Cultural issues in .NET framework

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343 Cultural issues
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De Long (1997) contends that culture has a major impact on the implementation of any KM strategy, and it comprises the following three elements:
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Values that indicate what an organisation s members believe is worth doing or having They indicate preferences for speci c outcomes or behaviours, or what the organisation aspires to achieve Norms which are the shared beliefs about how people in the organisation should behave, or what they should do to accomplish their work It represents the expected patterns of behaviour For example, they
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Capture and Reuse of Project Knowledge in Construction
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describe how employees actually create, share and use knowledge in their work Practices which are the formal or informal routines used in the organisation to accomplish work
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Organisational cultures can either be supportive or negative towards KM as follows: Supportive and negative knowledge cultures A supportive KM culture where employees are motivated to share their knowledge and use external knowledge for their own activities is essential (Walsham, 2001) Culture has even in uenced the performance of ITbased KM systems As De Long (1997) asserts, IT-based KM systems will be implemented and used effectively only to the degree that a culture is aligned to support the objectives for KM However, such a KM supportive culture may not readily exist within an organisation, and the creation of one very often requires the alteration of existing organisational culture (De Long, 1997) Negative cultures which include resistance to search, receive and share knowledge are found to have undermined organisations KM practices (Ladd and Heminger, 2002) In the context of the construction organisation, negative culture such as employee resistance may inhibit knowledge sharing as people feel insecure about their job situation and do not trust their employers (Robinson et al, 2001) Cross-cultural knowledge sharing Cross-cultural knowledge sharing may cover the sharing of knowledge across organisations, societies and countries Knowledge sharing across organisations is complicated and often unsuccessful due to the differences in educational background, skills base and approach to the coordination of work (Walsham, 2001) This is critical in the context of the construction industry as construction projects normally involve various organisations with different expertise, objectives and working cultures Bresman et al (1999) contend that the problems associated with knowledge sharing will increase with geographical and cultural distance Therefore, knowledge sharing across organisations will be even more challenging if it involves organisations from different societies or countries This is substantiated by Hutchings and Michailova s (2004) research ndings which reveal that very often successful knowledge sharing across organisations from different countries entails a detailed study of the relevant countries cultures in advance and involves extensive relationship or network building in order to facilitate it
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Reusable project knowledge generation and capture
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Summary
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A range of reusable project knowledge items and learning situations have been identi ed from case studies and the literature A review of the various KM technologies and techniques suggests that a knowledge base is a potential KM tool capable of facilitating a methodology for live capture and reuse of project knowledge in construction The various soft issues that may in uence the implementation of a KM system within an organisation are also identi ed All these are explored further in the 4
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Collaborative Learning in Construction
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This chapter provides a general review of collaborative learning (CL) and then explores how it can be related to and harnessed by the construction industry It proposes a CL strategy that involves the capture and reuse of knowledge in projects that will re ect both the organisational and human dimensions to deliver a better result The key considerations for a heterogeneous project team are also discussed
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Introduction
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The concept of collaborative learning (CL) can be traced back to the nineteenth century during the scienti c revolution when there was a gigantic Western exercise in learning (Lessem, 1990) However, it was not until the early 1970s that researchers adopted organisational learning as a way of competitive advantage (Huber, 1991; Gill, 1995) The late 1990s saw CL become increasingly important as a result of its association with the concept of knowledge management (KM) (Ruggles, 1997; Jackson, 1998; Patel et al, 2000; Tiwana, 2000; Tsui, 2002; Nonaka and Toyama, 2003; Cuthell, 2005; Hern ndez-leo et al, 2006) This move towards more collaborative working within the industry is a welcome one, given the numerous problems that have resulted from the industry s fragmentation and adversarial nature (Anumba and Evbuomwan, 1998) CL is increasingly being seen as an appropriate vehicle for implementing the changes required to integrate both construction project participants to improve the overall project delivery and help organisations in their future projects Each expert understands the project slightly differently; they may react differently to what could be the same situation This highlights the importance of getting people together to establish a shared understanding of any problem situation and the potential pathways for action When people feel that they have had the opportunity to participate in planning the project, they are likely to buy into the changes that may be required of them In construction, creating a learning approach has become the goal of many organisations (Patel et al, 2000) Contemporary business challenges demand a new kind of learning, one that goes beyond problem solving within an organisation and instead focuses on imagining possibilities and new ways of looking at entire businesses globally (Allen
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