Embedding knowledge management strategies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia construction industry
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AbstractThe Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) construction sector is an important industry and contributes approximately 20% of the GDP. It has been the most significant economic activity outside the oil sector. However, uncertainty, complexity, sustainability, climate change, and Saudi Arabia National Policy Plan 2030 are among the most important features of the current construction business environment in the KSA. As organisations try to meet these complex challenges, they need to be innovative. It is widely recognised that knowledge is an essential strategic resource for a firm to retain a sustainable competitive advantage. Although Knowledge Management (KM) has been widely practiced in the western countries, there is a little evidence in the KSA especially in the construction industry. Therefore, this research focuses on key KM strategies that the KSA construction organisations implemented en-route to organisational competitiveness. The findings are in the main, based on semi-structured interviews with 46 professionals from 30 construction organisations. The data analysis revealed that, the key initiatives implemented broadly under the umbrella of KM are: knowledge sharing initiatives, knowledge capturing initiatives and knowledge mapping initiatives. Furthermore, seven types of KM specific training strategies adopted in the KSA construction organisations. The single most important driver for managing knowledge is to improve cost savings. The key challenge for managing knowledge is capturing tacit knowledge. The KM strategies contribute to improved competitiveness on cost savings. Furthermore, a framework for managing knowledge is developed and validated. The study concludes that managing knowledge is an integrated and complex process. More effective knowledge-sharing within and across construction organisations is required. Therefore, the KSA professional institutions and construction industry should support and participate in the work of knowledge-sharing groups to address perceived risks and opportunities from new technologies and processes. The results do suggests that for effective implementation of KM strategies, there is an urgent need for KSA construction industry to develop and deploy appropriate KM related management training programmes. Leadership plays an important role in breaking down barriers in achieving KM strategies. This study has made significant contributions to knowledge since there is no previous research explored on KM programmes in the KSA construction organisations. Findings of this research are limited to the KSA construction industry context only, as such, the level of generalisability outside this context may be very limited.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
The following licence applies to the copyright and re-use of this item:
- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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Challenges to transferring and sharing of tacit knowledge within a construction supply chainSaini, Mandeep; Arif, Mohammed; Kulonda, Dennis J. (Emerald, 2019-01-17)Purpose – This paper investigates the potential challenges that hinder the effective transfer and sharing of Tacit Knowledge (Knowledge Communication) within a construction supply chain (CSC). Design/Methodology/Approach – This study identifies six challenges (through literature review) with fifteen positive correlations between them. Quantitative methodology is employed to validate those challenges and correlations between challenges. Firstly, data is collected through semi-structured e-survey questionnaire. Afterwards, a Frequency and Kruskal-Wallis H test is run for initial validation of identified challenges. A correlation analysis is used to highlight the taxonomic relations between those challenges. Finally, the study establishes the rank order of the first and following challenges. Findings – This study highlights that traditional ways of working with construction organisations are the predominant challenge that hinders effective transferring and sharing of Tacit Knowledge. The cause of challenges is the fragmented nature of CSC. Also, it brings out the correlation between those challenges. The study draws the conclusion and recommendation to implement Knowledge Communication (KC) within a CSC. Originality/Value – The study highlights the challenges that hinder KC in a construction process of a CSC. It establishes that the fragmented nature of the construction sector is not the first challenge that hinders implementation of transferring and sharing of Tacit Knowledge but somewhat traditional organisation structures and working processes. This is the first paper that investigates and tests the challenges in four dimensions and establishes the rank order of challenges with crucial distinction in a KC approach within a CSC. Conclusion – This study identifies the rank order of challenges. It also discusses the implementation of KC within a CSC. It reflects the current understanding of KC in the construction sector and pinpoints the contribution of this study in academia and practice. Keywords - Construction Supply Chains, Knowledge Management, Tacit Knowledge, Transferring and Sharing Tacit Knowledge, Knowledge Communication in Construction Processes, Knowledge Communication
Knowledge management practices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia public sector organisationsRenukappa, Suresh; Algahtani, Khaled (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-09-20)After a decade of sustained oil-based growth, KSA is at a transition towards knowledge based economy. Today, achieving that goal has become essential. To address these change challenges, knowledge is increasingly accessed and shared across different functional departments and professionals. This knowledge interdependence creates new management challenges resulting from the risks and difficulties of knowledge transactions across boundaries. Providing access to key tacit and explicit knowledge to decision makers during potential changes seems to be critical for effective decision-making. Recent technological developments have made a significant and positive impact on the ability and desire to manage knowledge. These challenges have made the government think to adopt Knowledge Management (KM) initiatives. There is, however, a paucity of empirical research on the key KM practices that have been implemented in the public sector organisations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) – which is the core rationale for this study. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate how KSA public sector organisations are managing knowledge to gain sustainable competitive advantage. A web based, online questionnaire survey method was employed to collect data. Descriptive and inferential analysis was used to analyse the data obtained from the 107 completed and usable questionnaire for inference and conclusion. The survey revealed that to improve access to key knowledge is most important driver for managing knowledge in KSA public sector organisations. The extent of implementation of KM initiatives is relatively low in the KSA public sector organisations. Furthermore, study revealed that conventional, simple and cost effective KM techniques and technologies are effective and extensively used. Lack of government support for using new technologies, lack of awareness of knowledge, and lack of leadership support are key challenges for managing knowledge in the KSA public sector organisations. KM strategies have a very high positive impact on improving citizen relations. The study concluded that the challenge of managing knowledge is a daunting task for any organisation. An organisation’s knowledge resources are complex and multifaceted, ranging from tacit components to knowledge that is explicitly represented. The ultimate key to organisations successfully embracing KM initiatives into daily operation is leadership. Therefore, the KSA government should take a greater leadership role in shaping the information environment and the role of emerging technologies in society that have significant impacts. It is necessary for KSA public sector decision makers to recognise and use a blend of ICT and non-ICT based KM techniques and technologies. Before embarking on a KM journey, decision makers have to understand what it is that they would like to achieve with KM and what value it needs to add to their organisation in the context of Saudi Vision 2030. The scarcity of knowledge and expertise a huge challenge for many KSA public sector organisations. Therefore, training and education related to the management of knowledge will help leaders, managers, and change agents to better understand on how to craft and implement various KM strategies for competitive advantage.
Knowledge sharing maturity model for Jordanian construction sectorArif, Mohammed; Al Zubi, Mohammed; Gupta, Aman Deep; Egbu, Charles; Walton, Robert O.; Islam, Rubina (Emerald, 2017-01-16)Purpose - This purpose of the paper is to present a maturity model developed to assess Knowledge Sharing (KS) for the Jordanian construction sector. Design/methodology/approach - The research was conducted in three stages. The first stage consisted of the review of literature and documenting variables from the literature that highlight influence on KS in organisations. The second stage was designed for maturity model development by identifying the cultural factors that affect KS in the Jordanian construction sector through questionnaires and interviews. Factor analysis was used to find possible relationships between the cultural variables followed by semi-structured interviews. In the third stage the initial maturity model was refined through another set of semi-structured interviews. Findings – The model presented in the paper includes three levels of maturity. The first level identifies whether the variable barely exists in company’s KS practices. The second level shows the occasional techniques which the company uses to increase KS activities. The final level demonstrates the importance of the variable in affecting KS as being fundamentally ingrained in the company’s vision, mission, strategy and operations. Originality/value - The research has developed a model that can be used to measure the KS in an organisation. Although the model has been applied to the construction industry, it can easily be modified to fit other sectors.