Knowledge Management Tools and Techniques Used in the Australian Construction Industry
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Knowledge is considered as a unique asset and its significance is becoming increasingly appreciated by scholars and, more recently, practitioners. Many research studies were carried out in order to understand how to efficiently benefit from this asset. Knowledge management (KM) aims to organise knowledge through six main aspects, which are: (1) Creation; (2) Identification; (3) Storage; (4) Capturing; (5) Transfer; and (6) Mapping. Each of these six aspects consists of several KM tools/techniques (T/Ts) which can be used to achieve their purpose. Through a detailed review of the previous literature on the topic of KM, a list of major T/Ts used in each of these aspects were identified and used as a framework for further investigation. This research aimed to present an investigation on the use of those KM T/Ts in the Australian construction industry (ACI) context by identifying the extent of use and effectiveness of those T/Ts and outlining the key barriers to their implementation. This was achieved through an organised research method which included the use of questionnaire surveys of construction firms around Australia, and interviews with senior representatives of construction firms. The findings from the quantitative phase of this research identified the top five T/Ts used among the sampled companies; these are: (1) Softcopy databases; (2) Office automation systems; (3) Internet for research purposes; (4) Hardcopy databases; and (5) Project reports. The qualitative section of the research provided support and explanation to the results from the quantitative survey. More importantly, the qualitative phase identified the key barriers in the implementation of KM T/Ts, which were categorised into three main factors: (1) resources; (2) time; and (3) organisational culture. Based on these findings, the paper provided a number of practical implications regarding the use of KM T/Ts in the industry, aiming to overcome the barriers and enhance the use of those T/Ts.
Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century (CITC-VII)
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