Managing Knowledge in a High Performance Construction Company A Case study

Vijaya, V and Aundhe, Sanjiv (2005) Managing Knowledge in a High Performance Construction Company A Case study. TAPMI, Manipal.

TWP61_05_Managing knowledge.pdf

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This study tries to understand the knowledge management practices in a high performing Architecture Engineering Construction company. The construction industry is a highly fragmented industry, characterised by a migrant workforce, temporary labour, emphasis on manual labour rather than mechanisation, and slow pace of innovation and change. The AEC company where the study was conducted has shown high performance and consistent over the past few years. Research reveals that among others, employee skill and knowledge development and creating motivation to learn at individual and team levels form an important focus of the high performance organization. Therefore, this particular case site was chosen in order to understand the process of knowledge management in contributing to high performance. This organization has a project-based structure which is found to be one important characteristic of a knowledge-intensive firm. The methodology used was a Qualitative Case-based approach. The projects were the unit of analysis. Both primary and secondary data were collected and analysed based on categories, themes and concepts. The categories were the content and the process of knowledge management. One of the important themes that evolved was leadership that had related concepts of entrepreneurship, enhancing core competence, mentoring and collectivism. Another theme was Learning through Training which had related conepts of identification of learnability, innovative approaches, participative involvement and ongoing feedback. Another significant theme was Quality initiatives which had concepts of compulsive Perfectionism, Normative standards and stress on superlativity as linking concepts. Synergy of Knowledge and skill through problem solving also evolved as a theme and had the concepts Integration of heterogenity and evolutionary experiential learning related to it. Another powerful theme that evolved was Implementation managementwith concepts like enforcement efforts, Attention to Detail and Punishment to non-adherence associated with it. The last theme was Innovation efforts with concepts like Institutionalising innovativeness and reward systems linked with it. A model of knowledge content creation and process knowledge managed have been evolved. Knowledge content is generated through three dimensions – efforts at adherence to quality standards, efforts towards detection and correction of errors in critical activities and efforts on screening ideas and implementation of innovations. All these activities lead to the generation of explicit knowledge of technical understanding of the engineer and the tacit knowledge of the skills of the tradesmen. The two types of knowledge affect and lead to the development of the other and also in turn affect the three dimensions that again contribute to knowledge. We understand that strategic and implementation efforts at adhering to quality efforts and learning through training and process management with attention to detail is a major understanding of managing knowledge for high performance.

Item Type: TAPMI Working Papers
Subjects: Human Resource Management
Divisions: Human Resource Management
Depositing User: Ms. Vanitha K
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2018 08:56
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2018 09:18

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