Knowledge Management in a Major Construction Firm in Taiwan: A Case Study- Examining the Impacts of KM Initiatives within the Firm

By Gina Kuo and Jeremy Wu.

Published by The Organization Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper addresses knowledge management (KM) in a project management organisation through a case study.
The case study organisation is a small-medium sized Taiwanese-owned construction company (staff size of approximately 50) with an annual turnover of approximately TWD50 (AUD$1.85) billion. Approximately one half of the company comprised project-related staff (e.g. construction project management, project documentation, estimation, procurement, and design), while the other comprised administrative and business-related staff (e.g. office administration and management, business development, and finance and accounting).
The researcher undertook a series of surveys and one-on-one interviews whilst ‘embedded’ for several months with the organisation. As part of a larger research project, this case study was one of four case studies conducted in major construction organisations in Singapore, Taiwan, and Australia.
The study revealed the recognition, importance and commitment of organisational culture to KM, and the effects the knowledge management initiatives have on the organisation’s ability to manage knowledge across its projects and deliver the projects at various ‘levels’ of the organisation (individual, project, departmental, and corporate).
It concludes that a technologically and functionally sound KM infrastructure does not necessarily assure an organisation with a capability to manage knowledge. Organisations need to ensure that the KM repository is made up of quality and relevant contents (not just quantity), and that corporate culture (especially the willingness of individuals to share what they know) is a critical determining factor to the organisation’s ability to share, apply and create knowledge (i.e. low sharing capability leads to low application and creation capabilities).

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Project Management, Cross-Project Learning, Case Study, Construction Organisation

The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 7, Issue 6, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.391MB).

Dr. Gina Kuo

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Feng Chia University, Taichung, Taiwan

Dr Chin Chin (Gina) Kuo is currently an Associate Professor at Feng Chia University, Taiwan. She completed her PhD studies in the Environment, Behavior and Society Research Group, Faculty of Architecture at The University of Sydney. Her academic qualifications include a BA (English literature) and MA (Housing and Interior Design). Her doctoral studies examined the relationship between environmentally relevant values and behavior in a Chinese culture in Taiwan. In 2005, she taught courses related to global environmental change and green architecture and design. Apart from her lectureship at the university, she is also actively involved in her family’s construction consulting company business; particularly in the area of the management of project knowledge within the firm.

Asst Prof Jeremy Wu

Lecturer / Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Building, Faculty of Science and Technology, Deakin University, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Prior to commencing his PhD candidature at The University of Sydney, Jeremy practiced as a Project Manager at a (formerly) Government-owned corporation in Singapore and a Quantity Surveying Manager at an Italian MNC. His academic qualifications include a BSc(Bldg)Hons, MBldg(ConstEcons), and MConstMgt. Most recently, in the fourth quarter of 2005, Jeremy was awarded the following Project Management Achievement Awards (PMAA) by the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), the peak body representing and promoting the profession of project management in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region: State Winner of the New South Wales Chapter Student Award, and the National Winner of the Student Award. The awards were in recognition, in particular of his PhD research, for outstanding achievement in the application of project management principles and techniques in the field of project management. This year, he has taken up a full-time lectureship at Deakin University in Victoria, Australia.

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