Knowledge Management Within a Leading Irish Construction Organisation

Brian Graham, Ken Thomas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Considered to be one of the most dynamic and complex industrial environments construction is a project-based industry which is recognised as being poor at learning on a consistent basis, improving performance and is notoriously slow in adapting to progressive change. Traditionally labour-intensive organisations employing a full workforce of tradesmen and labourers, large main contractors have generally moved away from being a ‘building company’ towards directly employing a core professional and management team to lead teams of outsourced contractors. Two separate organisations; Engineers Ireland (EI), the country’s leading professional body and the Construction Information Technology Alliance (CITA) a research partnership between industry and academia have identified KM as important to the future competitiveness of the Irish construction industry. An in-depth case study of a leading Irish construction organisation has been conducted in order to identify and evaluate current and potential approaches to managing knowledge at individual, project and organisational levels. This consisted of a combination of interviews and surveys with a broad spectrum of management and professional staff, including a director, project managers, quantity surveyors, foremen and engineers. It was found that the company are committed to the provision of life-long learning opportunities for all staff through comprehensive continuing professional development (CPD) activities, which are accredited by EI. To fulfil the KM requirement for accreditation, a lessons learned database was implemented but has not been successful as initially anticipated. The lack of a working definition of knowledge within the organisation and awareness of the importance and potential advantages of KM reflects a casual approach, and indicates the need for further exploration of knowledge and KM-related issues. The potential for aligning individual learning with wider organisational KM objectives also merits further investigation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECKM 2007 - 8th European Conference on Knowledge Management 2007
Pages368-373
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event8th European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2007 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 06 Sep 200707 Sep 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM
ISSN (Print)2048-8963
ISSN (Electronic)2048-8971

Conference

Conference8th European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM 2007
Country/TerritorySpain
CityBarcelona
Period06/09/200707/09/2007

Keywords

  • Case study
  • Construction industry
  • Continuing professional development
  • Lessons learned

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