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Identification of knowledge assets in construction projects and their impact on project performance

Harish Kumar Singla (School of General Management, National Institute of Construction Management and Research, Pune, India)
Abhishek Shrivas (School of Construction Management, National Institute of Construction Management and Research, Pune, India)
Ashu Sharma (School of Business Management, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, India)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 9 December 2020

Issue publication date: 24 March 2022




The previous researchers have identified human capital, relational capital and structural capital as knowledge assets in knowledge-driven organizations. The current study is an attempt to identify and validate the knowledge assets in construction projects. The study also aims to understand the interrelation of these knowledge assets and their impact on project performance through the development of a conceptual model.


The study is divided into three phases. In phase I, the constructs of “knowledge assets” and “project performance” in construction projects are identified using the exploratory factor analysis. In phase II, these constructs are validated using confirmatory factor analysis. Two separate surveys are conducted for phase I and phase II, respectively. In phase III, the authors develop two conceptual models based on the literature review and two construction project cases in India. The models examine the inter-relationship of knowledge assets and measures their impact on project performance. The models are empirically tested using the responses of the second survey through a structural equation model.


The study extracts four knowledge asset constructs and one performance construct which are named human capital, structural capital, relational capital, human capital capacity building process and project performance, respectively. The study finds that both the conceptual models are statistically excellent fit. The results of the models suggest that relational capital and structural capital have a direct positive impact on project performance, whereas human capital has an indirect effect on project performance mediated through relational capital, structural capital and human capital capacity building process.

Research limitations/implications

The items for knowledge asset constructs and measurement of project performance are moderated by experts, working in construction projects in India, hence the process may contain subjective bias. Further, two construction project cases were selected by authors in the study that originate from India.

Practical implications

The study has implications for the project executors (contractors) as well as for project owners. The contractors must maintain healthy relations with all the stakeholders in a project like a client, suppliers, architects, etc. They must develop systems that are people-friendly to avoid the problems of time and cost overruns in projects. The owners must also maintain healthy relations. This can result in a win-win situation for both parties and can lead to superior project performance.


The study develops and empirically tests two conceptual models that explain the interrelations of knowledge assets and how it benefits the construction project performance in India. Therefore, the generalization of the results is difficult; however, the results can be replicated in projects with similar settings.



The authors express sincere thanks to all the respondents for sharing their valuable time and providing significant insights. The authors would like to show their gratitude toward the two organizations that have shared their useful insights to be a part of the case study. The authors sincerely appreciate the insightful and constructive comments and suggestions provided by all the reviewers. We believe that these comments and suggestions have greatly strengthened the paper.


Singla, H.K., Shrivas, A. and Sharma, A. (2022), "Identification of knowledge assets in construction projects and their impact on project performance", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 558-587.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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