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Barriers to effective knowledge transfer in project-based organisations

By Anna Wiewiora, Bambang Trigunarsyah, Glen D. Murphy and Chen Liang


Effective knowledge transfer can prevent the reinvention of systems and ideas as well as the repetition of errors. Doing so will save substantial time, as well as contribute to better performance of projects and project-based organisations (PBOs). Despite the importance of knowledge, PBOs face serious barriers to the effective transfer of knowledge, while their characteristics, such as unique and innovative approaches taken during every project, mean they have much to gain from knowledge transfer. As each new project starts, there is the strong potential to reinvent the process, rather than utilise learning from previous projects. In fact, rework is one of the primary factors contributing to construction industry's poor performance and productivity. Current literature has identified several barriers to knowledge transfer in organisational settings in general, and not specifically PBOs. However, PBOs significantly differ from other types of organisations. PBOs operate mainly on temporary projects, where time is a crucial factor and people are more mobile than in other organisational settings. The aim of this research is to identify the key barriers that prevent effective knowledge transfer for PBOs, exclusively. Interviews with project managers and senior managers of PBOs complement the analysis of the literature and provide professional expertise. This research is crucial to gaining a better understanding of obstacles that hinder knowledge transfer in projects. The main contribution of this research is exclusive for PBO, list of key barriers that organisation and project managers need to consider to ensure effective knowledge transfer and better project management

Topics: 150301 Business Information Management (incl. Records Knowledge and Information Management and Intelligence), 120508 Urban Design, barriers, inter-project knowledge transfer, lessons learned, project-based organisation, social communication
Publisher: Loughborough University UK
Year: 2009
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