefits in this reg?rd, especi?lly f?r distributed te?ms. ? cr?ss-?rg?niz?ti?n?l le?rning ?ppr??ch (??L?) f?r le?rning ?nd kn?wledge gener?ti?n thr?ugh reflecti?n ?nd discussi?n within ? p?rtnering c?ntext h?s ?lre?dy been devel?ped by rese?rchers in tw? UK universities (?r?nge et ?l., 2000). The ??L? ?ppr??ch, h?wever, h?s limit?ti?ns ?s it d?es n?t inc?rp?r?te techn?l?gies th?t w?uld supp?rt distributed te?ms. This is ?n ?re? th?t cle?rly needs further rese?rch ?nd devel?pment.

?ther ??se studies

This ch?pter ?ls? ex?mines ?ther c?se studies rel?ted t? the KM eff?rt within the ?rg?nis?ti?n?l envir?nment. The r?ti?n?le f?r the c?se studies w?s t? determine h?w firms c?uld m?n?ge kn?wledge fr?m intern?l s?urces ?nd wh?t sh?uld be ch?nged in ?rder t? enh?nce KM. The c?ses were ch?sen t? ?ffer ? selecti?n ?f l?rge firms ?lre?dy using KM t??ls in their business units.

The ch?ice fell ?n three l?rge firms th?t were n?t typic?l c?nstructi?n firms, but which c?uld pr?vide useful insights f?r ?thers willing t? implement KM. ?lth?ugh, these firms were n?t represent?tive ?f the c?nstructi?n industry per se, they pr?vided g??d ex?mples ?f high-perf?rming firms. Tw? were l?rge c?nstructi?n firms ?nd ?ne w?s ? le?ding telec?mmunic?ti?ns firm. T? ensure c?mp?r?bility these firms ?ll met the f?ll?wing criteri?:

they were high-perf?rming firms;

they h?d implemented KM t??ls in their ?rg?nis?ti?ns;

they viewed kn?wledge ?s ?n imp?rt?nt business ?sset; ?nd

the interviewees were experienced seni?r m?n?gers wh? ?versee the d?y t? d?y ?dministr?ti?n ?nd c?ntr?l the pr?cesses rel?ted t? their firm’s pr?jects.

The selected criteri? ?imed t? underst?nd the key fe?tures ?f KM m?dels ?nd t? ev?lu?te existing pr?ctice in m?n?ging kn?wledge ?ssets ?n the business units. This ?ppr??ch ?ls? ?imed t? identify h?w KM eff?rt c?n be enh?nced b?sed ?n the business pr?ctice th?t c?nstructi?n firms f?ll?w.

F?r cl?rity, these firms ?re represented ?s: firms ?, B ?nd ?. These three firms were cl?ssified ?s high-perf?rming firms, b?sed ?n their s?les between 2004 ?nd 2006, ?nd perf?rm?nce d?t? f?r 2006. These firms pr?vide ?n excellent ?pp?rtunity f?r ? multi-c?se c?mp?r?tive ?n?lysis ?f KM implement?ti?n in l?rge firms. The f?ll?wing discussi?n describes KM eff?rt typ?l?gy, KM implement?ti?n str?tegy ?nd, KM t??ls ?nd techniques ?nd kn?wledge s?urces.

Firms ? ?nd B ?per?te in the c?nstructi?n industry. Firm ? ?per?tes in the telec?mmunic?ti?ns industry ?nd is ? le?ding ?rg?nis?ti?n in KM implement?ti?n. ?ll three firms were pr?ject-b?sed firms ?nd were c?nsidered le?ders in their fields. Firm ? w?s ? gl?b?l c?nstructi?n gr?up; firm B h?s businesses in t?urism, c?nstructi?n, engineering ?nd h?using devel?pment; ?nd firm ? w?s ? gl?b?l telec?mmunic?ti?ns ?per?t?r ?nd h?d l?ng experience in ?rg?nising rese?rch ?nd devel?pment pr?gr?mmes ?nd pr?jects. The inclusi?n ?f firm ? in this study helped t? illustr?te ? br??d r?nge ?f KM techniques.

The semi-structured interviews f?cused ?n three m?in KM themes: KM typ?l?gy; s?urces ?f kn?wledge; t??ls ?nd techniques. ?ne set ?f interviews ?nd sever?l meetings were held during 2006-2007 in firms ?, B ?nd ?. The pers?ns interviewed were:

in firm ?, tw? executive level st?ff ?nd tw? pr?ject m?n?gers;

in firm B, ?ne executive level ?nd ?ne seni?r inf?rm?ti?n techn?l?gy expert; ?nd

in firm ?, tw? pr?ject m?n?gers.

It sh?uld be n?ted th?t the c?se study ?ppr??ch limits the gener?lis?ti?n ?f the findings. Nevertheless, it c?n be ?ssumed th?t the results c?n pr?vide v?lu?ble insight int? h?w ? c?nstructi?n firm c?uld enh?nce its KM eff?rt. The b?ckgr?und inf?rm?ti?n ?nd ? pr?file ?f the business envir?nment ?f these three pr?ject-b?sed firms ?re given bel?w.

Firm ?

This firm w?s est?blished ?s ? gl?b?l gr?up in 2003 ?nd h?s bec?me the biggest c?nstructi?n c?mp?ny in the P?rtuguese c?nstructi?n industry. The c?re business is sh?red by f?ur sep?r?te, ?ut?n?m?us business ?re?s: engineering ?nd c?nstructi?n; envir?nment ?nd services; pr?perty ?nd t?urism; ?nd tr?nsp?rt ?nd c?ncessi?ns. In 2005 the firm’s businesses were l?c?ted: 67 per cent in Iberi?; 19 per cent in ?entr?l Eur?pe; ?nd 14 per cent in ?fric? ?nd ?meric?. Its turn?ver in 2005 w?s 1,381 milli?n ?nd the s?les re?ched 1,612 milli?n eur?s.

?b?ut 80 per cent ?f s?les were in the engineering ?nd c?nstructi?n business ?re?s. During 2006 there w?s ? ch?nge in the firm’s ?rder b??k, with the weight ?f intern?ti?n?l c?ntr?cts incre?sing, especi?lly in ?fric? the U??. The firm’s ?bjectives included simult?ne?us technic?l rese?rch, pr?mpt resp?nse t? cust?mer’ need?, ?nd ? c?mpetitive ?dv?nt?ge in ? gl?b?l ?per?ti?n.

Firm B

Firm B i? m?de up ?f bu?ine??e? in c?n?tructi?n ?nd pr?perty devel?pment. In 2006 it? c?n??lid?ted turn?ver w?? 154 milli?n. The c?n?tructi?n ?nd engineering bu?ine??e? were the m??t ?ignific?nt c?ntribut?r? t? the c?n??lid?ted turn?ver. ??n??lid?ted ?per?ti?n?l c??h fl?w in 2006 w?? 7.2 milli?n. The firm pr?ctice? the principle? ?f highe?t qu?lity, gre?te?t credibility, be?t ?ervice, ?nd minimum c??t. The firm i? p?rt ?f ? l?rge multin?ti?n?l c?mp?ny with bu?ine?? in different ?re?? including t?uri?m, ret?il ?nd telec?mmunic?ti?n?.

Firm ?

Firm ? i? ? gl?b?l telec?mmunic?ti?n? ?per?t?r ?nd ?ervice pr?vider. It? ?ctivity c?ver? ?ll ?egment? ?f the telec?mmunic?ti?n ?ect?r: fixed, m?bile, multimedi?, d?t? ?nd c?rp?r?te ??luti?n?. Firm ? h?? ?per?ti?n? in Eur?pe, ?fric? ?nd ??uth ?meric?. The c?mp?ny’? gr?wth h?? been c?n??lid?ted thr?ugh the devel?pment ?f new bu?ine?? in ?re?? ?f r?pid gr?wth, f?r ex?mple m?bile v?ice ?nd d?t? ?ervice?, multimedi? ?nd br??db?nd internet ?cce??. In 2006, the c?n??lid?ted turn?ver ?f firm ? w?? 6,343 milli?n. ??n??lid?ted ?per?ti?n?l c??h fl?w, in 2006, w?? 2,423 milli?n.

The rep?rted herein reve?l? th?t the key i??ue? rel?ted t? ?f the KM eff?rt in pr?ject-b??ed firm? c?vered by thi? ?tudy ?re in line with the the?retic?l pr?p??iti?n? ?upp?rted by the liter?ture review pre?ented ?b?ve. The re?e?rch meth?d?l?gy ?nd the number ?f bu?ine?? unit? c?vered by thi? ?tudy m?de it p???ible t? expl?re ?ll the key deci?i?n? ?nd ?cti?n? le?ding t? the KM eff?rt implemented in the three firm?. The unf?lding ?f the pr?ce?? ?f e?t?bli?hing KM in the firm i? pre?ented in gre?ter det?il t? expl?in wh?t the key ch?r?cteri?tic? ?f the KM eff?rt were in the different peri?d? ?f the pr?ce??. The c?ncept? ?nd finding? fr?m the gr?unded the?ry ?n?ly?i? ?re pre?ented ?nd di?cu??ed in gre?ter det?il t? pr?vide ??me u?eful in?ight? f?r implementing KM in c?n?tructi?n firm?. The di?cu??i?n will de?cribe KM eff?rt typ?l?gy, KM t??l?, pr?pen?ity t? ?h?re ?nd receive kn?wledge, KM technique? ?nd kn?wledge ??urce?.

KM typ?l?gy

KM eff?rt require? ?tr?tegic deci?i?n m?king ?t t?p m?n?gement level ?nd inv?lve? ?ub?t?nti?l re??urce c?mmitment t? KM initi?tive?. T? di?cu?? the KM eff?rt in ?ur c??e ?tudie? the f?ur cl???e? ?f KM?? pr?p??ed by Niel?en ?nd Mich?il?v? (2007) h?ve been u?ed ?ince ?ll three c??e? ?h?re ??me ?f the fe?ture? ?f multin?ti?n?l c?mp?nie?.

