KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT PROCESSES IN NIGERIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
This study’s primary objective is to examine the adoption of knowledge management in Nigeria’s construction industry. The research investigated the sector of the construction industry that will benefit from the use of knowledge management. Utilizing a structured questionnaire, a quantitative approach of data collecting was required for this study. The study population consisted of 1962 construction firms, from which a sample population of 209 construction enterprises was selected. Data for the analyses were acquired using a multistage random sample technique and analyzed with SPSS version 20.0 and descriptive statistics. The study finds that team support to share knowledge was the most essential quality discovered for Knowledge management practices (RII = 0.87). “Standard platform to collect and exchange information” (RII=0.78) and “Team separation after project completion” (RII=0.77) were ranked as the most influential factors on the capture and reuse of project knowledge, respectively. “Senior management support/commitment in knowledge generation and usage” (M=3.96) was assessed to have an overall effect on performance, according to the findings on the effect of knowledge management practice on projects. In addition, the level of relationship between knowledge management practice and time, cost, and quality demonstrates that “project time” is strongly connected with “fostering innovation and knowledge creation” (Sig level = 0.001). “Project quality” is highly related to “developing the appropriate knowledge and skills” (Sig level = 0.001). Lastly, “using accessible knowledge in decision making” is substantially linked with “project cost” (Sig level = 0.005). The study suggests that teamwork is essential in knowledge management practices based on the perceptions of knowledge management professionals. In order to enhance project performance in the construction business, the study suggests encouraging project teams to share expertise, using a uniform platform to collect knowledge, and managing team separation after project completion.
Context of the Study
According to Anumbaet al. (2005), the construction industry is a knowledge-based industry. For the construction sector to thrive in an information economy, it must address the skill level, creativity, and knowledge culture of its workforce (Anumbaet al., 2005). The development industry is divided into the traditional segment and the informal segment. Architects, builders, quantity surveyors, estate surveyors, and engineers, to name a few, make up the core of the company concept in the appropriate segment. These specialists collaborate to enhance the development business’s procedures. Again, the informal portion is composed of outstanding artists. As a result, knowledge is created, transferred, and supervised within the organization, with development specialists accountable for these processes (Okeet al., 2013).
Currently, the construction business desires a speedier conclusion from construction processes, and practitioners must decide swiftly on an alternate solution to a problem by incorporating the thoughts of construction professionals (Anumbaet al., 2005). According to Boondao (2013), knowledge management has played a key role in enhancing the manner in which businesses carry out their tasks, particularly with regard to the desired or intended outcome. Knowledge management is the process of making the appropriate information accessible to the individuals who need it at that time (Okeet al, 2013). Knowledge management can improve organizational performance by raising the quality of work performed to obtain a higher level of performance.
According to Meng (2011), a project’s performance is determined by its time, cost, and quality.
In general, a successful project is one that is completed within the allotted timeframe, with the acceptable level of quality, and without exceeding the budgeted cost. Marques and Garrigosimon (2006) conducted a study on 222 Spanish enterprises in the biotechnology and telecommunications industries to identify practices with a beneficial impact on firm performance. It has been observed that firms that implement knowledge management methods outperform their rivals.
Nevertheless, Knowledge management continues to be misunderstood by professionals and misapplied by management consultants (Sheehan et al., 2005). There are reasons to believe that knowledge management has existed for longer than the phrase has been in use. The technique of knowledge management is said to be encouraged by town meetings, workshops, and seminars. People themselves are the most essential tools and methods utilized to impart knowledge. Currently, knowledge management has proven to be more valuable than the long-standing physical or real asset most prized by businesses (Dalkir, 2005).
According to Rabiu (2009), knowledge management is considered to be within the scope of human resource management (HRM) practice, although it is gradually emerging as a distinct practice in managing organisational functionality relating to learning, training, organisation design, and organisational effectiveness. Knowledge management is not and cannot be stated to be a distinct practice with a distinctive subject, according to Dalkir (2005), who argues that critics’ arguments are weak. This viewpoint is expressed by the phrase “KM (knowledge management) is just „IM (Information Management)” or “KM” is merely a synonym for “IM.”
business methods. Information management (IM) is defined by the Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM, 2015) as the collection, management, and delivery of information from one or more sources to one or more recipients. Occasionally, it involves individuals who have an interest in or a legal claim to the information. A fair description of knowledge management, according to Dalkir (2005), covers both the capture and storage of the knowledge viewpoint as well as the valuation of intellectual assets. Thus, Botha (2004) defines knowledge management as the systematic management of essential knowledge and its related processes of creation, collection, organization, dissemination, application, and exploitation. One of the most important characteristics of Knowledge management, according to Dalkir (2005), is that it works with both information and knowledge. Another advantage of knowledge management over information management is knowledge management’s ability to address all types of knowledge, including tacit and explicit knowledge.
