Knowledge management research in the construction industry: a review

Yu, Dengke & Yang, Jay (2016) Knowledge management research in the construction industry: a review. Journal of the Knowledge Economy. (In Press)

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Purpose: Knowledge management (KM) is important to the knowledge-intensive construction industry. The diversified and changing nature of works in this field warrants us to stocktake, identify changes and map out KM research framework for future exploration.

Design/methodology/approach: The study involves three aspects. First, three stages of KM research in construction were distinguished in terms of the time distribution of 217 target publications. Major topics in the stages were extracted for understanding the changes of research emphasis from evolutionary perspective. Second, the past works were summed up in a three-dimensional research framework in terms of management organization, managerial methodology and approach, and managerial objective. Finally, potential research orientations in the future were predicted to expand the existing research framework.

Findings: It was found that (1) KM research has significantly blossomed in the last two decades with a great potential; (2) major topics of KM were changing in terms of technology, technique, organization, attribute of knowledge and research objectives; (3) past KM studies centred around management organization, managerial methodology and approach, and managerial objective thus a three-dimensional research framework was proposed; (4) within the research framework, team-level, project-level and firm-level KM were studied to achieve project, organizational and competitive objectives by integrated methodologies of information technology, social technique and KM process tool; and (5) nine potential research orientations were predicted corresponding to the three dimensions. Finally, an expanded research framework was proposed to encourage and guide future research works in this field.

Research limitations/implications: The paper only focused on the construction industry. The findings need further exploration in order to discover any possible missing important research works which were not published in English or not included in the time period.

Originality/value: The paper formed a systematic framework of KM research in construction and predicted the potential research orientations. It provides much value for the researchers who want to understand the past and the future of global KM research in the construction industry.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 94174
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Knowledge management, Construction industry, Literature review, Prediction
DOI: 10.1007/s13132-016-0375-7
ISSN: 1868-7873
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Springer Science+Business Media New York
Deposited On: 29 Mar 2016 23:49
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2016 04:55

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