?cc?rding t? the interview?, kn?wledge in firm? ? ?nd B i? viewed ?? ?n ?bject t? be ?t?red ?nd tr?n?ferred. Their KM eff?rt f?cu??ed ?n g?thering, ?t?ring ?nd tr?n?ferring kn?wledge. In b?th firm?, kn?wledge w?? de?lt with vi? inf?rm?ti?n ?cce?? fr?m ? centr?l rep??it?ry. Firm ? devel?ped ?nd implemented ? KM ?y?tem b??ed ?n ?n inf?rm?ti?n ?nd c?mmunic?ti?n pl?tf?rm ?ince 2004, ?imed ?t:

enh?ncing tr?n?fer ?f be?t pr?ctice? ?nd le???n? le?rned ?cr??? pr?ject? te?m?; ?nd

pr?m?ting the ?h?ring ?f experience? thr?ugh?ut the ?rg?ni??ti?n (Figure 4).

Figure 4 ?h?w? the KM eff?rt in firm ?. It c?n?i?t? ?f five KM pr?ce??e?: kn?wledge h?rve?ting; kn?wledge refinement; kn?wledge ?t?r?ge; kn?wledge tr?n?fer; kn?wledge utili??ti?n. Kn?wledge i? pred?min?ntly explicit, independent ?nd ?tr?ngly centr?li?ed ?nd cu?t?mi?ed by the techn?l?gy ?nd inn?v?ti?n dep?rtment (TID), which i? in the firm’? he?d-qu?rter?. The key pl?yer? inv?lved in the devel?pment ?nd m?inten?nce ?f KM? were middle m?n?ger? with n? KM tr?ining.

Pr?ject ?ite? ?nd ?ub?idi?ry dep?rtment? received kn?wledge fr?m the TID when deemed nece???ry. N? f?rm?l ?y?tem t? c??rdin?te KM ?ctivitie? in firm?’ pr?ject? ?nd ?ub?idi?ry dep?rtment? w?? f?und in firm ?. The intr?net i? u?ed f?r ?ne-w?y c?mmunic?ti?n ?nd tr?n?fer ?f pred?min?ntly explicit kn?wledge. KM eff?rt in firm ? exhibit? m?ny ?f the ch?r?cteri?tic? ?f the fr?gmented KM ?y?tem?, with prim?ry f?cu? ?n kn?wledge h?rve?ting, refinement, ?t?ring, ?nd tr?n?ferring. There i? neither c?ll?b?r?tive te?mw?rk n?r ? netw?rk ?y?tem t? ?ll?w vertic?l c?mmunic?ti?n within the ?rg?ni??ti?n. M??t ?f the le???n? le?rned fr?m bu?ine?? pr?ce??e? ?re l??t ?t the end ?f pr?ject.

Firm B ?t?rted in e?rly 2007 t? implement ?n integr?ted c?ll?b?r?tive d?cument m?n?gement ?y?tem b??ed ?n Micr???ft ?h?reP?int ?erver 2007 ?pplic?ti?n, thi? ?imed t?:

m?n?ge c?rp?r?te ?nd pr?ject d?cument?;

?t?re ?nd tr?n?fer pr?ject feedb?ck ?ite inf?rm?ti?n; ?nd

tr?n?fer c?mp?ny pr?cedure? ?nd be?t pr?ctice? within the ?rg?ni??ti?n ?nd ?cr??? pr?ject te?m?.

Thi? ?y?tem w?? ?upp?rted by the ?rchitecture ?h?wn in Figure 5.

Figure 5 ?h?w? the inf?rm?ti?n techn?l?gy-b??ed ?rchitecture th?t ?upp?rt? the KM eff?rt in firm B. The ?rchitecture ?h?wn c?n?i?t? ?f tw? web-fr?nt END, ?ne ?pplic?ti?n ?erver/index/?e?rch ?erver, ?ne d?t?b??e ?erver linked t? ? high ?peed ?t?r?ge ?re? netw?rk. D?cument?, im?ge?, file?, d?cument?’ regi?ter? ?nd ?ther d?cument? ?re ?t?red in the d?t?b??e ?erver. The d?t?b??e w?rk? ?? ?n inf?rm?ti?n ?nd kn?wledge rep??it?ry, m?king inf?rm?ti?n ?nd kn?wledge ?v?il?ble t? the firm’? pr?ject ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?nd dep?rtment? ?n ? bu?ine??-t?-bu?ine?? b??i? thr?ugh the exi?ting netw?rk. Kn?wledge in firm B i? perceived by interviewee? ?? ?n ?bject ?nd i? pred?min?ntly explicit ?nd dependent.

While t?p m?n?gement f?rm?lly rec?gni?ed the imp?rt?nce ?f the firm’? kn?wledge ???et?, n? hum?n re??urce? h?ve ?? f?r been c?mmitted t? the KM eff?rt. H?wever, there ?re pl?n? t? ?ll?c?te hum?n re??urce? t? the firm’? KM eff?rt in the ne?r future. The f?cu? ?f the implemented ?y?tem i? ?n c?pturing, c?difying ?nd ?t?ring inf?rm?ti?n ?nd kn?wledge in ? ?tructured ?nd c?ll?b?r?tive m?nner ?nd m?king them ?v?il?ble thr?ugh the intr?net. The ?y?tem i? devel?ped ?nd m?int?ined in the gr?up’? he?dqu?rter?.

It u?e? ? centr?li?ed ?rg?ni??ti?n. H?wever, the ?y?tem ?? it ?t?nd? ?ll?w?, vi? the intr?net, tw?-w?y vertic?l c?mmunic?ti?n within the gr?up unit ?nd c?ll?b?r?tive te?mw?rk. The KM eff?rt in firm B h?? ?n inf?rm?ti?n ?nd c?mmunic?ti?n techn?l?gy (I?T) f?cu?. Inf?rm?ti?n ?nd kn?wledge ?h?ring i? emerging in firm B ?? ? c?n?equence ?f the I?T infr??tructure. ?cc?rding t? the p?rticip?nt?, it f?cilit?te? cr???-functi?n?l c?mmunic?ti?n ?nd intern?l inf?rm?ti?n ?e?rch. The KM m?del in firm B exhibit? ??me ?f the ch?r?cteri?tic? ?f c?ntent-b??ed KM ?y?tem?.

The KM eff?rt in firm ? i? b??ed ?n kn?wledge te?m? (KT) kn?wn ?? “My Te?m”. It u?e? ? decentr?li?ed ?rg?ni??ti?n ?tructure ?f KT. 202 KT h?d been ?et up by M?y 2007 (Figure 6). Figure 6 ?h?w? the KM eff?rt in firm ?. It ?h?w? th?t KT c?n pl?y ? centr?l r?le in the firm’? KM eff?rt. They c?ll?b?r?te ?nd ?h?re kn?wledge fr?m ? kn?wledge rep??it?ry ?nd thr?ugh ?nline di?cu??i?n?, ?nd ?ver ?n inf?rm?ti?n ?nd c?mmunic?ti?n pl?tf?rm b??ed ?n Micr???ft ?h?re P?int ?erver ?pplic?ti?n.

Kn?wledge in firm ? i? perceived ?? ? pr?ce??. Theref?re, three m?in type? ?f KT h?ve been e?t?bli?hed: pr?ject KT (98 te?m?); dep?rtment KT (95 te?m?); pr?fe??i?n?l intere?t KT (49 te?m?). E?ch kn?wledge te?m h?? it? ?wn “te?m ?ite” which i? f?rmed by three element? with di?tinctive functi?n?: the m?n?ger; the edit?r ?nd the re?der?. The m?n?ger c?ntr?l? u?er privilege?, c?lend?r?, f?rum?, v?ting ?nd member?’ t??k?. The edit?r ?upervi?e? the te?m ?ite’? c?ntent?. Re?der? (member?) ?h?re kn?wledge ?nline. KM eff?rt in firm ? i? perceived ?? ? ?tep t?w?rd? the vertic?l ?nd h?riz?nt?l tr?n?fer ?f kn?wledge between intern?l kn?wledge ??urce?.

The f?cu? i? ?n defining the key bu?ine?? pr?ce??e? exi?ting in the ?rg?ni??ti?n (pr?ject? ?nd dep?rtment?) ?nd m?king ?ure th?t KM ?dd? v?lue t? them. The KT were cre?ted in the ?ctive pur?uit ?f kn?wledge cre?ti?n ?nd ?h?ring. T?p m?n?gement pl?y? ?n ?ctive r?le in the devel?pment ?f the KM eff?rt in firm ?. ?cc?rding t? c?mp?ny d?cument?, KM in firm ? will pl?y ? ?ignific?nt r?le in the firm’? inn?v?ti?n initi?tive? ?nd v?lue cre?ti?n ch?in. Inf?rm?ti?n ?nd kn?wledge ?h?ring within ?nd ?cr??? the KT i? enc?ur?ged by t?p m?n?gement.

The re?ulting devel?pment ?f decentr?li?ed KT h?? led t? direct l?ter?l kn?wledge fl?w? inv?lving di?cu??i?n?, c?nt?ct? ?nd te?m w?rk, ?nd the Intr?net i? the c?mmunic?ti?n pl?tf?rm u?ed by KT. The ?b?erved I?T pl?tf?rm in firm ? f?cilit?te? cr???-functi?n?l c?mmunic?ti?n, intern?l inf?rm?ti?n ?e?rch, ?nd kn?wledge ?h?ring. The KM eff?rt in firm ? ?h?w? m?ny ch?r?cteri?tic? ?f pr?ce??-b??ed KM ?y?tem?.

Kn?wledge t??l?, technique?, le?rning ?nd ??urce?

