Knowledge Management Within a Leading Irish Construction Organisation

Graham, Brian and Thomas, Ken (2007) Knowledge Management Within a Leading Irish Construction Organisation. In: 8th European Conference on Knowledge Management, 6-7 September 2007, Consorci Escola Industrial de Barcelona, Spain.

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Considered to be one of the most dynamic and complex industrial environments construction is a project-based industry which is recognised as being poor at learning on a consistent basis, improving performance and is notoriously slow in adapting to progressive change. Traditionally labour-intensive organisations employing a full workforce of tradesmen and labourers, large main contractors have generally moved away from being a ‘building company’ towards directly employing a core professional and management team to lead teams of outsourced contractors. Two separate organisations; Engineers Ireland (EI), the country’s leading professional body and the Construction Information Technology Alliance (CITA) a research partnership between industry and academia have identified KM as important to the future competitiveness of the Irish construction industry. An in-depth case study of a leading Irish construction organisation has been conducted in order to identify and evaluate current and potential approaches to managing knowledge at individual, project and organisational levels. This consisted of a combination of interviews and surveys with a broad spectrum of management and professional staff, including a director, project managers, quantity surveyors, foremen and engineers. It was found that the company are committed to the provision of life-long learning opportunities for all staff through comprehensive continuing professional development (CPD) activities, which are accredited by EI. To fulfil the KM requirement for accreditation, a lessons learned database was implemented but has not been successful as initially anticipated. The lack of a working definition of knowledge within the organisation and awareness of the importance and potential advantages of KM reflects a casual approach, and indicates the need for further exploration of knowledge and KM-related issues. The potential for aligning individual learning with wider organisational KM objectives also merits further investigation

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Departments or Groups: Construction Industry Research & Knowledge Centre > Knowledge Management (KM)
Construction Industry Research & Knowledge Centre
Divisions: School of Engineering > Department of Construction and Civil Engineering
Depositing User: Brian Graham
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2007 15:03
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2016 10:25

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