Knowledge Management in Construction Projects: A Way Forward in Dealing with Tacit Knowledge

Knowledge Management in Construction Projects: A Way Forward in Dealing with Tacit Knowledge

Min An (University of Birmingham, UK) and Hesham S. Ahmad (University of Birmingham, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch520

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Introduction

Knowledge management (KM) is now becoming more vital for successful management of construction projects and also as a complement to the business activities of the organisations. With knowledge-based economy increasingly growing, knowledge is becoming an important asset for organisational success among other assets such as capital, materials, machineries, and properties (Kelleher & Levene, 2001; Fong & Wong, 2005). Through successful knowledge capturing, sharing and creation, industrial companies can improve the process of organisational learning to enhance the performance of the organisations and create more possibilities to gain competitive advantages (Li & Gao, 2003; KLICON, 1999; Ahmad & An, 2008).

The current interest in KM has been motivated by the need for continuous changes and improvements to enhance the construction processes (KLICON, 1999). KM has benefited from the remarkable development of computer technology which provides the people with the ability to digitally capture, search and transmit knowledge and electronically contact with other people (Carrillo et al., 2000; Blumentritt & Johnston, 1999). The construction organisations have showed an increased awareness of KM as a necessary prerequisite for improving quality, business performance, efficiency of project delivery, relationships with partners, suppliers and clients and innovations to gain competitive advantages (Egan, 1998; Kamara et al., 2002; Love et al., 2003). KM systems provide end-users with the tools and services necessary to capture, share, re-use, update, and create new experiences and best practices to aid them in processes, such as problem-solving, decision-making and innovation, without having to spend extra time, effort and resources on reinventing solutions that have already been invented elsewhere in the organizations (Ahmad et al., 2007).

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