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The impact of organizational culture on knowledge sharing in the construction sector in Jordan

Al-Zubi, M 2011, The impact of organizational culture on knowledge sharing in the construction sector in Jordan , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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    Abstract

    Organisations today increasingly recognise the need to support sharing knowledge among members in one way or another to gain competitive advantage. To increase knowledge sharing within organisations and to manage the process of knowledge sharing better, it is necessary to have a better understanding of the mechanism of knowledge sharing as well as the factors that influence this process. The impact of culture on knowledge sharing in the construction sector has recently gained more attention among scholars, and the aim of this research is to expand this understanding of the cultural factors that affect knowledge sharing practices, but within the Jordanian construction context, and assess that impact by developing a framework able to assess the cultural impact within organisations, so that they may adapt their business operations, improve knowledge sharing, and ultimately gain competitive advantage. This study is a follow-up to the findings of recent research investigating the cultural impact on knowledge sharing activities in the construction sector. This research adopts an epistemological position of interpretivism, and ontological position of subjectivism as the research philosophy. The research is undertaken in the Jordanian context, the data are obtained from construction companies operating in Jordan, and the researcher targets middle and high level managers to gather appropriate data. The research divides the data collection phase into three stages using quantitative and qualitative data collection analysis methods. Fourteen cultural factors affecting knowledge sharing in the construction sector in Jordan are identified, made up of organisational and national culture factors. They are developed according to the literature, through semi-structured interviews and self-administered questionnaires. In terms of organisational culture (OC) factors, nine cultural factors are identified including leadership behaviour style, motivation, organisational commitment, organisational structure, organisational form (family business), communication technology, social networking, trust, and relationships between employees. The five national culture (NC) factors include power distance, uncertainty avoidance, gender differences, collective achievements and autonomy. The data are analysed by adopting descriptive statistical and factor analysis methods using SPSS/PASW 17 to determine the minimum number of latent x ctors that can account adequately for the research, also to find similarities between factors xiich helped in grouping them. Semi-structured interviews give a better understanding of the cultural impact on knowledge sharing (KS) and support the quantitative findings obtained from the questionnaire data, as well as generating three maturity levels for each factor to assess that impact. The first level identifies whether the factor affects company KS or not by asking closed questions. The second level shows the occasional techniques which the company uses to increase KS activities. The final level demonstrates the importance of the factor in affecting KS as being fundamentally ingrained in the company's vision, mission, strategy and operations. Consequently, the researcher is able to develop a framework able to assess the cultural impact on KS in the Jordanian construction sector. The proposed framework is further refined through semi-structured interviews, and validated by adopting multiple case studies in three construction firms operating in Jordan. The research findings show a number of cultural factors which affect KS in the Jordanian construction sector. Organisational form (family business), communication technology, social networking, and gender differences have a significant impact on KS in the Jordanian construction sector. Meanwhile, cultural factors including the relationships between employees, mutual trust and collective achievements have a low impact on the Jordanian construction sector. This sector is still behind in terms of social networking and communication technology, and there is a general lack of KS practices currently being undertaken in the Jordanian firms sampled. However, it is recommended for construction firms in Jordan to be aware of the cultural impact on KS, and give more attention on factors including organisational form (family business), communication technology, social networking, gender differences, and leadership behaviour. Moreover, the Jordanian construction sector should be up to date with communication technology and try to link it with social networking to make more efficient and convenient for employees for successful KS implementation. Furthermore, it is recommended to apply the proposed framework within construction companies in Jordan to overcome the cultural impact on KS and increases its knowledge. Based on the findings of this research, it is recommended for construction firms in Jordan to be aware of the cultural impact on KS, and to give more attention on factors including organisational form (family business), communication technology, social networking, gender differences, and leadership behaviour. Moreover, the Jordanian construction sector should be up to date with communication technology and try to link it with social networking to make more efficient and convenient for employees for successful KS implementation. It is imperative that the organisations develop a culture of trust among employees to facilitate KS. The trust factor goes to the heart of the whole KS culture. Furthermore, it is recommended to apply the proposed framework within construction companies in Jordan to overcome the cultural impact on KS and increases its knowledge).

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Contributors: Arif,(Supervisor)
    Additional Information:
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology
    Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
    Depositing User: Institutional Repository
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 14:34
    Last Modified: 18 Feb 2014 11:36
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/26549

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