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Critical factors for knowledge management in project business

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PurposeThe purpose of this study is to identify and examine various factors that influence the success or failure of knowledge management (KM) initiatives in project-based companies. Design/methodology/approachFollowing a literature review, the study proposes a conceptual model of six factors of potential importance to the success of KM initiatives. The model is then examined through an online survey of project managers and assistant managers from project-based businesses in Finland. FindingsThe study finds that a lack of incentives and the absence of an appropriate information system are the most significant barriers to successful KM initiatives in projects. Research limitations/implicationsThe findings of the study may be restricted in terms of generalisability because of the limited empirical study. Practical implicationsProject managers should formulate an attractive incentive package to encourage project members to participate in KM initiatives and to suggest ideas for new KM opportunities. Managers should also ensure that an effective user-friendly information system is in place before introducing KM initiatives. Originality/valueThe study proposes a new model of critical success factors for KM initiatives in the context of project-based business.

Keywords: Critical success factors; Knowledge management; Project management

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 23, 2010


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