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A study of knowledge sharing in multinational construction alliances

Ingirige, MJB 2004, A study of knowledge sharing in multinational construction alliances , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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    Abstract

    Alliances within construction have increased significantly in number and in the volume of activity they undertake in recent years. Further, communications technologies have progressed to a degree where they can support collaborations across geographic borders. The prevailing literature generally notes that alliances are effective collaborative 'vehicles', which facilitate 'automatic' knowledge sharing. Although writers in the field highlight benefits of developing knowledge sharing as a core capability to create and maintain sustained collaboration and sustainable competitive advantage, a majority of the alliances engage in short-term orientated work processes targeting short-term commercial advantages. This research contextualised this phenomenon within construction alliances and investigated the business logic of developing knowledge sharing as a core capability. First, a conceptual model was developed from a review and synthesis of the relevant literature. The four variables in the conceptual model were: (i) Alliance strategic direction; (ii) Alliance Climate; (iii) Task relatedness of messages communicated through knowledge transfer mechanisms; and (iv) Media richness of knowledge transfer mechanisms. The conceptual model comprised the framework for five interrelated hypotheses. Then, the hypotheses were tested utilising two construction alliance case studies: HN alliance was a project based joint venture alliance between two large international construction contractors and XY alliance is a long-term strategic partnering alliance between a petroleum retailer and a construction project management company. The principal data collection methods used were semi structured interviews for senior executives and structured interviews for the project managers. The principal method used for data analysis was cognitive mapping. The empirical testing of hypotheses revealed that the alliances concentrated on shortterm commercial advantages to the detriment of longer term sustainable competitive advantages. Therefore, initiatives taken to improve high quality interactions among alliance participants and thereby sustain inter-firm relationships have not yielded the anticipated benefits. The study comments on the diagnostic robustness of the initial

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Contributors: Sexton, MG(Supervisor)
    Additional Information:
    Schools: 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: 19 Feb 2014 12:04
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/26726

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