Knowledge management practices in the construction industry in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Jumbo, Adonye, T (2015) Knowledge management practices in the construction industry in Rivers State, Nigeria. [Dissertation]

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In the construction industry, knowledge management is recommended as a vehicle through which the industry can address its need for innovation and improved performance. Due to the many inefficiencies in the construction industry, which is worse in the case of construction industries in developing countries, knowledge management is said to be a primary requisite and vital in enhancing continuous improvement in the industry. The Nigerian construction industry s typified with a range of problems and knowledge management has been identified as a means to improve upon the state of the industry. This research was set out to investigate the practices of knowledge management by construction industries in the Rivers State of Nigeria to identify the drivers as well as barriers to knowledge management.
The study adopted a quantitative approach with the use of a questionnaire survey to elicit the views of industrial professionals on the knowledge management practices within the firms they work for as well as the barriers and drivers for knowledge management. The study utilized questionnaires designed using Likert scale responses and data collection was mainly done online through the use of Survey Monkey. 43 responses were received out of the 70 questionnaire links sent out. Analysis of data was by way of descriptive analysis to determine the trends and frequencies as well as percentages of responses. The relative importance index was used as a form of analysis to determine the ranking of common practices, drivers and barriers to knowledge management.
The results indicate that knowledge management is practiced to varying degrees by the construction companies and key and experienced staff are the main sources of knowledge. Knowledge transfer is mainly by the use of training programs. The most common practices are; rewards to motivate experts to share their knowledge, expert apprentice relationships, best practice transfer, knowledge requests of experts, and competence management. And these are driven by factors such as dissemination of best practice to key staff, retention of knowledge of key staff, management support and proactive leadership and employee empowerment. The main barriers to knowledge management were also identified as time constrain and lack of understanding of knowledge management, lack of learning within the industry. Based on the outcomes, the study makes a number of recommendations for improved management action.

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