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The role of trust in inter-project knowledge transfer

By Anna Wiewiora, Glen D. Murphy and Bambang Trigunarsyah

Abstract

Knowledge is a powerful organisational asset yet intangible and hard to manage, particularly in a project environment where there is a tendency to repeat the same mistakes rather than learn from previous project lessons. A lack of effective knowledge sharing across projects causes reinventions that are costly, and time consuming. Research on knowledge transfer has focused mainly on functional organisations and only recent attention has been directed towards knowledge transfer in projects. Furthermore, there is little evidence in the literature which examines trust in the knowledge transfer processes. This paper studies how the three types of trust - ability, benevolence, and integrity impact on knowledge transfer from the inter-project perspective. Three case studies investigated the matter. A detailed description of the work undertaken and an analysis of interviews with project professionals from large project-based organisations are presented in this paper. The key finding identifies the positive impact of ability trust on knowledge transfer. However, it was also found that perception on both integrity and benevolence varied across organisations suggesting that there can be a possible impact of organisational factors on the way trust is perceived in inter-project knowledge transfer. The paper concludes with a discussion and recommendations regarding the development of trust for inter-project environment

Topics: 120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning, 150300 BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT, Ability, benevolence, integrity, inter-project knowledge transfer, trust
Publisher: ICOMS
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.qut.edu.au:32916

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