Knowledge Transfer in Project-Based Organisations: The Need for a Unique Approach

Knowledge Transfer in Project-Based Organisations: The Need for a Unique Approach

Anna Wiewiora (Queensland University of Technology, Australia), Bambang Trigunarsyah (Queensland University of Technology, Australia) and Glen Murphy (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-783-8.ch116

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Introduction

The World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainable development as ‘ensuring the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (Vollenbroek, 2002). However, sustainability should be addressed not only for environmental concerns or society's expectations, but because it makes good business sense (Robinson et al., 2006). In order to achieve competitive sustainability, many firms are initiating extensive knowledge management efforts (Gold, Malhotra, & Segars, 2001). According to Sigma Guidelines (in Robinson, Anumba, Carrillo, & Al-Ghassani, 2006) knowledge management is central to the sustainability debate, reflected by the important role of human and social capital for putting sustainability development into practice. Sustainability has become the foundation for strategy formulation in today’s fast growing businesses. Individual efforts in research, innovation, monitoring, and assessment can contribute to sustainability. However, the full utility of such independent contributions depends on developing integrated knowledge systems (Cash et al., 2003). Knowledge and knowledge workers are a company’s intellectual capital, and are also the key factors in its sustainable development (Carneiro, 2000). However, most of the times, the intellectual capital is not well recognised, remains largely hidden, and is not entirely utilised. Furthermore, knowledge flows in the organisation in a continuous, but unsystematic manner. The lack of specific knowledge management systems inevitably leads to a data bank of enormous magnitude. It is therefore necessary to apply a system that enables the information and knowledge to be properly managed (Carneiro, 2000). Top management should focus their attention on this need because the intellectual capitals of their companies and innovation infrastructure are the real sources of future competitiveness (Leonard-Barton in Carneiro, 2000). The organisation's knowledge and capability is one key to its long-term survival (Kotnour, 1999). Consequently, effective knowledge management ensures sustainable infrastructure development through more effective communication across projects and organisations, building awareness of infrastructure needs of present and future generations.

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