Systematising knowledge management in projects

Davidson, Paul & Rowe, Jillian (2009) Systematising knowledge management in projects. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 2(4), pp. 561-576.

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide a practicable systems-based approach to knowledge management (KM) in a project environment, to encourage organisations to unlock the value in their review processes. It relies on knowledge capture and storage at decision review points, to enrich individual, team and organisational learning during the project life cycle. The project's phases are typically represented horizontally with deliverables (objectives) or project "promises" as the desirable outcomes. The purpose of this paper is to give expression through introducing a vertical dimension to facilitate the KM process. A model is proposed that conceptualises project-specific knowledge drawing on and feeding into the organisation's knowledge management system (KMS) at tactical and strategic levels.

Design/methodology/approach – This conceptual paper links concepts from systems theory with KM, to produce a model to identify, collate, and optimise project-based knowledge and integrate it into the management process.

Findings – The application of the system theory approach enriches the knowledge generated by a project, and feeds it into the next phase of that project. At the same time, it contributes to the individual's and project team's KM, specifies possible courses of action, together with risks, costs and benefits and thus it expands the organisation's higher level KMS.

Research limitations/implications – The concept suggests that the knowledge capture, storage and sharing process may best be undertaken holistically, in view of the systems relationships between the tasks. Systems theory structures this process. Research opportunities include studying the interfaces between levels of KM, in relation to the project's progress.

Practical implications – Reconceptualisation of the project as a knowledge creation process may improve the project's progress as well as add to the individual's, project team's, and wider organisation's knowledge base. An example is given.

Originality/value – This paper illuminates the broader potential of under-utilised opportunities in well-known management approaches to add dimension to the business project, of knowledge creation, storage and sharing.

Impact and interest:

8 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 27166
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Decision Making, Knowledge Management, Systems Theory, Tacit Knowledge
DOI: 10.1108/17538370910991142
ISSN: 1753-8378
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisation and Management Theory (150310)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Emerald
Deposited On: 01 Sep 2009 04:54
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:54

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