Knowledge mapping and knowledge communication in decision making and for providing effective solutions for a sustainable urban environment

Egbu, CO 2006, Knowledge mapping and knowledge communication in decision making and for providing effective solutions for a sustainable urban environment , in: Construction and Building Research Conference (COBRA), 7th - 8th September 2006, The Bartlett School, University College London, London, UK.

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In order to be successful, sustainable developments must promote economic, social and environmental needs and benefits, focusing on inevitable trade-offs as well as synergies between these needs and benefits. Sustainability therefore means thinking in terms of whole systems, with all their interconnectedness, consequences, feed-forward and feedbackward loops. Sustainability issues inherently cut across many boundaries, and are transdisciplinary and transorganisational. This brings to the fore issues of how individuals, groups and organisations make knowledgeable interpretations for sustainability within organisations and professional structures and, in the cases of industries based on multi-firm and multi-professional projects, across these boundaries. The above discourse would suggest that the vagaries of different industrial sectors are likely to impact on how knowledge for sustainability is created, transferred and applied. Knowledge in the field of sustainability is also subject to ideological pressures that can be at odds with what makes both business and ecological sense. The challenge of knowledge management is to understand how to create practical solutions to support individuals and groups as they generate or acquire this multi-faceted knowledge, so as to suit the particular requirements of their application context. Drawing on a recently completed study funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), this paper discusses the role of knowledge communication and knowledge mapping in contributing to decision making in offering sustainable development solutions. It presents and discusses a model for effective knowledge mapping and its benefits in a sustainable urban environment (SUE) context, as well as the main techniques currently in use for knowledge mapping. Also presented are key success factors for effective knowledge communication. It is concluded that firms and institutions need to find out if the individuals with ‘higher stocks’ of technical and tacit knowledge for sustainability solutions have a relevant place in the social organisation of the firm/institution, and that this relevant place plays a central role in the network. The mapping instrument has to fulfil three needs to achieve a satisfactory level of dynamic modelling. Firstly, the need to depict over time the relations that are most representative or central. Secondly, the need to make relative assumptions as to the ‘richness of the social interactions’, since individuals with high technical ability might not have, at the same time, a superior stock of social interventions. Thirdly, the need to evaluate the capabilities that for a given moment are most relevant to the firm; these are usually associated with global strategies (integrated into relative competitive positioning) such as profit maximisation, and cost minimisation subject to environmental, social and financial constraints. Keywords: knowledge communication, knowledge mapping, sustainable urban environment

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Subjects / Themes > T Technology > TH Building construction
Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Publisher: RICS
Refereed: Yes
Depositing User: IN Mohd Zin
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2010 14:51
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 09:12

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