Knowledge Sharing Across Professional Boundaries in Construction: Facilitators and Hindrances

Detta är en avhandling från Chalmers University of Technology

Sammanfattning: In a separated processes according to professional functions, the ambition of becoming sustainable calls for collective innovation through collaboration. For this to happen, learning and the sharing of knowledge between professional groups and organisational entities needs to be improved in project-based contexts. Knowledge in the construction industry largely exists in its tacit form and is based on individuals’ experiences and perceptions of the world. This knowledge is therefore bounded by their every day practice. Studies have pointed out that research on knowledge management in the construction industry has neglected to examine the actual practices of sharing knowledge. The aim of this thesis is to explore the factors influencing knowledge sharing across organisational entities and professional groups in construction. The community of practice conceptual framework has provided a way to explore how knowledge is created and shared in the social practices of this industry. Findings from three case studies based in different organisational and project environments addressing the challenge of energy efficiency of buildings showed that brokering was needed to create opportunities for professional groups and organisational entities to communicate and share knowledge. The most fertile environments for knowledge sharing were found in pilot projects, where resources like time and funding helped create the necessary space for knowledge sharing to take place. These findings contribute to a better understanding of how knowledge is created and disseminated in practice in construction. The study as a whole contributes empirically and theoretically to the current general debate on management of knowledge.