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A knowledge capture awareness tool: An empirical study on small and medium enterprises in the construction industry

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Purpose – Popularity in knowledge management has, unfortunately, not been matched by parallel empirical research on the processes, challenges and benefits of knowledge capture in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the construction industry, given the fact that 99 per cent of firms in the UK construction industry can be classified as SMEs. This paper aims to discuss the output of a research study, which is focused on knowledge capture in SMEs in construction industry. The paper also aims to present and discuss a computer-based awareness tool on knowledge capture underpinned by Kolb's experiential learning theory. Design/methodology/approach – The empirical study involved a total of 51 professionals from 26 SMEs in the construction industry. Grounded theory approach was adopted. Also, a content analysis was considered. Findings – The results show that there is lack of awareness of complex issues associated with an effective knowledge capture process as well as ensuing benefits for SMEs in the construction industry. The effective implementation of knowledge capture in SMEs is partly dependent on the vision and flair of the owner/partners of the organisation. It is also determined by culture, structure, people, finance and technology, which warrants a coherent and structured approach. Originality/value – A computer-based awareness tool which is underpinned by Kolb's experiential learning theory.

Keywords: Construction industry; Knowledge capture; Knowledge management; Learning styles; Small to medium-sized enterprises; United Kingdom

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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