Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering

2009

Dr James Bishop

Thesis

Managing Technical Knowledge to Enhance Organisational Best Practice

Project Detail

Managing Technical Knowledge to Enhance Organisational Best Practice

Company

Ramboll Whitbybird

Supervisors

Academic:
Professor NM Bouchlaghem
Professor Jacqui Glass

Industrial:
Dr I T Matsumoto
Mr Charles McBeath

Director of Research:
Professor A D Price

Research Period

2004 - 2008

Managing Technical Knowledge to Enhance Organisational Best Practice

Aims and Objectives

The value of a design consultancy is based on its technical knowledge, expertise and experience. This technical knowledge is embedded in the organisation’s assets and systems, and managing these is paramount to the success of the business. This is particularly apparent when new techniques are developed and applied by engineers. Any weaknesses in the systems or assets can result in previous mistakes being repeated. For instance, as new environmental management systems are implemented and more sustainable construction methods are adopted, engineers will need to adopt a more comprehensive design approach. In this scenario leveraging the multidisciplinary knowledge available across the organisation becomes invaluable.

This project will deliver a framework that facilitates the retention and use of expertise that will increase Whitbybird’s potential to respond appropriately to conventional and emerging business opportunities.

This will be achieved by:

• investigating ongoing projects to establish patterns of knowledge exchange;
• examining different approaches for the capture and management of people’s expertise/knowledge;
• determining the effectiveness of these strategies; and,
• developing a framework that would more effectively capture, map and communicate the true worth of technical/design expertise available throughout the company.

Anticipated Outcomes

The successful framework will enhance competitiveness by better capturing and communicating the expertise of Whitbybird’s staff to reduce costs, increase innovation and better meet client needs. It would also enable the company to recruit more strategically, especially to address new aspects, such as sustainable construction.

Bishop, J. … et al. (2008). Ensuring the Effectiveness of a Knowledge Management Initiative, in Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 12(4), pp. 16–29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13673270810884228

Bishop, J. … et al. (2008). Identifying and Implementing Management Best Practice for Communities of Practice,” Architectural Engineering and Design Management, Vol. 4, pp. 160-175. http://dx.doi.org/10.3763/aedm.2008.0080

Bishop, J. … et al. (2009). One Size Doesn't Fit All: Using Technology to Support a Balanced Knowledge Management Initiative, International Conference on Global Innovation in Construction, Holywell Park, Loughborough University, UK, 16th September 2009, 694-705.
http://www.irbnet.de/daten/iconda/CIB15655.pdf

Bishop, J. … et al. (2008). Identifying the critical factors that determine the success of communities of practice within an engineering design consultancy, C.P. Lima and M. Bauer (eds), Proceedings of the CIB W102 3rd International Conference: Information and Knowledge Management – Helping the Practitioner in Planning and Building, Stuttgart, October 2007, Germany, Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 325–334.
http://www.irbnet.de/daten/iconda/CIB7419.pdf

 

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+44 (0)1509 222623

The Centre Administrator
CICE
Loughborough University
Leicestershire
LE11 3TU

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