Learning from experience: Aligning continuing professional development with knowledge management

Brian Graham, Ken Thomas

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

Abstract

The need for the development and testing of models for knowledge management (KM) in construction organisations is now well recognised. As part of a doctoral study seeking to develop a model of KM through grounded theory, an in-depth case study of a leading Irish construction organisation was conducted. Based on theoretical sampling from the first phase of the research, the case study sought 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, such as mentoring, training and education. They have also implemented a lessons learned database as part of a KM initiative, which has not been as successful as initially anticipated. The dissemination of lessons learned through the database has been augmented by the use of in-house CPD seminars given by the organisation's staff. The use of both technology and face-to-face interaction has improved the lessons learned process, particularly in aligning individual learning with that of the organisation. The paper concludes by considering the potential for aligning CPD activities with KM, making recommendations for the next phase of research and more specifically for construction organisations attempting to learn from experience. Such an approach could lead to improving the professional skills of individual staff, whilst contributing to improvements in organisational performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2008 - Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference
Pages319-328
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event24th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2008 - Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 01 Sep 200803 Sep 2008

Publication series

NameAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2008 - Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference
Volume1

Conference

Conference24th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityCardiff
Period01/09/200803/09/2008

Keywords

  • Case study
  • Continuing professional development
  • Grounded theory
  • Knowledge management
  • Lessons learned

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