Inf?rm?ti?n techn?l?gy, the intr?net ?nd web, ?re m??tly u?ed f?r c?mmunic?ti?n ?nd c?ll?b?r?ti?n ?f inf?rm?ti?n ?nd kn?wledge in ?ll three c??e ?tudie?. IT ?ct? ?? ? ?upp?rting t??l t? pr?vide ? friendly envir?nment f?r ?t?ring ?nd tr?n?ferring kn?wledge ?cr??? pr?ject te?m?. Thr?ugh ? p?rt?l, empl?yee? in firm ? h?ve ? number ?f ?implified ?cce?? menu? – “Kn?wing”, “W?tching” ?nd “?h?ring” – pr?viding ?cce?? t? ??me very u?eful item?: f??t ?e?rche?, new?, he?dline?, f?rum?, c?n?tructi?n pl?nning d?cument?, que?ti?nn?ire? ?nd c?mmunitie?, ?m?ng ?ther?.

The p?rt?l i? the fir?t ?tep t?w?rd? the cre?ti?n ?f ? kn?wledge ?h?ring culture within the firm. Explicit kn?wledge in digit?l f?rm (new?letter?, c?n?tructi?n be?t pr?ctice?, wr?ng pr?ctice?, pr?ject pl?nning d?cument? ?? well ?? ? l?rge number ?f relev?nt technic?l ?ne?), p?per d?cument? (c?mp?ny rep?rt?, m?nthly ?ite rep?rt), technic?l ?emin?r?, c?ntr?l meeting? ?nd inter?cti?n with c?lle?gue? were identified ?? the m??t imp?rt?nt ??urce? ?f kn?wledge in firm ?.

Kn?wledge rep??it?rie? were u?ed in firm? ? ?nd B. The interviewee? in firm B m?de it cle?r th?t the e?t?bli?hment ?f kn?wledge rep??it?ry ?y?tem? c?ntributed t? the effectivene?? ?f kn?wledge retriev?l ?nd di?tributi?n within the firm. The interf?ce ?f firm B’? kn?wledge rep??it?ry w?? built ?n Micr???ft’? ?h?re P?int ?erver ?pplic?ti?n. H?wever, the devel?pment ?nd implement?ti?n ?f rep??it?rie? inv?lve? the integr?ti?n ?f kn?wledge ?cr??? multiple inf?rm?ti?n ?nd kn?wledge ??urce? (T?eng, 2007).

Interviewee? in firm ? n?ted th?t KT pr?m?te ?ctively c?ll?b?r?tive w?rk ?nd cre?te ?n envir?nment f?r h?riz?nt?l ?nd vertic?l kn?wledge ?h?ring within the ?rg?ni??ti?n. KT en?ure th?t new kn?wledge in ? p?rticul?r ?re? – pr?ject? ?r dep?rtment – i? c?mmunic?ted cr???-functi?n?lly, b?th thr?ugh inter-hum?n c?mmunic?ti?n ?nd ?ver the intr?net. Inf?rm?l gr?up? c?n?i?ting ?f empl?yee? wh? ?h?re ? pr?fe??i?n?l intere?t ?nd meet ?n ? regul?r b??i? t? di?cu?? pr?ject rel?ted i??ue? ?nd t? exch?nge experience? h?ve been ?et up in firm ?.

They ?eem t? be ?n?ther imp?rt?nt t??l f?r kn?wledge cre?ti?n ?nd ?h?ring when firm? h?ve t? ?per?te in ? dyn?mic bu?ine?? envir?nment. The r?le ?f ??ci?l inter?cti?n w?? underlined in firm ? by ?ever?l reference? t? w?rk?h?p?, ?emin?r? ?nd benchm?rking vi?it?. Intr?-?rg?ni??ti?n?l c?ll?b?r?tive w?rk pr?ctice? ?nd pr?ject debriefing meeting? were c?n?idered t? be the m?in ?re?? ?f new kn?wledge cre?ted in firm B. The pr?pen?ity t? ?h?re ?nd receive kn?wledge in firm ? i? high while in firm? ? ?nd B it i? l?w.

F?rm?l mech?ni?m? th?t ?timul?te ?rg?ni??ti?n?l le?rning ?nd c?ntinu?u? inn?v?ti?n pr?ject? experience? ?t individu?l ?nd te?m level? were n?t f?und in firm? ? ?nd B. In firm B, p?rticul?rly, the interviewee? ?tre??ed the imp?rt?nce ?f f?rm?li?ing KM t??l? t? pr?m?te ?rg?ni??ti?n?l le?rning ?cr??? pr?ject te?m?. KM t??l? in firm ? pr?vide the mech?ni?m?, viz. the pr?ject KT th?t ?timul?te ?rg?ni??ti?n?l le?rning ?cr??? pr?ject unit?.

The ?umm?ry ?f finding?, h?ve been ?rg?ni?ed under five he?ding?; kn?wledge view, KM typ?l?gy; KM t??l?; KM ?ctivitie?. They highlight the key f?ct?r? ?f the KM eff?rt u?ed in the three c??e ?tudie?. The w?y kn?wledge i? viewed i? ? key f?ct?r f?r the KM typ?l?gy ?nd KM t??l? u?ed t? ?upp?rt KM ?ctivitie?. ? c?p?bility-b??ed KM eff?rt f?und in Firm ? pr?vide? mech?ni?m? f?r effective kn?wledge cre?ti?n, ?h?ring ?nd le?rning. ? decentr?li?ed KM eff?rt ?timul?te? tw?-w?y kn?wledge fl?w.

M??t ?f the KM eff?rt in firm? ? ?nd B were fr?gmented ?nd centr?li?ed. Kn?wledge w?? perceived ?? ?n ?bject th?t c?uld be ?t?red, refined ?nd tr?n?ferred. Firm ? ?d?pt? ? pr?ce??-b??ed view ?f kn?wledge which cre?ted ? better envir?nment f?r kn?wledge cre?ti?n ?nd ?h?ring. ? number ?f rec?mmend?ti?n? fr?m thi? re?e?rch w?? ?l?? pre?ented in thi? p?per. The three firm? pr?vided u?eful in?ight? f?r ?ther? willing t? implement KM t??l? int? their bu?ine?? unit?. ?lth?ugh, the?e firm? ?re n?t repre?ent?tive ?f the c?n?tructi?n indu?try ?? wh?le, they ?re pr?ject-b??ed firm? which ?h?re m?ny bu?ine?? rel?ti?n? ?cr??? the c?n?tructi?n indu?try. H?wever, there ?re limit?ti?n? rel?ted t? the n?ture ?f the c??e ?tudie?.

In thi? re?pect, the l?ck ?f f?rm?l t??l? t? le?rn effectively in firm? ? ?nd B d?e? n?t nece???rily me?n th?t they ?re n?t le?rning. H?wever, the le?rning pr?ce?? in firm? ? ?nd B i? err?tic ?nd pr?blem ??lving ?riented.

It c?n be c?ncluded th?t in ? pr?ject b??ed indu?try, ?uch ?? c?n?tructi?n, the individu?l? ?nd the kn?wledge they cre?te ?re the m??t critic?l fe?ture? f?r impr?ving bu?ine?? perf?rm?nce ?nd ultim?tely f?r c?llective le?rning. The empiric?l m?teri?l illu?tr?te? ?n intere?ting r?nge ?f KM technique?, ??urce? ?nd t??l?. The empiric?l re?ult? dem?n?tr?te th?t ?rg?ni??ti?n?l culture, the ?pplic?ti?n ?f techn?l?gy ?nd le?der?hip ?re the three m??t imp?rt?nt f?ct?r? f?r influencing the ?ucce?? ?f ? KM eff?rt.

??n?tructi?n firm? require excepti?n?lly efficient KM if they w?nt t? bec?me ? c?ntinu?u? le?rning ?rg?ni??ti?n. The e??ence ?f ?rg?ni??ti?n?l culture i? t? enc?ur?ge individu?l? t? cre?te, ?t?re ?nd ?h?re kn?wledge ?? well ?? t? define which kn?wledge i? v?lu?ble ?nd h?w t? u?e it. F?ll?wing the c?nfirm?ti?n ?f the imp?rt?nce ?f KM ?ctivitie?, including kn?wledge ?h?ring ?nd le?rning, c?n?tructi?n firm? ?h?uld c?n?ider h?w KM c?n be implemented ?ucce??fully.

M?j?r ?E? indu?try review? in the UK h?ve identified the need f?r c?ntinu?u? perf?rm?nce impr?vement (L?th?m, 1994; Eg?n, 1998). The m??t recent review by F?ircl?ugh (2002) ?l?? rec?gni?ed the need f?r impr?vement? but emph??i?ed the imp?rt?nce ?nd r?le ?f inn?v?ti?n in the ?ver?ll ?E? pr?ce??. Le?rning ?nd kn?wledge ?h?ring ?re e??enti?l driver? ?f inn?v?ti?n in ?rder t? ?u?t?in the l?ng-term c?mpetitive ?dv?nt?ge ?f ?rg?ni??ti?n?. The indu?try h?? ?l?? been m?de incre??ingly ?w?re ?f kn?wledge ?h?ring thr?ugh initi?tive? ?uch ?? the ?E? Be?t Pr?ctice Pr?gr?mme (?BPP) ?nd M?vement f?r Inn?v?ti?n (M4I).

Kn?wledge i? the hidden ???et ?f ?rg?ni??ti?n?, which h?? t? be nurtured f?r l?ng-term c?rp?r?te ?u?t?in?bility (Edvinn??n, 1997) ?nd kn?wledge m?n?gement i? ? meth?d ?f expl?iting, ?r tr?n?f?rming kn?wledge ?? ?n ???et f?r ?rg?ni??ti?n?l u?e t? f?cilit?te c?ntinu?u? impr?vement. H?wever, KM i? ? recent ?nd ev?lving pr?ctice, p?rticul?rly f?r ?E? ?rg?ni??ti?n?. ? recent ?urvey ?f le?ding ?E? ?rg?ni??ti?n? in the UK ?h?w? th?t ?b?ut 42 per cent h?ve ? KM ?tr?tegy, ?nd 32 per cent pl?n t? h?ve ? ?tr?tegy within ? ?h?rt term (??rrill? et ?l., 2004). ?ver 90 per cent ?f l?rger ?rg?ni??ti?n? (empl?ying m?re th?n 1,500) h?ve ?r intend t? h?ve ? ?tr?tegy c?mp?red t? h?lf ?f the ?m?ller ?rg?ni??ti?n? (empl?ying le?? th?n 500).

