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Knowledge Management within the UK Oil Industry: A case study on Knowledge Management implementation within OILEX Ltd

Judith M Smith (Centre for Knowledge Management, The Robert Gordon University)
Lisa Duncan (Centre for Knowledge Management, The Robert Gordon University)


ISSN: 0305-5728

Article publication date: 1 April 2000



A study was carried out at OILEX from September to November 1999 which examined the extent to which the organisation was capturing and sharing its knowledge and experience. Evidence suggested that OILEX was capturing its experience, but sharing of this experience is limited. There was a need to recognise at top level that transforming “individual experience” into “corporate knowledge” is critical to the long‐term competitiveness of the organisation. This paper outlines approaches to knowledge capture and sharing within OILEX at present, and discusses the recommendations that were made in ways of levering the organisation's competitiveness for the future. External factors such as general trends in the industry, falling recruitment, an ageing workforce and use of contract workers have all made an impact on sustaining knowledge and experience within OILEX. Internal factors such as working culture, the specific demands of project work and the organisational structure are also cited. In a competitive environment, maximising all of the company's assets is crucial. This paper suggests ways in which OILEX can benefit from individual experience through its transformation into group learning, and discusses the implications for the company in adopting a programme of capturing and sharing learning. It goes on to highlight the ways in which more effective Knowledge Management impacts directly on savings in staff time, avoids duplication of work already carried out and allows the whole organisation to learn from previous mistakes. Ultimately, such learning leads to greater efficiency and productivity. Different teams within the organisation are able to draw on the learning of others to respond more quickly to problems. They can then transfer their learning back into the knowledge pool, thereby contributing to a constantly evolving “memory bank” of experience.


Smith, J.M. and Duncan, L. (2000), "Knowledge Management within the UK Oil Industry: A case study on Knowledge Management implementation within OILEX Ltd", VINE, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 38-43.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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