Knowledge creation,integration and management-A study of civil engineering consulting firms
Knowledge has been recognised as a resource that is critical to any organisation’s survival and success in the globalised market. This is even more critical for civil engineering consulting firms because they are knowledge centric and their products are all knowledge-based. The desirability of Knowledge Creation, Integration and Management is however varied among different firms. The research was aimed at developing a model which could be used to establish the organisation’s performance with regards to Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Integration, and Knowledge Management based on the internal level of desirability. The study was set out to: establish the level of Knowledge Creation, Integration and Management awareness within the Zambian civil engineering consulting industry; identify key indicators of Knowledge Creation, Integration and Management in firms based on Zambian and international surveys; deduce the desirability of Knowledge Creation, Integration and Management within civil engineering consulting firms; develop and validate the Knowledge Creation, Integration and Management Evaluation Model (CIMEMk); and prescribe possible uses and operations of the CIMEMk. The multi- paradigmatic position was adopted. Epistemologically, the research was objectivist. It was also positivist in paradigm. Ontologically, the research was parmenidean and realist. Using a detailed literature review, structured interviews and questionnaire surveys, the results of the study established that the level of awareness of Knowledge Creation, Integration and Management practices within the Zambian civil engineering consulting industry was fairly low. The key indicators of Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Integration and Knowledge Management were also established. The study established a total of 27 key indicators. The desirability was established as a function of the organisation’s turnover and employee base. It was noted that Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Integration were highly desirable for small and medium sized enterprises while the desirability for Knowledge Management was high in medium to large sized firms within the civil engineering consulting industry. Based on the key indicators and desirabilities for Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Integration and Knowledge Management, the CIMEMk was formulated. The CIMEMk utilised the firms’ Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Integration and Knowledge Management scores combined with their respective desirability to produce the performance indices. The CIMEMk was pretested and assessed for its functionality, validity as well as usefulness. Both Zambian and international civil engineering consulting firms upheld the functionality, validity and usefulness of the model. It was deduced that the CIMEMk would help enhance the competitiveness of civil engineering consulting firms by focusing on the areas that required improvement. The use of CIMEMk is however limited to internal performance measurement. Keywords: Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Integration, Knowledge Management, civil engineering, consulting firms.
- Engineering