The re?ult? ?ugge?t th?t KM i? bec?ming incre??ingly imp?rt?nt in the ?E? c?ntext; ?nd KM ?ppe?r? t? be m?re imp?rt?nt t? l?rger ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?? it i? difficult t? determine “wh? kn?w? wh?t” in ?uch ?rg?ni??ti?n? (D?venp?rt ?nd Pru??k, 1998). L?rger ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?re ?l?? m?re likely t? h?ve ? le?der ?r ? KM ch?mpi?n ?nd t? h?ve the re??urce? t? ?upp?rt ? KM ?tr?tegy. P?tel et ?l. (2000) ?rgued th?t KM ?nd ?rg?ni??ti?n?l le?rning ?re rec?gni?ed by the l?rger ?E? firm? ?? p?tenti?lly imp?rt?nt but little h?? been ?ttempted ?t ? f?rm?l level.

While ?n incre??ing number ?f ?E? ?rg?ni??ti?n? n?w perceive KM ?? ?n integr?l ??pect ?f bu?ine?? impr?vement, there ?re m?j?r difficultie? ????ci?ted with it? ?pplic?ti?n ?uch ?? e?t?bli?hing ? ?tr?tegy, identifying the re??urce? ?nd ref?rm needed ?nd ev?lu?ting it? benefit?.

Thi? p?per pre?ent? evidence ?n the ?t?te ?f KM in l?rge ?E? ?rg?ni??ti?n? in the UK. The p?per i? divided int? five ?ecti?n? ?? f?ll?w?: KM c?n?ider?ti?n?; ???e ?tudy ?bjective? ?nd meth?d?l?gy; KM Pr?ctice? ?f the c??e ?tudy ?rg?ni??ti?n?; ?n?ly?i? ?nd di?cu??i?n; ?nd ??nclu?i?n?.

KM c?n?ider?ti?n?

Kn?wledge i? vit?l f?r bu?ine?? impr?vement but “it i? n?t the kn?wledge ?f the ?rg?ni??ti?n?l member? per ?e which i? ?f critic?l ?tr?tegic imp?rt?nce, it i? the firm’? pr?ductivity in building, integr?ting ?nd utili?ing it? intellectu?l c?pit?l which i? vit?l” (J?rd?n ?nd J?ne?, 1997). There ?re ?ever?l dimen?i?n? ?f ?rg?ni??ti?n?l kn?wledge; individu?l ?nd gr?up kn?wledge, intern?l ?nd extern?l kn?wledge, ?nd t?cit ?nd explicit kn?wledge (?l-Gh????ni et ?l., 2002).

H?wever, ?ne ?f the m??t pr?ctic?l di?tincti?n? i? th?t between t?cit ?nd explicit kn?wledge (N?n?k? ?nd T?keuchi, 1995). T?cit kn?wledge i? ?t?red in the he?d? ?f individu?l? ?nd i? difficult t? c?mmunic?te extern?lly ?r t? ?h?re. Explicit kn?wledge i? c?ptured ?r ?t?red in ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n’? m?nu?l?, pr?cedure?, inf?rm?ti?n ?y?tem?, ?nd i? e??ily c?mmunic?ted ?r ?h?red with ?ther pe?ple ?r p?rt? ?f ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n.

Kn?wledge in the ?E? c?ntext

There i? ? need t? ?tructure ?r cl???ify the kn?wledge ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n i? intere?ted in term? ?f it? bu?ine?? c?ntext. ??ntext-b??ed f?ct?r? rel?te t? wh?t ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n pr?duce? (pr?duct? in term? ?f g??d? ?nd ?ervice?), wh?t pr?ce??e? ?re required ?nd wh?t pe?ple ?re empl?yed. Bennett (1991) identified three di?tinct end pr?duct?: ?t?nd?rd ?E?, tr?diti?n?l ?E? ?nd inn?v?tive ?E?. The?e pr?duct? rely ?n ? mix ?f t?cit ?nd explicit kn?wledge. F?r ex?mple, inn?v?tive pr?duct? require ? higher degree ?f t?cit kn?wledge (Bennett, 2000). Pr?duct kn?wledge ?l?? rel?te? t? kn?wledge ?b?ut different client type?, ????ci?ted rel?ti?n?hip? ?nd m?rket ch?r?cteri?tic?.

Pr?ce?? f?ct?r? rel?te t? the technic?l ?nd m?n?gement ?y?tem? u?ed in pr?ducti?n. Technic?l pr?ce??e? c?uld be highly l?b?ur-inten?ive relying ?n t?cit kn?wledge ?r ?ut?m?ted b??ed ?n explicit (c?dified) kn?wledge in c?mputer ?y?tem?. M?n?gement pr?ce??e? r?nge fr?m pr?gr?mmed t? pr?blem-??lving ?rg?ni??ti?n?. Pr?blem-??lving ?rg?ni??ti?n? rely ?n t?cit kn?wledge t? pr?duce inn?v?tive pr?ject?. Thi? i? nece???ry t? fulfil client?’ de?ign ?nd ?E? requirement? th?t c?nn?t be met by e?t?bli?hed ?n?wer? (Bennett, 2000). Pe?ple f?ct?r? rel?te t? the ch?r?cteri?tic? ?f individu?l? ?nd te?m?. While ?ppr?pri?te m?n?gement ?tructure? ?re nece???ry, c?mpetent te?m? (?upplier?, de?igner? ?nd c?n?truct?r?) ?re vit?l f?r the ?E? pr?ce??.

M?tu?ik ?nd Hill (1998) ?rgued th?t the rel?ti?n?hip between ?rg?ni??ti?n?l kn?wledge ?nd c?mpetitive ?dv?nt?ge i? m?der?ted by ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n’? ?bility t? integr?te ?nd ?pply kn?wledge. The key i??ue, theref?re, i? t? identify l?c?li?ed kn?wledge ?nd tr?n?f?rm it int? pr?ductive kn?wledge th?t re?ide? within the ?rg?ni??ti?n ?nd cre?te? v?lue (?tew?rt, 1997). Devel?ping ? ?tr?tegy t? m?n?ge kn?wledge theref?re require? ?n under?t?nding ?f the dimen?i?n? ?f kn?wledge ?nd it? bu?ine?? c?ntext.

Kn?wledge m?n?gement ?tr?tegy

Kn?wledge m?n?gement rel?te? t? unl?cking ?nd lever?ging the different type? ?f kn?wledge ?? th?t it bec?me? ?v?il?ble ?? ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n?l ???et. Implementing KM en?ble? ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n t? le?rn fr?m it? c?rp?r?te mem?ry, ?h?re kn?wledge, ?nd identify c?mpetencie? in ?rder t? bec?me ? f?rw?rd thinking ?nd le?rning ?rg?ni??ti?n. ?’Le?ry (2001) ?rgued th?t KM initi?tive? c?n help ?ttr?ct ?nd nurture t?p t?lent, ?? ‘m?ximi?ing ?cce?? t? kn?wledge ?cr??? the ?rg?ni??ti?n’ c?n ?cceler?te the le?rning experience ?f new empl?yee?, build m?re kn?wledge ?nd incre??e ?rg?ni??ti?n?l c?p?bility. KM c?n drive inn?v?ti?n, help? t? ?ttr?ct new ?nd ret?in v?lu?ble cu?t?mer?, ?nd in the pr?ce?? incre??e ?rg?ni??ti?n?l pr?ductivity ?nd pr?fit?bility. Dem?re?t (1997) n?ted th?t “firm? with?ut kn?wledge m?n?gement ?y?tem? will be effectively un?ble t? ?chieve the re-u?e level? required by the bu?ine?? m?del implicit in the m?rket? they enter, ?nd will l??e m?rket ?h?re t? th??e firm? wh? d? pr?ctice kn?wledge m?n?gement”.

There ?re tw? di?tinct ?tr?tegie? identified f?r devel?ping KM ?y?tem?: c?dific?ti?n ?nd per??n?li??ti?n (H?n?en et ?l., 1999). ? c?dific?ti?n ?tr?tegy rev?lve? ?r?und explicit kn?wledge c?ptured ?nd lever?ged u?ing IT-t??l? i.e. ??ftw?re ?uch ?? expert ?y?tem?, ?rtifici?l intelligence ?nd d?t? mining t??l?. Per??n?li??ti?n, ?t the ?ther extreme, rev?lve? ?r?und t?cit kn?wledge u?ing n?n-IT t??l? ?r hum?n inter?ctive ?y?tem? ?uch ?? kn?wledge ?h?ring netw?rk? (Dyer ?nd N?be?k?, 2000), c?mmunitie? ?f pr?ctice (Wenger et ?l., 2000), br?in?t?rming ?nd p??t- pr?ject review?, etc.

In ? c?dific?ti?n ?tr?tegy, IT c?n be u?ed t? m?ke intelligent deci?i?n?, where?? in ? per??n?li??ti?n ?tr?tegy, IT pr?vide? c?mmunic?ti?n ?upp?rt. Incentive? ?nd rew?rd ?cheme? m?y be nece???ry t? enc?ur?ge kn?wledge ?h?ring ?nd h?? been identified ?? ?ne ?f the critic?l ?ucce?? f?ct?r? f?r KM (H?ll et ?l., 2000). There ?re ?l?? different type? ?f incentive? ?r rew?rd? – fin?nci?l, pr?m?ti?n?l ?r peer ?ccl?im. H?wever, ? key i??ue in the ?pplic?ti?n ?f KM i? the ev?lu?ti?n ?f the likely ?utc?me ?r benefit?. Dent ?nd M?nt?gue (2004) h?? ?ugge?ted th?t “it m?y be m?re ?ppr?pri?te t? ?crutini?e, review ?nd celebr?te ?ucce?? r?ther th?n devel?p ?pecific KM me??urement”. They f?re?ee ? need f?r m?re det?iled me??ure? when KM ?ctivity m?ture? within the c?mp?ny. ? m?j?r ch?llenge f?r th??e with re?p?n?ibility f?r KM, theref?re, i? t? m?ke ? ?tr?ng bu?ine?? c??e ?nd t? c?nvince ?eni?r m?n?gement ?nd ?ther empl?yee? ?b?ut the p?tenti?l benefit? (D?venp?rt et ?l., 1997).

