Exploring the Role of the Project Manager in Organizational Knowledge Creation

Exploring the Role of the Project Manager in Organizational Knowledge Creation

Ted Bibbes (TNB BPM Consulting, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, USA), Minna Rollins (University of West Georgia, Carrollton, Georgia, USA) and Wesley Johnston (J Mack Robinson College of Business, Marketing Department, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJKM.2017070103

Abstract

This article explores and shows how a Project Manager interacts with the project team to facilitate the creation and sharing of new knowledge within project environment. Three types of data were collected from one pharmaceutical company. This article contributes to the current Knowledge Management literature by proposing a new structure for the knowledge creation process, an infinite loop enabling multiple paths rather than a single linear path process. The authors discuss practical implications as well as avenues for the future research.
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Introduction

In today’s knowledge-rich business environments, competitive advantages are gained and maintained through efficient knowledge management, whether creating new knowledge or sharing existing knowledge throughout the organization. Research in the field of Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning includes many areas such as the ideas of explicit and tacit knowledge (Erden, von Krogh, & Nonaka, 2008; Kogut & Zander, 1992; Nonaka & Von Krogh, 2009; Rice & Rice, 2005; Von Krogh, 1998), managing knowledge assets (Baskerville & Dulipovici, 2006; Despres & Chauvel, 1999; Eppler & Sukowski, 2000; Goel, Rana, & Rastogi, 2010), and organizational knowledge creation (Nonaka, Toyama, & Nagata, 2000; Von Krogh, 1998). In the field of Project Management, practitioners and researchers have emphasized the importance of well-structured and managed projects for overall organizational success. By integrating Knowledge Management and Project Management fields, researchers have studied the project manager’s impact on knowledge creation in the team environment (Ajmal & Koskinen, 2008; Bresnen, Edelman, Newell, Scarbrough, & Swan, 2003; Erden et al., 2008; Hanisch, Lindner, Mueller, & Wald, 2009; Hargadon, 1998a, 1998b; Rice & Rice, 2005; Todorović, Toljaga-Nikolić, & Mitrović, 2016) as well as managing knowledge enablers and project success (McKay II & Ellis, 2015).

Good project management practices are an essential part of the business environment, and successful project management is recognized as an important factor for any business. Despite the crucial role the Project Manager (PM) plays in the project environment, the role of the PM in organizational knowledge creation has seldom been mentioned in the current literature. Therefore, this study explores knowledge creation (an aspect of knowledge sharing) within the project team environment and the role of the PM in the process. Authors illustrate the PM’s role in facilitating and leading project team members to develop both ends of the knowledge continuum for themselves, their team, and the organization. This research explores and shows how the PM interacts with the project team to facilitate the creation and sharing of new knowledge. This study contributes to the current Knowledge Management literature by proposing a new structure for the knowledge creation process, an infinite loop enabling multiple paths, rather than a single linear path process.

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