ITcon Vol. 7, pg. 125-137,

Information technologies for knowledge management: their usage and effectiveness

submitted:November 2001
revised:July 2002
published:August 2002
editor(s):A. S. Kazi
authors:Charles O. Egbu, Professor of Construction and Project Management
School of the Built and Natural Environment, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

Katherine Botterill, Research Associate
Centre of the Built Environment, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK
summary:Knowledge is increasingly being recognised as a vital organisational resource that provides competitive advantage. Managing knowledge assets can be a challenge, especially in the construction industry, where short-term working contracts and temporary coalitions of individuals can inhibit knowledge sharing. The role of information technology (IT) in knowledge management (KM), is an essential consideration for any company wishing to exploit emerging technologies to manage their knowledge assets. This paper presents research, which has been conducted to identify the technologies that are currently used to manage knowledge in the construction industry. The effectiveness of these technologies has also been explored, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of particular IT for KM. In addition, it attempts to highlight some of the challenges and complexities associated with managing knowledge in a project-based environment. A postal questionnaire was distributed among construction organisations in order to obtain generalisable data about the role of IT for KM, in the construction industry. This approach was supplemented by ethnographic interviews to reveal richer data about the nature of IT for KM, in five small, medium and large construction organisations. The research revealed that conventional technologies, such as the telephone, are used more frequently to manage knowledge, than more radical IT, such as Groupware or video-conferencing. In construction organisations, the potential benefits of IT for KM, are not fully exploited and many have expressed a need for greater implementation of IT, appropriated by sufficient training and education of staff
keywords:Information Technology, Information Communication Technology, Knowledge Management 
full text: (PDF file, 0.393 MB)
citation:Egbu CO and Botterill C (2002). Information technologies for knowledge management: their usage and effectiveness, ITcon Vol. 7, Special issue ICT for Knowledge Management in Construction, pg. 125-137,