Knowledge management for small medium enterprises: capturing and communicating learning and experiences

Lee, CCT, Egbu, CO, Boyd, D, Xiao, H and Chinyo, E 2005, Knowledge management for small medium enterprises: capturing and communicating learning and experiences , in: 4th Triennial CIB W99 Safety Health Environment Quality Conference, 17th -20th May 2005, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

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With the increasing pressure for competitiveness on the construction organisations, it is necessary to capture, transfer and reuse project knowledge and use lessons learned from previous projects to improve project performance. Much of construction work is project-based, short-term and task-oriented; promoting a culture where continuous learning is inhibited. Specialist and technical knowledge is lost for one project to the next and arguably stifling an organisation’s ability to develop knowledge and generate new ideas. In this knowledge driven global economy, knowledge itself can be seen as a commodity that offers the only ‘true sustainable competitive edge’. If knowledge is effectively managed i.e. collected, structured and disseminated, it will bring significant benefit to organisations, with potential benefits to the wider construction industry. There are a plethora of knowledge management tools and solutions on the market. However, the increasing attention of knowledge management is unsurprisingly targeted at very large multinational organisations, with little at the small medium enterprises (SMEs); and even less at construction-related organisations. With over 99% of the construction industry in the UK made up of SMEs, these organisations are in need of knowledge management just as much as large enterprises in order to stay competitive. This paper attempts to present and discuss some of the findings from an on-going 18- months project, funded by the UK Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The research project adopts a simple and yet robust approach in assisting SMEs to capture their learning experiences, explicate the significant knowledge embedded in the participants’ experiences; and transform it into knowledge accessible to a wider audience. In addition, the challenges participants face in their knowledge capture process will be highlighted. The paper will also reflect on the role of information technology (IT) in knowledge capture and communication in SMEs. Conclusions and recommendations for practice and for academia are documented.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Refereed: No
Depositing User: MF Mat Yasin
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2010 10:09
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 09:13

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