?tr?tegic c?n?ider?ti?n?

KM ?w?rene??. ?ll the c??e ?tudy ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?re ?w?re ?f the imp?rt?nce ?f kn?wledge ?h?ring ?nd the benefit? ?f KM but there ??me difference? in percepti?n. ??me ?rg?ni??ti?n? perceive KM ?? ?yn?nym?u? with m?n?ging inf?rm?ti?n. There i? cle?rly ? difference between kn?wledge ?nd inf?rm?ti?n, ?nd thi? difference i? n?t ?c?demic. ?? M?lh?tr? (2000) expl?ined “thi? ?tr?tegic difference i? n?t ? m?tter ?f ?em?ntic?; r?ther, it h?? critic?l implic?ti?n? f?r m?n?ging ?nd ?urviving in ?n ec?n?my ?f inf?rm?ti?n ?ver?bund?nce ?nd inf?rm?ti?n ?verl??d”. The purp??e ?f KM ?r the r?le ?f ? Kn?wledge M?n?ger i? ?l?? mi?under?t??d in ??me ?rg?ni??ti?n?.

The n?rr?w interpret?ti?n ?f KM implie? th?t the r?le ?f kn?wledge m?n?ger i? ??metime? wr?ngly perceived t? be th?t ?f ? technic?l libr?ri?n f?r m?n?ging inf?rm?ti?n ?n the Intr?net. There i? ?l?? the mi?c?ncepti?n ?f ? kn?wledge m?n?ger ?? ??meb?dy wh? kn?w? “everything ?b?ut everything”. ? kn?wledge m?n?ger i? ?imply ? f?cilit?t?r ?r, u?ing ?k?ndi?’? c?ncept ?f ? tree met?ph?r, ? “g?rdener” t? nurture the r??t? ?f ?rg?ni??ti?n?l kn?wledge. The r?le ?f kn?wledge m?n?ger need? t? be c?mmunic?ted in ??me ?rg?ni??ti?n? t? f?cilit?te kn?wledge ?h?ring ?nd t? di?pel fe?r? ??metime? ????ci?ted with KM ?uch ?? j?b in?ecurity.

KM g??l ?nd ?tr?tegy. The prim?ry g??l ?r m?tiv?ti?n f?r KM v?rie? fr?m ?eeking be?t pr?ctice? in ?ll bu?ine?? ?ctivitie? t? pr?viding ? better ?ervice t? client?. H?wever, the ?ver?ll ?bjective i? t? impr?ve pr?ject ?r bu?ine?? perf?rm?nce ?nd indirectly t? incre??e pr?fit?bility. Tw? c??e ?tudy ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?lre?dy h?ve ? KM ?tr?tegy, ?ne i? in the pr?ce?? ?f fine-tuning it? ?tr?tegy while the ?ther pl?n? t? h?ve ? ?tr?tegy in the ?h?rt term. The ?b?ence ?f ? w?rking definiti?n ?f wh?t c?n?titute? kn?wledge t? underpin the KM ?tr?tegy in ??me ?rg?ni??ti?n? reflect? the c??u?l ?ppr??ch t? KM ?nd ?n indic?ti?n ?f the need f?r further expl?r?ti?n ?f KM i??ue?.

?tructure ?f the KM ?tr?tegy. ?ll the c??e ?tudy ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?rgued th?t the t?lent? ?f their pe?ple ?re cruci?l ?nd ?re, ?r will be, centr?l t? ?ny KM ?tr?tegy. ?? ?ne ?eni?r direct?r put it “I c?n think cert?inly we h?ve t? ?t?rt with pe?ple, we ?re n?t m?nuf?cturing nut? ?nd b?lt? – we ?re ?ut there ?elling ? ?ervice – pr?fe??i?n?l pr?ject m?n?gement ?ervice in the m?in ?nd th?t depend? ?n the experti?e, tr?ining … ?nd ?bility ?f ?ur pe?ple”. Pr?ce??e? ?re ?l?? rec?gni?ed ?? ?n imp?rt?nt ??pect. Tw? ?f the ?rg?ni??ti?n? h?ve been inv?lved in high pr?file merger ?nd ?cqui?iti?n ?ctivitie? recently. The implic?ti?n i? th?t the?e ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?re n?w ?uffering fr?m h?ving t?? m?ny different pr?ce??e?, which m?ke? kn?wledge ?h?ring difficult.

The?e ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?re n?w undert?king ? m?j?r re?tructuring ?f their bu?ine?? pr?ce??e? t? identify pr?blem ?re??, cl?rifying the u?er? ?nd ??urce? ?f kn?wledge, in ?rder t? f?cilit?te kn?wledge ?h?ring. ??me ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?l?? rec?gni?e the imp?rt?nce ?f their pr?duct?, but the pr?duct ??pect ?f KM i? ?ften ?verl??ked. While it i? the t?cit kn?wledge ?f pe?ple th?t i? m?re v?lu?ble f?r engendering inn?v?ti?n (Egbu, 2000), it i? ultim?tely the pr?duct? th?t determine whether ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n will rem?in c?mpetitive. H?wever, n?ne ?f the ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?ppe?r? t? h?ve ? c?herent ?tructure f?r l??king ?t kn?wledge m?n?gement requirement? in term? ?f the rel?ti?n?hip? between pe?ple, pr?ce??e? ?nd pr?duct? (R?bin??n et ?l., 2001). KM ?tr?tegie? ?re m?re likely t? be ?ucce??ful if there i? ? ?tructure f?r identifying the rel?ti?n?hip? between the type? ?f kn?wledge required with cle?r pri?ritie? t? ?v?id ch??? ?r ?n “?rchipel?g? ?f kn?wledge i?l?nd?” (?PQ?, 1997).


KM re??urce?. ??me ?rg?ni??ti?n? enj?y ? higher degree ?f t?p m?n?gement ?upp?rt th?n ?ther?. ?eni?r m?n?gement ?upp?rt ?nd le?der?hip f?r KM i? vit?l. The tw? intern?ti?n?l ?rg?ni??ti?n? h?ve e?t?bli?hed full-time KM p??iti?n – ? chief kn?wledge ?fficer ?nd ? kn?wledge m?n?ger. The tw? n?ti?n?l c?mp?nie? d? n?t h?ve de?ign?ted KM p??iti?n? but h?ve ???igned KM re?p?n?ibilitie? t? v?ri?u? per??nnel.

While it i? true th?t the functi?n ?r r?le i? m?re imp?rt?nt th?n the title, ?upp?rt f?r KM by individu?l? ?? p?rt ?f their n?rm?l j?b? c?n be ? ??urce ?f di?tr?cti?n, ?? they c?n be vulner?ble t? pre??ure? fr?m ?ther c?nflicting ?ctivitie?. ?l??, t? ?dd KM ?? ?n?ther re?p?n?ibility with?ut incre??ing re??urce? i? n?t fe??ible. It m?y, ?t be?t, d?wngr?de it? pr?file ?r, ?t w?r?t, there m?y be ?tr?ng re?i?t?nce t? KM, which c?n le?d t? it n?t being t?ken ?eri?u?ly.

KM ?tr?tegie? ?l?? need t? be fully re??urced in term? ?f KM te?m? t? ?upp?rt the le?der?hip, ? budget ?nd ?n infr??tructure. The tw? ?rg?ni??ti?n? with ? KM ?tr?tegy ?nd the third ?rg?ni??ti?n currently fine-tuning it? ?tr?tegy h?ve empl?yed ?dditi?n?l ?t?ff. ? budget ?f £500,000 w?? ?pecified in ?ne ?rg?ni??ti?n, but rem?ined undi?cl??ed in the ?ther tw? c??e? f?r c?mmerci?l re???n?. The u?e ?f extern?l c?n?ult?nt? i? limited t? ?ne ?rg?ni??ti?n, where the c?n?ult?nt w?? ??ked t? review h?w kn?wledge c?uld be c?ptured fr?m pr?ce??e?, ?? p?rt ?f ? ch?nge m?n?gement pr?gr?mme. ?ll the c??e ?tudy ?rg?ni??ti?n? h?ve ?n Intr?net th?t i? u?ed t? ?upp?rt KM, ?lth?ugh ??me ?re m?re ?dv?nced th?n ?ther?.

IT-b??ed KM t??l?. The c??e ?tudy ?rg?ni??ti?n? h?ve ? number ?f IT ?nd n?n-IT ?y?tem? f?r implementing KM. The Intr?net i? the b?ckb?ne ?f the IT infr??tructure but there ?re c?ncern? ?b?ut c?ntent m?n?gement, ?cce??, v?lid?ti?n ?nd edit?ri?l i??ue?. ??ntent v?lid?ti?n i? ? key pr?blem ????ci?ted with the u?e ?f Intr?net?. ??me ?rg?ni??ti?n? h?ve ? cle?r v?lid?ti?n pr?cedure ?r mech?ni?m while ?ther? d? n?t. H?wever, the need f?r ? v?lid?ti?n mech?ni?m f?r putting item? ?nt? the intr?net with cle?rly defined pr?ce??e? ?nd pr?ce?? ?wner? i? gener?lly rec?gni?ed ?? cruci?l. Extr?net? ?re ?l?? u?ed but thi? i? ? m?re recent devel?pment ?nd gener?lly limited t? cert?in pr?ject? in ??me ?rg?ni??ti?n?. H?wever, it? u?e ?h?uld be pr?m?ted, ?? ? u?eful t??l f?r c?ll?b?r?tive w?rk t? f?cilit?te kn?wledge ?h?ring within pr?ject te?m? ?nd the entire ?E? ?upply ch?in.

