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Measuring knowledge retention: a case study of a construction consultancy in the UAE

Arif, M, Egbu, CO, Alom, O and Khalfan, MMA 2009, 'Measuring knowledge retention: a case study of a construction consultancy in the UAE' , Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 16 (1) , pp. 92-108.

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    Abstract

    Purpose: the purpose of this paper is to develop a model that can be used to assess the knowledge retention capabilities of an organisation, and suggest opportunities for improvement. A model to fulfil this aim is developed and validated on a construction engineering consultancy. Design/methodology/approach – A knowledge retention model was developed drawing on a thorough review of the literature. The developed retention model was validated through a case of a construction engineering consultancy. Semi-structured interviews were used to elicit relevant information during the case study. Findings: a four-stage knowledge retention process has been presented. These four steps are socialisation, codification, knowledge construction, and knowledge retrieval. The paper also describes four levels of maturity for the knowledge retention model. The first level demonstrated the extent of knowledge sharing in the organisation, the second level measured the extent of knowledge shared being documented, the third level measured the effectiveness of storage of documented knowledge, and the last level was a measure of ease of accessibility and retrieval of the knowledge. A four-level indicator of maturity of the knowledge retention process has been documented. For the case study analysed in this research, the maturity of knowledge retention was noted as being between two and three. Research limitations/implications: the model developed only captures knowledge that can be converted into an explicit form. The authors accept that there would be some tacit knowledge that cannot be effectively codified in explicit form, and such knowledge might not be captured using the model. Originality/value: the paper has developed a model that can be used to measure the knowledge retention in an organisation. Although the model has been applied to a construction industry, it can easily be modified vis-à-vis other sectors.

    Item Type: Article
    Themes: Subjects / Themes > T Technology > TH Building construction
    Built and Human Environment
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology
    Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
    Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment > Management in Construction Research Centre (MIC)
    Journal or Publication Title: Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management
    Publisher: Emerald
    Refereed: Yes
    ISSN: 0969-9988
    Depositing User: IN Mohd Zin
    Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2011 14:28
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 17:46
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/12845

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