|dc.description.abstract||In advanced economies, government departments (and their agencies) are major
construction clients. As governments engage in extensive repeat work, the impact of
knowledge sharing (KS) is an important factor in facilitating the effective management
of construction projects. Further, the need to access the knowledge residing
individually and collectively among employees also reflects the importance of KS.
A number of practices for sharing knowledge have been recommended in the literature.
These practices, however, are considered to be applicable, universally. This
assumption is challenged by the current study, which empirically explores the
relationship between national culture (NC) and KS practices. Thus, the study’s aim
was to identify whether NC dimensions could be significant variables that impact upon
staff preferences in relation to KS practices.
The thesis reports on an empirical investigation undertaken with a total of 250
individual professionals working for the Directorates of Projects and Maintenance, in
two government sectors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: 135 individuals in the
Ministry of Education (MOE) and 115 individuals in the Technical and Vocational
Training Corporation (TVTC). Over the next few years, both bodies will be responsible
for the implementation of an ambitious government plan, to procure more than 2000
schools and hundreds of technical and vocational training centres. This goal is seen as
providing an excellent opportunity to investigate the impact of NC on KS practices in a
developing country, because: (1) the bulk of the educational building projects share
many common features, thus necessitating the need for effective sharing of project
knowledge; (2) there was a lack of empirical research on KS practices, especially from
the perspective of construction clients; (3) little research had been published on the
impact of national culture on knowledge management; and (4) the uniqueness of the
Saudi culture. The research began by critically reviewing the literature to identify appropriate
measures for KS practices. Each measurement item was then re-evaluated and revised
to ensure the measurement tool’s relevance to the research context. To provide the
data set for analysis, a questionnaire, based on KS practices (dependent variables),
was developed. The questionnaire comprised of three constructs (KS means, KS
enablers, and KS benefits) with a total of 41 items. The first construct, KS means,
refers to those means by which staff are helped to work together and, thus, facilitate
the exchange of knowledge (19 items). The second construct, KS enablers, refers to the
policies and technical support that increase the staff’s ability to share knowledge (10
items). The third construct, KS benefits (12 items), refers to the benefits the employees
perceive they will gain by practising KS, and their perceptions of their role in
The data on the NC (independent variable) was collected using the Values Survey
Module 2008 (VSM 08), which comprises 28 items. Further, the relationships among
the research constructs were examined using the exploratory factor analysis (EFA), the
confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), regression analysis, and structural equation
The study’s findings provide empirical evidence that the national culture has a
significant influence on staff preferences in relation to knowledge sharing practices.
Further, the study identified that the main cultural dimensions (Power Distance (PDI);
Individualism (IDV); Masculinity (MAS); and Long-term Orientation (LTO)) significantly
influence KS practices.
Importantly, the study developed reliable and valid measurement scales for the KS
practices theoretical construct, namely, “KS means”, “KS enablers”, and “KS benefits”.
These scales provide a solid foundation from which researchers can effectively study
knowledge sharing practices, particularly within the construction context.
Moreover, the research study provides a greater understanding of the implications of
the KS practices in the procurement of public building projects in Saudi Arabia. It also
provides new knowledge for managers to enable them to gain a better understanding of
the preferences of their staff in regard to KS practices. This appreciation will facilitate
the improvement of project outcomes. Finally, a number of recommendations are made
in relation to the KS practices that parallel staff preferences in the procurement of
public building projects in Saudi Arabia.||en_US