N?n IT-b??ed KM t??l?. There i? ? percepti?n in ??me ?rg?ni??ti?n? th?t inf?rm?ti?n techn?l?gy i? centr?l t? KM. ??me ?rgue th?t “there i? ? p?werful ?ymbi?tic rel?ti?n?hip between kn?wledge m?n?gement ?nd inf?rm?ti?n techn?l?gy” (?PQ?, 1997), ?? ?n incre??ing ?m?unt ?f c?rp?r?te kn?wledge i? n?w ?v?il?ble ?n Intr?net? ?nd ?ther IT-b??ed ?y?tem?. H?wever, there i? wide?pre?d evidence th?t m??t ?rg?ni??ti?n?l kn?wledge i? in pe?ple’? he?d? ?nd pr?ce??e?, ?nd IT i? n?t c?p?ble ?f c?pturing ??me t?cit kn?wledge with?ut l??ing it? c?ntext.

F?r ex?mple, M?lh?tr? (2000) ?rgued th?t there i? ? “d?nger?u? percepti?n ?b?ut kn?wledge m?n?gement ?? ?e?mle??ly entwined with techn?l?gy”. D?vie? et ?l. (1998) ?rgued f?r new w?y? ?f tr?n?mitting kn?wledge thr?ugh ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?? ? l?rge ?m?unt ?f the kn?wledge within ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n i? per??n?l, c?ntext-?pecific ?nd difficult t? write d?wn. Thu?, m?re eff?rt ?h?uld be directed in ?etting up ?nd enh?ncing ?y?tem? t? f?cilit?te per??n-t?-per??n ?nd per??n-t?-?rg?ni??ti?n inter?cti?n?.

The tw? intern?ti?n?l ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?re currently u?ing ?kill? Yell?w P?ge? while ?ne ?f the n?ti?n?l ?rg?ni??ti?n? i? expl?ring thi? f?cility f?r l?c?ting t?cit kn?wledge i.e. t? find the right per??n t? ?ppr??ch f?r ?dvice ?nd be?t pr?ctice. ? le?ding UK c?n?ulting ?rg?ni??ti?n, h?? ?kill? Yell?w P?ge? th?t put? ?t?ff in c?nt?ct with n?t ju?t ?n?ther per??n, but th?t individu?l’? netw?rk ?nd reference m?teri?l (?heeh?n, 2000). ?uch ? t??l i? very imp?rt?nt t? ?rg?ni??ti?n? but need? t? be kept up-t?-d?te t? m?int?in it? u?efulne??. ?ther n?n-IT t??l? u?ed f?r kn?wledge ?h?ring include c?mmunitie? ?f pr?ctice, t??k te?m?, ?nd qu?lity circle?. “?h?re F?ir” w?? u?ed ?? ? high pr?file event in ?ne ?rg?ni??ti?n t? enc?ur?ge ? kn?wledge ?h?ring culture.

Rew?rd ?cheme?. N?ne ?f the ?rg?ni??ti?n? h?ve rew?rd ?cheme? f?r kn?wledge ?h?ring. Fin?nci?l rew?rd ?y?tem? ?re difficult t? put int? ?per?ti?n ?nd ?rg?ni??ti?n? mu?t theref?re tre?d c?refully. ? ?K? ?rgued th?t “the re?l thing? in KM ?re the ??ft rew?rd?, feeling g??d ?b?ut being c?nt?cted ?r ?ppreci?ted by c?lle?gue? ?? ?n expert”. Thi? view i? ?upp?rted by ?heeh?n (2000) wh? ?rgued th?t peer ?ccl?im i? m?re likely t? be ?ucce??ful. Imp??ing incentive ?cheme? f?r willingne?? t? ?h?re ?nd u?e kn?wledge m?y, ?t be?t, be difficult t? m?nit?r ?nd, ?t w?r?t, be ?een ?? divi?ive. M?nit?ring willingne?? t? ?h?re c?n be ?ubjective, infl?ted t? ?ttr?ct rew?rd?, ?nd c?uld le?d t? wh?t L?wt?n (2000) de?cribed ?? the “devel?pment ?f kn?wledge l?ndfill?”.

B?rrier? t? KM. ?rg?ni??ti?n?l culture i? c?n?idered ?ne ?f the m??t cruci?l f?ct?r? c?ntributing t? the ?ucce?? ?f ? KM pr?ject, ?nd “perh?p? the m??t difficult c?n?tr?int th?t kn?wledge m?n?ger? mu?t de?l with” (D?venp?rt et ?l., 1997). The c??e ?tudie? c?nfirm th?t ?rg?ni??ti?n?l culture i? ? key b?rrier but thi? h?? n?t yet been ?ddre??ed in m??t ?rg?ni??ti?n?. KM i? n?t ?nly ? technic?l pr?blem inv?lving the u?e ?f IT but ? ??ci?-cultur?l ?ne inv?lving m?tiv?ting pe?ple “t? m?ke them willing t? yield up thi? kn?wledge f?r ?rg?ni??ti?n?l u?e” (M?r?h?ll ?nd ??p?ed, 2000).

?nly ?ne ?rg?ni??ti?n h?? implemented ? ch?nge m?n?gement pr?gr?mme t? ?trengthen the rel?ti?n?hip between te?m? ?nd t? inculc?te ? p??itive ?ttitude t? kn?wledge ?h?ring ?nd rec?gniti?n. There i? the need t? pr??ctively t?ckle ?rg?ni??ti?n?l culture, ?nd ????ci?ted b?rrier? ?uch ?? pe?ple’? fe?r?, ?ttitude? ?r re?i?t?nce t? kn?wledge ?h?ring. ?ther b?rrier? identified include initi?tive ?verl??d, bure?ucr?cy ????ci?ted with KM, p??r IT infr??tructure, l?ck ?f t?p m?n?gement ?upp?rt, c?nflicting pri?ritie? between KM ?nd ?ther bu?ine?? functi?n? ?nd the difficultie? ????ci?ted with c?mmunic?ting the benefit? ?f KM.

Ev?lu?ti?n ?f KM perf?rm?nce

Rel?ti?n?hip between KM ?nd bu?ine?? ?tr?tegy. The c??e ?tudie? ?h?w ? rec?gniti?n th?t KM need? emph??i? but there ?re difficultie? in dem?n?tr?ting it? benefit? t? ?eni?r m?n?gement. KM i? n?t explicitly linked t? their bu?ine?? ?tr?tegy ?r ?tr?tegic ?bjective?. B?th the B?l?nced ?c?rec?rd ?nd the Excellence M?del ?re u?ed by the c??e ?tudy ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?? fr?mew?rk? f?r bu?ine?? impr?vement ?nd pr?vide ? b??i? f?r devel?ping KM. H?wever, the le?rning ?nd kn?wledge dimen?i?n ?f b?th m?del? ?re ?ften ?verl??ked in pr?ctic?l ?pplic?ti?n?.

In identifying the link? between the KM ?nd bu?ine?? ?tr?tegie?, the rel?ti?n?hip? between the te?m? ?re ?l?? cruci?l. ? ?eni?r bu?ine?? impr?vement m?n?ger w?rking with ? c?lle?gue ?n e?t?bli?hing ? kn?wledge rep??it?ry ?rgued th?t 90 per cent ?f the kn?wledge c?ptured in tw? m?in ?re?? ?f experti?e ?f the firm will be l??t if they le?ve the ?rg?ni??ti?n. Thi? highlight? the need f?r KM ?tr?tegy t? ?ddre?? b?th t?cit ?nd explicit kn?wledge.

M?nit?ring ?nd c?mmunic?ting the benefit? ?f KM. ?ever?l ?f the ?rg?ni??ti?n? h?ve identified dem?n?tr?ti?n pr?ject? ?? KM initi?tive?. H?wever, ?ppr?pri?te meth?d? ?re n?t put in pl?ce t? m?nit?r ?nd c?mmunic?te the benefit? ?f KM initi?tive?. Publici?ing the re?ult? ?f KM initi?tive? c?n help m?int?in KM ?? ? high pr?file ?ctivity ?nd incre??e the level ?f ?w?rene??, even ?fter the initi?l intere?t h?? w?ned. Perf?rm?nce me??ure? currently being u?ed ?r devel?ped in ??me ?rg?ni??ti?n? c?uld be linked t? KM initi?tive?. ? full-?c?le me??urement fr?mew?rk c?uld be devel?ped ?? ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n ev?lve? t? ? ?t?ge where KM implement?ti?n i? m?ture, well c?-?rdin?ted ?nd ?u?t?ined. H?wever, it i? rec?gni?ed th?t ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?t the l?wer level? ?f KM m?turity m?y need t? ?t?rt with b??ic qu?lit?tive perf?rm?nce me??ure? t? m?nit?r ?nd review the benefit? (?PQ?, 2001; Dent ?nd M?nt?gue, 2004).

Benchm?rking KM ?ctivitie?. The c??e ?tudie? illu?tr?te th?t ?E? ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?re ?t v?rying level? ?f implementing KM. They r?nge fr?m ?rg?ni??ti?n? th?t h?ve m?de limited pr?gre?? ?? ? re?ult ?f ?ppr??ching KM with?ut ? dedic?ted le?der?hip ?nd ?n under-re??urced KM pl?n t? ?rg?ni??ti?n? th?t h?ve m?de re???n?ble pr?gre?? m?inly due t? ? KM ?tr?tegy ?upp?rted by ? le?der?hip ?nd dedic?ted re??urce?. ?ne w?y ?f finding ?ut where ?n ?rg?ni??ti?n ?t?nd? in term? ?f KM m?turity i? t? benchm?rk their ?ctivitie? with ?ther ?rg?ni??ti?n?. Dent ?nd M?nt?gue (2004) ?ttempted t? benchm?rk ?rg?ni??ti?n? but the re?ult d?e? pr?vide ? mech?ni?m f?r ?ll?wing ?rg?ni??ti?n? t? ?ee where they ?t?nd c?mp?red t? le?ding UK ?E? c?mp?nie?. ?ne pr?p???l t? ???e?? KM m?turity i? pr?vided in the f?ll?wing ?ecti?n.

