INVESTIGATION INTO THE ADOPTION OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT (KM) IN THE NIGERIAN INDUSTRY CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
The main Aim of this research is to investigate the Adoption of knowledge management in the Nigeria construction industry. The research examined the area of the construction industry that will improve as a result of the contribution of knowledge management. Data for the analysis were collected through questionnaire Administration on construction professionals. 60questionnaires where administered, 50 were retrieved and analysed using simple percentile and relative Important index. The study revealed that the knowledge management adoption is being hindered the most in Nigeria by some major barriers which include funding with relative important index of 0.83, lack of cooperation among professionals with relative important index of 0.81, difficulty in generalizing and sharing knowledge with relative important index of 0.81 and the least barrier being difficulty in locating knowledge which have index value of 0.65.As there is no Adequate fund to carry it out in construction organization in conclusion it was observe that colleagues experience is the major source of knowledge available to construction professionals in Nigeria as most construction professionals in Nigeria don’t read much and not exposed to other methods of acquiring knowledge within the organization and fund is also the major problem hindering the adoption of knowledge management among professionals. It was recommended that project managers, Architects, Quantity surveyors supervisors, contractors and engineers should improve in the level at which they transfer and share knowledge with other construction professionals and that the federal government of Nigeria should inject more fund to the construction industry of the country as this is a very productive sector of the economy.
1.0 Background to the Study
According to Botha, D.F (2004) knowledge management is a process of systematic management of vital knowledge and its associated process of creating, gathering, organizing diffusion, use and exploitation. It requires turning personal knowledge into corporate knowledge that can be widely shared throughout the organisation. Projects are typically delivered by a temporary organisation comprising designers, consultants, contractors, supplier and others. The need for knowledge management (KM) is particularly relevant to the construction industry which now faces many challenges. These include economic swings, new markets emerging in the global economy, increasing competition, the impact of technology, new and increasing demands from clients, customers and society, and the requirement to maintain a highly skilled workforce at all levels (Egbu and Robinson 2005). Contracting firms are becoming increasingly involved in challenging and complex, knowledge-intensive procurement routes such as management contracting, design and build, joint ventures, public private partnerships as well as the traditional procurement route. According to Quintas (2005) there are two potentially conflicting objectives of Knowledge Management, to build knowledge bases cumulatively and to learn from past experience; and to ensure learning beyond core areas, generating the capability to assimilate new knowledge in order to be able to respond to change. In a study of American contractors, Fisher et al. (1998) identified a number of reasons for implementing Knowledge Management practices as: high staff turnover leading to loss of experience; and large size of organisations make sharing knowledge difficult. Construction organisations have garnered much attention in terms of the potential benefits of knowledge management, with little evidence of how to actually manage knowledge in practice.
A lack of understanding of both knowledge and its subsequent management within the industry indicates the need for further empirical research in the field (Robinson et al. 2005). The types of organisation which shall be given consideration in this research are main contractors.
Traditionally, these organisations were labour-intensive employing a full workforce of labourers and tradesmen to execute the construction phase of a project on a building site. Many of these companies have now moved from being a ‘building company’ towards directly employing a core professional and management team to lead teams of outsourced contractors. The nature of the industry requires them to establish temporary organisational structures at dispersed geographical locations, frequently at a distance from central management (Raiden and Dainty 2006). Against the backdrop of an industry which is highly competitive and exhibits low levels of research, the purpose of this, is to present ongoing research into knowledge management within the leading Nigerian construction industries. Commencing with a background to the Nigerian construction industry this research shall also present a review of literature related to Knowledge Management in construction, progress in the research to-date, the proposed research methodology and future research activities.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The construction industry is recognized as being poor at learning on a consistent basis and improving performance and is notoriously slow in adapting to progressive change. Two categories requiring knowledge management in the construction industry have been identified; within projects across temporary, multi-discipline project organizations; and within individual firms. It is accepted that there may be much greater potential for knowledge management within individual companies. Despite the recognized need to adopt knowledge management, it is considered to in its infancy in the construction industry and is soon as a recent and evolving practice for construction organizations. The lack of a working definition of knowledge within construction organization and awareness of the importance of potential advantages of knowledge management reflects a casual approach, and indicates the need for further exploration of knowledge and knowledge management related issues.
The principal aim is to investigate the adoption of knowledge management in the Nigeria construction industry.
To identify methods managing knowledge within the Nigerian construction industry.
To identify the key barriers in the adoption of knowledge management in the nigeria construction industry.
To evaluate the existing approaches to managing knowledge. .
This research is focusing on obtaining the responses among professionals in the Nigerian construction industry on the adoption of knowledge management in Nigerian construction industry. The area covered throughout the research period is Abuja, and Kaduna.
1.6 Limitation of the Study
It’s not rare that researcher experience difficulties in the course of carrying out research work. It is worth noticing that researcher encountered difficulty in obtaining relevant information needed in producing a research that is well comprehensive, it was also very difficult in obtaining data as some materials are considered confidential.
1.7 The Need of the Study
The construction industry is recognized as being poor at learning on a consistent basis and improving performance and is notoriously slow in adapting to progressive change. The Nigerian construction industry has to queue into these innovative ideas as knowledge management has been promoted as a means of harnessing and utilizing intellectual resources to address these challenges, in addition to improving innovation, business performance and client satisfaction. Two categories requiring knowledge management in the construction industry have been identified; within projects, across temporary, multi-discipline project organization, and within individual firms. It is accepted that there may be much greater potential for knowledge management within individual companies. Despite the recognized need to adopt knowledge management, it is considered to be in its infancy in the construction industry and is seen as a recent and evolving practice for construction organizations. The lack of a working definition of knowledge within construction organizations and awareness of the importance and potential advantages of knowledge management reflects a casual approach, and indicates the need for further exploration of knowledge and knowledge management related issues.
Knowledge management emerged as a discipline since in the early 1990s Mclnerney and Claire (2002). It was initially supported by individual practitioners, when Skandia hired Leif Edvinsion of Sweden as the worlds first chief knowledge officer (CKO), Kent state university (2008). Hubert Santonge started investigating knowledge management long before that, Bhavani (2002). The objectives of chief knowledge officers is to manage and maximize the intangible assets of their organizations, Bhavani (2002). Gradually, chief knowledge officers became interested in practical and theoretical aspects of knowledge management and the research field was formed.