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
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