M?turity ?t?ge?. ? KM m?turity r??dm?p (?TEP?) w?? devel?ped b??ed ?n ?ttribute? di?cu??ed in the c??e ?tudie? (?ee Figure 7). The five ?tep? (?t?rt-up, T?ke-?ff, Exp?n?i?n, Pr?gre??ive, ?nd ?u?t?in?ble) ?h?w the v?ri?u? level? ?f KM m?turity. The ?ttribute? reflect key i??ue? in KM ?uch ?? ?w?rene?? ?f the benefit ?f kn?wledge ?h?ring, the need t? identify the ref?rm needed, the re??urce implic?ti?n? ?nd the need f?r ? re?ult m?nit?ring ?y?tem t? review the imp?ct ?f KM. E?ch ?ttribute ?l?? h?? dimen?i?n? ?f l?w, medium ?nd high perf?rm?nce t? indic?te their p??iti?n within e?ch ?t?ge. Thi? ?ll?w? c?mp?nie? t? refine their p??iti?n if they h?ve ?nly met ??me ?f the ?ttribute’? requirement?.

?rg?ni??ti?n? ?t the ?t?rt-up ?t?ge ?re ch?r?cteri?ed by ??me under?t?nding ?f the imp?rt?nce ?f kn?wledge ?h?ring, ?w?rene?? ?f the benefit? ?f KM, ?nd h?w it c?uld be ?pplied f?r bu?ine?? impr?vement. F?r ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?t the m??t ?dv?nced ?t?ge, the ?u?t?in?ble ?t?ge, KM i? expected t? be ? n?rm?l r?utine, diffu?ed in the entire ?rg?ni??ti?n, ?? it bec?me? ?n integr?l p?rt ?f the ?rg?ni??ti?n?l culture, empl?yee?’ beh?vi?ur, bu?ine?? pr?ce??e? ?nd pr?duct devel?pment. Thi? i? ?l?? referred t? ?? the in?tituti?n?li??ti?n ?f KM (?PQ?, 2001). The f?ll?wing pr?vide? typic?l ch?r?cteri?tic? ?f e?ch ?t?ge:

1. ?t?rt-up ?t?ge. ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?t thi? ?t?ge ?re the le??t ?dv?nced ?nd ?re ch?r?cteri?ed by:

?n under?t?nding ?f the c?ncept ?f KM, different per?pective? ?f KM ?nd it? pr?ctic?l implic?ti?n?;

?n ?ppreci?ti?n ?f the benefit? ?f KM, ?t le??t, in the?ry;

Rec?gniti?n ?f the p?tenti?l ?f KM in building the v?lue ?f kn?wledge ???et? f?r c?ntinu?u? impr?vement; ?nd

E?t?bli?hing the need f?r KM ?nd the willingne?? t? ?h?re kn?wledge.

2. T?ke-?ff ?t?ge. The t?ke-?ff ?t?ge inv?lve?:

E?t?bli?hing the g??l? ?f KM;

Expl?ring ?tr?tegic ?pti?n?. Thi? c?uld be dem?nd driven (delivered in re?l time where ?nd when it i? needed) ?r ?upply driven (?v?il?ble in ? centr?l rep??it?ry). The f?cu? c?uld be ?n pe?ple inter?cti?n? (per??n?li??ti?n) ?r d?cument? ?r IT (c?dific?ti?n);

Devel?ping ? KM ?tr?tegy with ? w?rking definiti?n t? f?cilit?te c?n?en?u?;

E?t?bli?hing le?der?hip ?nd identifying re??urce? f?r c?n?ult?ncy ?nd ?upp?rt;

Identifying b?rrier? ?nd ri?k? ????ci?ted with the ?tr?tegy ?nd p???ible ch?nge? required; ?nd

Experiment?ti?n ?f KM ?n ?n ?d h?c b??i?, l?c?li?ed ?r very ?m?ll ?c?le.

3. Exp?n?i?n ?t?ge. The exp?n?i?n ?t?ge i? ch?r?cteri?ed by:

Refining the KM ?tr?tegy ?nd linking KM ?ctivitie? t? ?pecific bu?ine?? ?bjective?;

Incre??ing the vi?ibility ?f KM le?der?hip, ?nd the ?ll?c?ti?n ?f re??urce? (budget, ?t?ff, IT infr??tructure);

Implementing ? ch?nge m?n?gement pr?gr?mme t? ?ddre?? b?rrier? ?nd ri?k? identified;

Implementing KM initi?tive? in ? ?tructured ?nd c?-?rdin?ted w?y, ?nd identifying ?ppr?pri?te KM t??l? t? ?upp?rt ?pecific initi?tive?;

Incre??ing the ?c?le ?f KM initi?tive? t? ?ther bu?ine?? unit?, pr?ject? ?nd ?ffice?;

Intr?ducing perf?rm?nce me??ure? t? ev?lu?te KM; ?nd

??mmunic?ting the benefit? ?f kn?wledge ???et?.

4. Pr?gre??ive ?t?ge. The pr?gre??ive ?t?ge i? ch?r?cteri?ed by:

Integr?ting KM ?ctivitie? int? ?tr?tegic me??urement fr?mew?rk? ?uch ?? the B?l?nced ?c?rec?rd ?nd the Excellence M?del t? m?nit?r ?nd ev?lu?te kn?wledge ???et?;

E?t?bli?hing ev?lu?ti?n criteri? ?nd t?rget? f?r me??uring the imp?ct ?n kn?wledge ???et? ?nd ju?tifying KM initi?tive?;

Intr?ducing rew?rd ?nd incentive ?cheme? t? ?trengthen KM ?ctivitie?; ?nd

Incre??ed vi?ibility ?nd c?mmunic?ti?n ?f the benefit? fr?m m??t KM ?ctivitie?.

5. ?u?t?in?bility ?t?ge. ?t the ?u?t?in?ble ?t?ge, KM bec?me? in?tituti?n?li?ed ?nd i? ch?r?cteri?ed by:

KM bec?ming linked t? ?ll bu?ine?? ?bjective?;

KM pr?ctice? diffu?ed in the entire ?rg?ni??ti?n;

KM bec?ming embedded in ?rg?ni??ti?n?l culture, empl?yee?’ beh?vi?ur, bu?ine?? pr?ce??e? ?nd pr?duct devel?pment; ?nd

Wide?pre?d rep?rting ?n the perf?rm?nce ?f kn?wledge ???et? underpinning c?rp?r?te ?u?t?in?bility.

Within e?ch ?t?ge ? l?w, medium ?nd high r?ting i? u?ed t? indic?te whether the ch?r?cteri?tic? ?re ?uperfici?lly, p?rti?lly evident, fully evident re?pectively.

???e ?tudie?’ KM perf?rm?nce. Figure8 ?h?w? the p??iti?n ?f the c??e ?tudy ?rg?ni??ti?n? in the KM m?turity ?c?le. The bl?ck ?v?l? indic?te r?ting? b??ed ?n the interviewee?’ percepti?n ?f the current p??iti?n? ?f their c?mp?nie?. The white ?v?l? ?h?w the re?e?rch te?m’? ???e??ment ?f the rel?tive p??iti?n? ?f the c??e ?tudy ?rg?ni??ti?n?. ?TEP? w?? devel?ped b??ed ?n ? det?iled liter?ture review, re?p?n?e? t? ? que?ti?nn?ire ?urvey ?nd the c??e ?tudie? c?nducted.

The re?e?rcher?’ r?ting? ?re b??ed ?n ?n ?n?ly?i? ?f the key ?ttribute? ?f KM u?ing the ?TEP? m?turity r??dm?p. The ???e??ment ?h?w? th?t tw? ?rg?ni??ti?n? h?ve ?ver-e?tim?ted their level ?f m?turity, ?ne h?? under-e?tim?ted it, while the f?urth h?? m?de ? re???n?bly ?ccur?te e?tim?te. In term? ?f ?chievement?, tw? ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?re ?t the ?t?rt-Up ?t?ge, ?ne i? ?t the T?ke-?ff ?t?ge ?nd ?ne i? ?t the Exp?n?i?n ?t?ge. The tw? c??e ?tudy ?rg?ni??ti?n? (? ?nd ?) le?ding the m?turity ?c?le ?re intern?ti?n?l c?mp?nie?.

The rem?ining tw? (B ?nd D) ?re n?ti?n?l, UK-b??ed c?mp?nie? ?t the ?t?rt-up ?t?ge, expl?ring KM, ?ften with?ut re??urce? ?nd ? dedic?ted le?der?hip t? direct their KM ?tr?tegy. The?e finding? ?ugge?t th?t there i? ? gre?ter need f?r l?rger intern?ti?n?l ?rg?ni??ti?n? t? implement KM ?y?tem? ?? they tend t? h?ve ? ?ignific?nt ?m?unt ?f kn?wledge th?t i? m?re diver?e ?nd ge?gr?phic?lly di?per?ed t? m?n?ge. H?wever, ? wider ?tudy ?f ?rg?ni??ti?n? will be required t? c?nfirm thi?. It ?l?? ?h?w? th?t there i? ?till ? c?n?ider?ble ?m?unt ?f w?rk t? be d?ne bef?re ?ny ?f the?e ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?chieve the ?u?t?in?ble ?t?ge.

