Capture and Reuse of Project Knowledge in Construction in VS .NET

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Capture and Reuse of Project Knowledge in Construction
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Interpretivist perspective: This approach inherits the characteristics of subjective perspective and focuses on supporting the social structures and processes within which knowledge is shared (Venters, 2002) This perspective does not view technology as the solution by itself, but rather as support to the social activity of sharing knowledge (Venters, 2002)
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222 Information systems vs human resource management
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The current de nitions of KM are predominantly from the information systems and human resource management perspectives (Jashapara, 2004), which correspond to the technocratic and behavioural schools of KM proposed by Earl (2001) From the information systems perspective, KM is concerned with the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to facilitate the capture, deployment, access and reuse of information and knowledge (O Leary, 2001), whereas the human resource management perspective emphasises the establishment of means to motivate and facilitate knowledge workers to develop, enhance and use their knowledge in order to achieve organisational goals (Beijerse, 1999) However, leveraging knowledge through ICT alone is often hard to achieve (Siemieniuch and Sinclair, 1999; Walsham, 2001; Rollett, 2003) as there are human, cultural and organisational issues such as reluctance to share knowledge which are not readily resolved by ICT Conversely, a purely human resource management approach is not going to bene t from the faster, cheaper and broader source of data and means of communication to enable people to generate and share knowledge offered by ICT Therefore, it is argued that an integrated approach of KM combining information systems (technology) and human resource management (people) synergised by the bene ts of both perspectives is likely to be a more viable option (Davenport, 1998)
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223 Interdisciplinary perspective
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Jashapara (2004) contends that KM has its roots in various disciplines, namely anthropology, economics, sociology, strategy, management science, human resource management, information science, philosophy, psychology and computer science It is therefore argued that an integrated, interdisciplinary and strategic perspective of KM is necessary for a KM initiative to succeed (Jashapara, 2004) Based on this assertion, Jashapara (2004) groups the various KM disciplines into four dimensions (see Figure 22), that is:
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strategy organisational learning systems and technology culture
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Knowledge management key concepts
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Intellectual capital
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Organisational performance
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Strategy Change management
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Culture
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Knowledge management
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Systems and technology
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Implementation
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Organisational learning Exploration Exploitation Figure 22 Dimensions of KM (Source: Adapted from Jashapara, 2004) Knowledge, capture, sharing and reuse
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Jashapara (2004) argues that the strategic purpose of KM is to increase intellectual property and enhance organisational performance Organisational learning, which comprises individual, group and organisational level learning (Crossan et al, 1999), is the process of improving actions through better knowledge and understanding (Fiol and Lyles, 1985) within an organisation In order to fully explore and exploit knowledge, systems and technology are crucial to the facilitation and enhancement of the cycle of knowledge creation, capture, organisation, evaluation, storage and sharing (Jashapara, 2004) In addition to the systems, and technology and organisational processes, the interdisciplinary perspective also addresses the crucial cultural and change management dimensions for the implementation of KM as many well-planned initiatives have been futile because of overlooking these dimensions (Jashapara, 2004)
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224 Combined soft and hard approaches
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A combined soft (ie organisational, cultural and people issues) and hard (ICTs) approach is introduced by Kamara et al (2003) for the live capture of knowledge in construction The main feature of the live capture methodology is the capability to facilitate the capture of knowledge once it has been created or identi ed This combined soft and hard approach adopts a pragmatic view acknowledging that there are strengths and shortcomings in the KM practice solely focused on either
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Capture and Reuse of Project Knowledge in Construction
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technological (ie hard) or organisational and cultural (ie soft) issues It is argued that the soft and hard approaches complement each other and a combined approach is therefore more appropriate (Kamara et al, 2003) Soft concepts The soft concept focuses on the development of organisational processes and procedures for the capture of knowledge within and across organisations Two main concepts are used:
Collaborative learning (Digenti, 1999); Learning histories (Kleiner and Roth, 1997)
Collaborative learning is a business practice that is aimed at discovering explicit and tacit collaboration tools, processes and knowledge, experimenting with them and creating new knowledge from them (Digenti, 1999) It employs experimentation, methods and approaches that emerge from the preset situation and allows organisations to move across boundaries uidly (Digenti, 1999) This ensures that the learning from a group, which can also be a construction project team, is transferred back to the organisation (Kamara et al, 2003) This is discussed in greater detail in 4 A learning history is a process for capturing usable knowledge from an extended experience of a team and transferring that knowledge to another team that may be distant in terms of context (Dixon, 2000) Kamara et al (2003) argue that although construction projects and the teams that implement them are unique, the team structure, processes and skills involved in these projects are similar, and these provide the opportunity for the reuse of knowledge Using the concept of learning history, the learning of one team (from critical events on a project) can therefore serve as a catalyst to a similar team to deal with issues in a different context (Kamara et al, 2003) Hard concepts The hard concepts include the available ICT applications that are currently being used in the construction industry, particularly project extranets, work ow management tools and other groupware applications for collaborative working (Kamara et al, 2003) Project extranets are dedicated Web-hosted collaboration and information spaces for the architectural, engineering and construction industry that support design and construction teams (Augenbroe et al, 2002; Kamara et al, 2003) Utilising Web-based technology, project extranets allow distributed team members to collaborate, as well as to share, view and comment on project-relevant information without the need to meet in one location (Kamara et al, 2003) Kamara et al (2003) argue that the