Tacit knowledge integration within the traditional construction procurement system

Takhtravanchi, M 2017, Tacit knowledge integration within the traditional construction procurement system , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

Knowledge management is a broad concept that has been investigated in many disciplines. Tacit knowledge management is more important in construction industry where common issues exist between the design and construction phase. However, most knowledge is embedded in the minds of professions and based on experiences they achieved from project. The successful completion of a project requires a rigorous understanding of each stage of project lifecycle that can be enhanced through integrating knowledge between project members, in terms of capturing and sharing knowledge between project members, and transferring it to the next project. Due to the temporary nature of construction projects, people who work on these project tend to disperse after completion of the project. This means the knowledge and experiences they achieved through project will be wasted, if it is not captured and shared structurally across project. Within this context, the failure to integrate knowledge will result in increasing the possibility of ‘reinventing the wheel’, which means spending more time and cost. The rational that led to this study came as a result of increasing interest in the need for tacit knowledge integration, in terms of capturing, sharing and transferring knowledge, especially within construction project undertaken through the traditional procurement system, because this system is based on the separation of the design and construction phase.

The aim of this research is to develop a framework on how to integrate tacit knowledge in terms of capturing, sharing and transferring, within a construction project undertaken through the traditional procurement system. This is done through conducting documentary survey, experts’ survey and case studies sample within the UK construction industry. The documentary survey was used to form researcher’s background information and develop a conceptual framework which would be then taken to real life situation to investigate, gather relevant information and understand the perceptions and values of stakeholders in using knowledge integration within construction projects. Furthermore, an experts’ survey (expert’s interviews) was used to collect qualitative data through interviews with four experts. These experts were from both academia and industry, and they were selected based on their experiences and engagement in the traditional-based construction projects. Multiple-case holistic design was selected for conducting this research, in order to provide credibility to the research outcome. There is only one unit of analysis that is needed to study in order to explore the approaches and techniques that were used by construction organisations for tackling challenges in the process of tacit knowledge integration. Two case studies were selected to reflect the building sector within construction industry. The projects were complex, large and costs over £5m. The selected case studies differ in that one of them is completed project and the other is an ongoing project at construction phase. As most of the problems and errors occurred in project lifecycle are related to designing phase, the cases were selected from same organisation involved at designing phase in order to analyse and compare the process of knowledge integration. Furthermore, an online open-end questionnaire was conducted to collect experts’ opinion on the developed framework. The questionnaire was distributed among 180 experts. In this research the target population was professionals who were involved and experienced in the traditional-based construction project in the UK construction industry.

Research findings highlighted three main challenges for integrating tacit knowledge within the traditional construction project which are Organisational Culture, Contractual Boundaries and Knowledge management system (strategies and policies). The Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for tackling these challenges and required techniques for structurally implementing the process of tacit knowledge integration are identified. Furthermore, it is concluded that BIM technology can be used and enhanced the process of tacit knowledge integration, if the two-stage process traditional procurement is adopted. This means construction contractors should be involved in project before the completion of designing phase.

Building on the research findings, this research offers a framework, with a guideline, on how to integrate tacit knowledge, in terms of capturing, sharing and transferring, within the traditional construction project.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: M Takhtravanchi
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2018 08:53
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2018 10:34
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/42537

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