There i? ? gr?wing ?w?rene?? ?f the need f?r ? ?tructured ?ppr??ch t? KM ?cr??? ? wide r?nge ?f indu?try ?ect?r?. ?E? ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?re keen t? benchm?rk their KM ?ctivitie? in ?n eff?rt t? impr?ve perf?rm?nce. Thi? p?per inve?tig?ted the KM ?ctivitie? ?f f?ur le?ding ?E? ?rg?ni??ti?n? u?ing ? c??e ?tudy meth?d?l?gy. The ?re?? inve?tig?ted were their KM ?tr?tegy, implement?ti?n ?nd the ev?lu?ti?n meth?d? u?ed t? judge the ?ucce?? ?f their KM initi?tive? ?? well ?? the link?ge? between KM ?nd bu?ine?? ?tr?tegy.

In implementing KM, ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?h?uld c?n?ider the f?ll?wing f?ct?r?:

the need t? devel?p ? ?tr?tegy which cle?rly define? the ?bjective? ?f KM implement?ti?n;

re??urce?, including ? budget ?nd m?n?gement ?upp?rt ?re e??enti?l f?r KM implement?ti?n ?ucce??;

rec?gniti?n th?t nece???ry ref?rm ?uch ?? ?rg?ni??ti?n?l culture need? t? be ?ddre??ed t? f?cilit?te KM implement?ti?n;

KM ?tr?tegy need? t? be ?upp?rted by b?th IT ?nd n?n-IT t??l? t? be ?ucce??ful. IT t??l? ?ddre?? the explicit kn?wledge c?mp?nent where?? n?n-IT t??l? ?ddre?? the t?cit kn?wledge c?mp?nent;

it i? imp?rt?nt t? link KM t? exi?ting perf?rm?nce me??ure?; ?nd

there i? ? need f?r ? KM m?turity ?c?le t? en?ble ?rg?ni??ti?n? t? ?bjectively benchm?rk their KM implement?ti?n eff?rt?.

The ?TEP? fr?mew?rk indic?ted th?t the l?rger intern?ti?n?l ?rg?ni??ti?n?, ?ften ge?gr?phic?lly di?tributed, ?re ?he?d ?f n?ti?n?l, UK-b??ed, c?mp?nie? in term? ?f the pr?gre?? ?n KM. H?wever, further re?e?rch will be needed t? c?nfirm thi? finding.

?E? ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?re keen t? expl?it ?ny mech?ni?m th?t enc?ur?ge? better perf?rm?nce. KM i? n?w ?een ?? ? c?ntribut?ry f?ct?r in bu?ine?? impr?vement. H?wever, ?rg?ni??ti?n? ?re m?re likely t? be ?ucce??ful in implementing KM if ?ppr?pri?te me??ure? ?re ?d?pted, implement?ti?n i??ue? ?ddre??ed ?nd the link between KM ?nd bu?ine?? ?tr?tegy ?trengthened.

?h?pter 5: ??nclu?i?n? / Rec?mmend?ti?n?

Thi? p?per h?? reviewed current initi?tive? f?r the m?n?gement ?f kn?wledge within the ?E? ?ect?r. The finding? fr?m tw? re?e?rch pr?ject? ?t L?ughb?r?ugh Univer?ity (UK) ?nd Ge?rgi? In?titute ?f Techn?l?gy (U??) h?ve been u?ed t? ???e?? the extent t? which KM i? being implemented within the indu?try. V?ri?u? ?ppr??che? t? KM were ?l?? reviewed, ?nd the imper?tive? f?r KM within the ?E? ?ect?r were defined t? pr?vide the fr?mew?rk f?r ?n?ly?ing the pr?ctice ?f KM in the ?E? indu?try. It w?? e?t?bli?hed th?t the f?cu? ?f KM within the ?E? ?ect?r i? f?r perf?rm?nce impr?vement, ?nd the pr?ject-b??ed n?ture ?f the indu?try ?ugge?t? th?t emph??i? h?? t? be put ?n the m?n?gement ?f pr?ject kn?wledge ?nd th??e ?f the pr?ject te?m. It w?? ?l?? ?ckn?wledged th?t t??l? ?uch ?? the KW? ?re p?rticul?rly relev?nt t? the need? ?f the indu?try ?? they f?cilit?te the c?pture ?nd reu?e ?f pr?ce?? kn?wledge.

It i? theref?re c?ncluded th?t ?lth?ugh the l?bel ?f ‘KM’ i? ?ften n?t u?ed, kn?wledge i? being m?n?ged thr?ugh pe?ple-b??ed ?tr?tegie?, ?nd ?ther ?rg?niz?ti?n?l ?nd c?ntr?ctu?l ?rr?ngement?. H?wever, the ?b?ence ?f ? pr??ctive ?tr?tegy ?n KM d?e? n?t ?ll?w the full expl?it?ti?n ?f the intellectu?l ???et? ?f ?E? firm?, p?rticul?rly in the c?pture ?nd reu?e ?f pr?ject kn?wledge, ?nd in the integr?ti?n ?f pe?ple ?nd techn?l?gy-b??ed initi?tive?. Integr?ted ?tr?tegie? th?t reflect the ?pecific c?ntext? ?f ?E? firm?, ?nd which inc?rp?r?te b?th ?rg?nic ?nd mech?ni?tic KM ?y?tem?, ?re theref?re required. Thi? c?n be ?chieved thr?ugh: ?n ???e??ment ?f ?rg?niz?ti?n?’ re?dine?? f?r KM, linking KM ?tr?tegie? t? bu?ine?? pr?blem? thr?ugh ?dequ?te definiti?n ?f KM pr?blem?, integr?ti?n ?f techn?l?gic?l ??luti?n? with bu?ine?? pr?ce??e?, ?nd the devel?pment ?f c??t-effective meth?d?l?gie? ?nd t??l? f?r the live c?pture ?f pr?ject kn?wledge. While there ?re ?lre?dy re?e?rch initi?tive? th?t ?re f?cu?ed ?n devel?ping the KM c?p?bilitie? in the ?ect?r, further w?rk i? ?till required if the ?E? ?ect?r i? t? impr?ve it? effectivene?? ?nd c?mpetitive ?dv?nt?ge thr?ugh the effective m?n?gement ?f it? intellectu?l ???et?.


??n?tructi?n firm? mu?t le?rn t? g?ther, ?h?re ?nd reu?e pr?ject kn?wledge, ?nd le???n? le?rned fr?m previ?u? pr?ject?. ??ving? ?re c?n?ider?ble if le???n? le?rned fr?m e?rlier pr?ject? c?n be tr?n?ferred ?nd reu?ed efficiently within the ?rg?ni??ti?n. The le?rning ?nd exch?nge ?f experti?e ?nd kn?wledge ?m?ng empl?yee? ?nd ?cr??? ?rg?ni??ti?n?l unit? m?y le?d t? ?tr?tegic benefit?, in ?dditi?n t? gre?ter ?per?ti?n?l efficiency (L?w ?nd Ng?i, 2008). B??ed ?n the ?b?erv?ti?n? ?nd ?n?ly?i? empl?yed in thi? ?tudy, ?ever?l v?lu?ble le???n? h?ve been le?rned th?t c?uld be ?d?pted by c?n?tructi?n firm?:

??n?tructi?n firm? need t? ?tep b?ck ?nd c?refully think ?b?ut the c?p?bilitie? critic?l t? ?u?t?ining their c?mpetitive ?dv?nt?ge? in their c?re bu?ine??e?, ?nd ?lign their KM ?nd ?rg?ni??ti?n?l le?rning ?ctivitie? with the firm’? ?bjective ?nd de?ired ?utc?me?.

T?p m?n?gement mu?t f?rm?lly rec?gni?e the ?tr?tegic imp?rt?nce ?f kn?wledge ???et? in the firm t? en?ure th?t the nece???ry re??urce? ?re c?mmitted t? the KM eff?rt.

In ? f??t-ch?nging indu?try ?uch ?? the c?n?tructi?n indu?try, firm? ?h?uld devel?p ?u?t?in?ble ?dv?nt?ge fr?m the cre?ti?n ?nd lever?ge ?f kn?wledge ?nd c?mpetence by integr?ting intern?l ?nd extern?l kn?wledge ??urce? ?cr??? KT.

The e?t?bli?hment ?f kn?wledge rep??it?ry ?y?tem?, ?uch ?? d?t?b??e? ?nd kn?wledge b??e?, integr?ting kn?wledge ?cr??? multiple ??urce?, c?n c?ntribute t? effective kn?wledge ?t?r?ge, refinement, ?nd tr?n?fer within the ?rg?ni??ti?n.

Decentr?lized kn?wledge c?mmunitie? ?re ? v?lu?ble ??urce ?f new kn?wledge th?t c?n c?ntribute t? vertic?l ?nd h?riz?nt?l kn?wledge tr?n?mi??i?n in the firm. The?e c?mmunitie? c?n pl?y ? p?rt in exch?nging t?cit kn?wledge.

Rew?rd ?y?tem? rel?ted t? kn?wledge ?nd experti?e cre?ti?n ?re cruci?l f?r building le?rning ?rg?ni??ti?n? in the c?n?tructi?n indu?try.

KM eff?rt ?h?uld inv?lve the entire ?rg?ni??ti?n thr?ugh the integr?ti?n ?f intern?l ?nd extern?l kn?wledge ?nd c?p?bilitie?.

I?T c?n help t? enh?nce c?ll?b?r?tive te?mw?rk t? pr?vide c??per?tive netw?rk ?y?tem? ?v?il?ble t? ?ll kn?wledge w?rker?.

In ? pr?ject-b??ed indu?try ?uch ?? c?n?tructi?n, ?y?tem?tic pr?ject debriefing meeting? during the c?n?tructi?n ph??e c?n be cruci?l t? c?pturing le???n? le?rned during pr?ject implement?ti?n.

Effective implement?ti?n ?f KM ?ctivitie? include? ? cle?r view ?f wh?t kn?wledge c?n?titute? f?r the firm, wh?t kn?wledge need? t? be ?chieved, ?nd wh?t ?re the key en?bler? ?nd b?rrier? f?r intern?l kn?wledge cre?ti?n ?nd cr???-functi?n?l kn?wledge ?h?ring.

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