Nurturing a knowledge environment for international construction organisations through practice

Grisham, T and Walker, D 2006, 'Nurturing a knowledge environment for international construction organisations through practice', Construction Innovation, vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 217-231.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Nurturing a knowledge environment for international construction organisations through practice
Author(s) Grisham, T
Walker, D
Year 2006
Journal name Construction Innovation
Volume number 6
Issue number 4
Start page 217
End page 231
Total pages 14
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Abstract The purpose of this research is to explore and test conceptual issues of how communities of practice (CoPs) are a recognized means of transferring knowledge. Analysis of data, derived from reflection upon experience gained by close full-time engagement on three complex, large-scale engineering construction projects. Five emerging themes that help to explain how CoPs may be nurtured to increase the effectiveness of project management are revealed: creating a knowledge environment, discovering and recruiting potential members, information sharing, time for communicating, and motivation and rewards. The development of CoPs requires time and the creation of a knowledge environment. In the complex world of international construction, most projects are unique physical undertakings, have teams that have never worked together before, have a limited duration, with participants located in numerous countries. Thus, there is a natural tension between the need and the reality that requires strong cross-cultural leadership, and special techniques, if CoPs are to be utilized. This paper practically illustrates, based on rigorous organizational literature theory largely missing from the engineering community, how CoPs can be actually nurtured and used. The metaphor used to illustrate this should resonate strongly with construction engineers and designers.
Subject Organisational Planning and Management
DOI - identifier 10.1108/14714170610713908
Copyright notice ©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN 1471-4175
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