Dalkir (2005) defined a knowledge-age organization as one that learns, remembers, and acts based on the best available information, knowledge, and expertise. The growth of the knowledge economy as a crucial component of the global economy has resulted in a profound shift in the manner in which enterprises are conducted. According to Egbu (2005), multiple types of knowledge are evident in a knowledge-based economy. Evidence consists of know-what, know-why, know-how, and know-who. The construction business struggles to accept the principles of the information economy. According to Anumbaet al. (2005), this may be a result of the construction industry and enterprises having to deal with increased rivalry, the globalization of the construction market, and the manner in which clients and customers make their requests.
and the community To have a more successful industry, it is necessary to have a staff that is efficient, motivated, and skilled.
1.2 Description of the Research Problem
According to Egbuet al. (2005), the predominant kind of construction markets has resulted in more client demands and an increase in client involvement. Due to the complexity of projects and the increased collaboration between clients and contract administrators, the construction sector is becoming increasingly knowledge-intensive. In a knowledge-intensive industry, expert knowledge is crucial. In terms of organisational effectiveness and efficiency, it is believed that the majority of construction companies have used some form of knowledge management, with favorable results (Anumbaet al., 2005;Boondao, 2013). However, these techniques are not clearly identified as knowledge management practices; rather, they are viewed as excellent business practices (Ferguson et al., 2008; Quintas, 2005). As a result of the lack of KM practices among construction experts, knowledge is lost during the project’s development stages. The information that was intended to be built upon prior knowledge in order to eliminate costly redundancies and avoid repeating at least one mistake has not been completely exploited, forcing the construction business to reinvent the wheel (Kasimuet al., 2013; Dalkir, 2005).
According to Anumba et al. (2005), the relationship between KM and business performance is not well known. As the construction industry struggles to meet customer requirements in terms of time, cost, and quality, project performance has become a growing cause of concern (Meng, 2011). Construction industry KM practice in regard to performance is not apparent (Anumbaet al., 2005).
Time, money, and quality have been highlighted as the three most critical project success factors, according to Meng (2011).
However, when construction projects lack major accomplishments, this is manifested through schedule delays, cost overruns, and quality faults. Kasimu and Usman (2013) noted that delays in Nigerian building projects were caused by incompetent contractors, inexperienced project teams, and construction errors. Similarly, poor knowledge of work resulting from the lack of management of an organization’s knowledge base and crucial tacit knowledge leads to poor performance (Ailabouniet al., 2009). In addition, knowledge acquired during the construction phase of projects was still lost due to a lack of awareness of knowledge management practice’s benefits (Kasimuet al., 2014). This setback in KM was noted by Okeet al. (2013), who stated that there are constraints to the management of construction project-related information and knowledge in the Nigerian construction industry.
1.3 Reasons for the Research
Armstrong (2006) asserts that in order for the construction business to succeed in the labor market of the future, it must be viewed as the most advanced knowledge-based enterprise. A construction company with strong management is more likely to see a rise in worker productivity. The fact that people are the primary component of an organization makes management of people a greater performance factor than management of materials, money, or machines. People can use resources in a manner in which resources cannot affect them (fryer, 1996). Knowledge management may enhance the performance of employees, which is determined by their ability to provide solutions to challenges (Anumbaet al., 2005).
Knowledge is considered as one of an organization’s most valuable assets (Egbuet al., 2005). When knowledge management is properly implemented in the construction business, it can increase production, improve customer happiness, and improve how organizations respond to client needs. Some potential benefits include reducing the repetition of the same error and closing the knowledge gap between organizations and individuals within an organization. KM can be used to improve the performance of construction projects in Nigeria by increasing professionalism and enhancing support for knowledge workers (Okeet al., 2013).
The importance of the construction industry to the Nigerian economy cannot be overstated, as it contributes significantly to the nation’s gross domestic product. Evaluation of knowledge management in the Nigerian construction sector appears to be a fruitful field of research due to the numerous benefits associated with the use of knowledge management.
1.4 Objectives and Goals
The purpose of this study is to evaluate experts’ perceptions of the impact of knowledge management practices on construction project performance in an effort to improve the delivery of construction projects.
The particular aims are;
To evaluate the significance of knowledge management practice characteristics in construction
To evaluate the factors influencing project capture and reuse
1.5 Scope and Restriction
This study centered on knowledge workers, who, according to Egbuet et al. (2005), are responsible for delivering crucial skills and knowledge to the construction industry. They include Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Estate Surveyors, Architects, and Builders, according to research conducted by Okee et al. (2013) on knowledge management practice among Nigerian construction professionals. Furthermore, this study was conducted in Abuja since, according to the Real Estate Development Agency of Nigeria, it is one of the most rapidly developing capital cities in the world (REDAN, 2012). Due to the vast scope of the construction business, the study is confined to the perspectives of construction professionals participating in construction operations in the FCT Abuja, including architects, builders, engineers, quantity surveyors, and estate surveyors. Lastly, the knowledge types investigated in this study are tacit knowledge in the form of assessing professionals’ knowledge and explicit knowledge in the form of examining established practices or established procedures for implementing knowledge management in respondents’ organizations.
Certain companies that were unwilling to engage in the study and provide a response were not included in the research.
Significant experts in some companies did not deem it appropriate to divulge personal information, resulting in their The study effort experienced certain constraints as a result of inadequate subject expertise among the representatives of the companies.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT PROCESSES IN NIGERIAN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY