Lessons Learned in Knowledge Managment - the case of construction

University dissertation from Construction Management Department of Construction Sciences

Abstract: The construction sector has been criticised in recent years for being inefficient. The critique involved describes finished buildings as having flaws and there being a lack of interest within the construction sector in assembling knowledge and sharing experience. The construction industry has started working with questions of how efficiency can be increased by reducing the errors made. Knowledge management was investigated here at different levels, ranging from cooperation at the international level, specifically between different European countries, to knowledge transfer and the diffusion of knowledge to workers at a construction site. The methods used in the studies range from action research and case study methods to analysis of documents and use of a systems approach. The studies also touch upon theories of quality management, project management and project appraisal. The literature on knowledge management provides many recommendations, largely of a common sense nature. The major concepts of knowledge management theory appear suitable for analysing management system processes in the construction industry. Awareness of knowledge management appears to not be particularly widespread within the construction sector. The studies presented here support the value to that sector of developing a broader awareness of knowledge management principles. Successful implementation of such principles appears to have a high potential for promoting good and improved results, partly since the knowledge management process of a company is a coaching process, one that can make the operations of the company more effective. A key factor is that of knowledge transfer, which seems best supported when groups of individuals meet and share information by talking and socializing with one another. There is a need of supporting this process by organizing information better and by making knowledge explicit.

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