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Type: Journal article
Title: A knowledge management approach to innovation and learning in the construction industry
Author: Maqsood, T.
Finegan, A.
Citation: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 2009; 2(2):297-307
Publisher: Emerald Group
Issue Date: 2009
ISSN: 1753-8378
Organisation: Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre
Statement of
Tayyab Maqsood and Andrew D. Finegan
Abstract: Purpose – This paper aims to summarise a Doctor of Philosophy research study. The purpose is to provide a summary of the scope, literature review, main issues raised in the thesis, the application of a two phase action research methodology, key research findings and potential areas for future research. Design/methodology/approach – The research investigates the role of knowledge management (KM) in supporting innovation and learning in the construction industry. The research is carried out in two phases. Phase 1 employs a grounded theory methodology to develop and map out the current state of knowledge-related activities being undertaken in two leading Australian construction organisations. This is developed into a model that shows that the segregation between three crucial components – people, process and technology – of an organisation is required to successfully carry out construction work. Phase 2 utilises soft system methodology (SSM) as a KM tool to identify the gap between organisations' internal and external knowledge sources. This gap is significant as it restricts the pull of knowledge from external knowledge sources. Findings – This investigation provides a model to achieve KM initiatives through adoption of SSM. This results in an improvement in the integration of people, process and technology within an organisation, an increase in the capacity of the organisation to pull external knowledge, and thereby improve its own internal knowledge bank. All these improvements help an organisation to transform itself into a learning organisation that can continually adapt and innovate. Practical implications – KM research is relatively new in the construction industry. This research has significantly added to the existing body of knowledge in the domain of KM by effectively linking KM with innovation and learning. This provides a strong case for employing KM in order to make innovation a regular phenomenon within the construction industry and encouraging organisations to transform themselves into learning organisations. Originality/value – This paper provides practitioners with an insight into how KM can be applied in project management (PM)-oriented organisations. Also the research explores an identified gap between PM research and practice, and argues that industry needs to effectively work in collaboration with knowledge sources found in academia. The paper also demonstrates that SSM can be used to create artefacts of knowledge.
Keywords: Construction industry; Innovation; Knowledge management; Learning organizations
Rights: Copyright Emerald Group Publishing Limited
RMID: 0020096450
DOI: 10.1108/17538370910949310
Appears in Collections:Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation, and Innovation Centre publications

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