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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Subashini Hari, Charles Egbu and Bimal Kumar

Popularity in knowledge management has, unfortunately, not been matched by parallel empirical research on the processes, challenges and benefits of knowledge capture in…

Abstract

Purpose

Popularity in knowledge management has, unfortunately, not been matched by parallel empirical research on the processes, challenges and benefits of knowledge capture in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the construction industry, given the fact that 99 per cent of firms in the UK construction industry can be classified as SMEs. This paper aims to discuss the output of a research study, which is focused on knowledge capture in SMEs in construction industry. The paper also aims to present and discuss a computer‐based awareness tool on knowledge capture underpinned by Kolb's experiential learning theory.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical study involved a total of 51 professionals from 26 SMEs in the construction industry. Grounded theory approach was adopted. Also, a content analysis was considered.

Findings

The results show that there is lack of awareness of complex issues associated with an effective knowledge capture process as well as ensuing benefits for SMEs in the construction industry. The effective implementation of knowledge capture in SMEs is partly dependent on the vision and flair of the owner/partners of the organisation. It is also determined by culture, structure, people, finance and technology, which warrants a coherent and structured approach.

Originality/value

A computer‐based awareness tool which is underpinned by Kolb's experiential learning theory.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 12 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Kirsty Hunter, Subashini Hari and John Kelly

The purpose of the project was to develop a framework document and input tool for use in local government to enable quantity surveyors and others with enough knowledge to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the project was to develop a framework document and input tool for use in local government to enable quantity surveyors and others with enough knowledge to produce a life cycle costing analysis with the minimum of effort. The general perception in the surveying profession of the complex formulae associated with whole life costing (WLC) has led to it being described by local government as “a nebulous concept that falls on deaf ears”. This paper seeks to describe research to develop a user‐friendly approach using a generic software input tool accompanied by a framework document designed specially to assist in WLC analyses. An explanation of the mathematical formulae used is also given.

Design/methodology/approach

The research project was commissioned by the Society of Construction Quantity Surveyors (SCQS) in mid‐2004 and to date has involved the development of a framework document and WLC input tool which has been tested by local government. The project is in the final stages of completion and training on WLC and use of the developed input tool has commenced.

Findings

The feedback from use of the developed tool by local government quantity surveyors has been positive and the benefits of using such a tool are evident amongst the surveying profession.

Practical implications

The researchers have had to overcome a number of challenges to ensure the effective running of the tool to the satisfaction of the prospective users – quantity surveyors in local government.

Originality/value

A framework document and software tool have been specifically developed for use by quantity surveyors in UK local government.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Charles O. Egbu, Subashini Hari and Suresh H. Renukappa

An investigation of the importance of the knowledge of the key individuals in organisations, knowledge within organisations as well as customer capital and knowledge; and…

Abstract

Purpose

An investigation of the importance of the knowledge of the key individuals in organisations, knowledge within organisations as well as customer capital and knowledge; and how these might impact on sustainable competitive advantage of small and medium sized enterprises. The key challenges for knowledge‐intensive SMEs are the identification, capture, storing, mapping, dissemination and creation of knowledge from different perspectives and for different purposes.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a thorough review of literature and field study, this paper presents and discusses the benefits of knowledge management (KM) for sustainable competitiveness in SMEs in surveying practices. A field study was conducted, involving 12 professionals from eleven organisations, of which 2 of the 11 organisations were surveying practices.

Findings

The paper highlights the role of strategies, tools and techniques which might be of assistance. The paper concludes that managing knowledge assets in SME is not easy. It is an integrated and complex social process, which has culture, people, finance, technology and organisational structures at its core. The paper also notes that SMEs can benefit from effective KM practices for sustainable competitiveness.

Research limitations/implications

Recommendations are offered to surveying practices that are already involved with formal KM initiatives and those SMEs that aspire to do so.

Originality/value

An innovative study applying knowledge management principles to small and medium sized surveying practices.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

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