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. The research implored quantitative method of data collection in which structured questionnaire was used. The study population constituted 1962 construction firms and out of which a sample population of 209 construction firms were identified for this study. Data for the analyses were collected using multi-stage random sampling method and analysed using descriptive statistics with the aid of SPSS version 20.0. The study reveals that team encouragement to share knowledge was the most important Knowledge management practice attribute identified (RII=0.87). “Standard platform to capture and share knowledge” (RII=0.78), and “Team separation after completion of project” (RII=0.77) were ranked first as the factors affecting the capture and reuse of project knowledge respectively. Findings on perceived effect of Knowledge management practice on project shows that, “senior management support/commitment in knowledge creation and use” (M=3.96)was perceived to have anoverall effect on performance. Furthermore, the level of association of knowledge management practice on time, cost and quality reveals that, “project time” is significantly associated with “stimulating innovation and knowledge creation” (Sig level = 0.001). “Project quality” is significantly associated with“building the right know-how and expertise” (Sig level = 0.001).Lastly “using accessible knowledge in decision making” (Sig level = 0.005) is significantly associated with“project cost”. The study concludes based on the professional‟s perception that team work is vital in knowledge management practices. Therefore, the study recommends encouragement of project team to share knowledge, develop standard platform to capture knowledge, management of team separation after project completion,in order to improve project performance in the construction industry.
- Background of the Study
The construction industry, as indicated by Anumbaet al. (2005) is depicted as a knowledge based industry. For a conctruction industry to flourish in an information economy it needs to deal with its workers skill level, creativity and knowledge culture (Anumbaet al., 2005).The development industry is partitioned into two fragments, the conventional section and casual portion. The idea of the business in the proper section comprises of particular talented experts, for example, the Architects, Builders, Quantity Surveyors, Estate Surveyors and Engineers. These experts hold hands together to upgrade exercises of the development business. The casual portion then again is comprised of talented art people. Both fragment meet up so as to upgrade the business, for this reason, information is developed, transferred and overseen inside the business with the development experts answerable for these procedures (Okeet al., 2013).
Currently, construction industry seeks quicker outcome from construction processes, and practitioner‟s needs to decide quickly on alternative solution to problem by integration of ideas from construction professionals (Anumbaet al., 2005). According to Boondao (2013) Knowledge management has played a crucial part in improving the way companies carry out their task especially in terms of desired or intended result. Knowledge management is a way of making available the right knowledge to the people that need it at that particular time (Okeet al, 2013). Organisational performance can be enhanced through Knowledge management by increasing quality of work done to achieve a better performance
(Jasimuddin, 2012).According to Meng (2011) performance of a project is determined in terms of time, cost and quality.Projectthat is finished at a desired period, with a required quality and does not exceed cost provided for its execution is generally described as a successful project. In order to determine firms performance Marque‟s and Garrigo‟simon (2006) carried out a researchon 222 Spanish firms in the biotechnology and telecommunications industries in order to determine practices that have a positive incidence on firm performance. It was observed that firms that adopt knowledge management practices obtain better results than their competitors.
However, Knowledge management remains a subject of misunderstanding among professionals and used wrongly by management consultants (Sheehan et al., 2005). Reasons could be given that knowledge management has been around for longer than the actual term has been in use. Knowledge management practice is seen to be supported through town meetings, workshops and seminars. The most important tools and method used to transfer knowledge consist of the people themselves. At the moment, knowledge management has shown beyond doubt to worth more than the long-time physical or tangible asset most valued by organisations (Dalkir, 2005).
According to Rabiu (2009) Knowledge management is seen as being in the scope of human resource management (HRM) practice, though it is gradually appearing as a clearly different practice in managing organisation functionality which relates to learning ,training, organisation design and organisation effectiveness. Dalkir (2005) said that critics show slight argument that knowledge management is not and cannot be said to be a distinct practice with a unique subject. This argument is represented with the expression that “KM‟‟ (knowledge management) is just „‟IM‟‟ (Information Management)” or “KM” is just a good
business practices. According to Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM, 2015) Information management (IM) is described as the gathering and management of information from one or more providers and the distribution of that information to one or more people. Sometimes it involves people who have an interest in, or a right to that information. According to Dalkir (2005) a good description of knowledge management includes both the capturing and storing of the knowledge perspective, together with the valuing of intellectual assets. Hence, Botha (2004) describe knowledge management as a process of systematic management of vital knowledge and its associated process of creating, gathering, organising, diffusion, use and exploitation.Dalkir (2005) stated that one of the major attributes of Knowledge management relates to the fact that it deals with knowledge as well as information. Another feature of knowledge management over information management is the ability of knowledge management to address knowledge in all types, especially, tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge.
Organisation in the knowledge age was described byDalkir (2005) as the one that learns, remembers, and performs based on the best available information, knowledge, and know- how. The rise of the knowledge era as a necessary part of the global economy has resulted to a dramatic change in the way businesses are been done. According to Egbu (2005) in a knowledge economy, it could be seen that different kinds of knowledge are obvious. Knowledge such as know-what, know-why, know-how and know-who are evidence. Construction industry faces some difficulty in adopting the beliefs of the knowledge economy. This could be according to Anumbaet al.(2005) as a result of construction industry and firms having to deal with increase in competition, the construction market becoming more global, the manner in which demands are been made by clients, customers
and the society. In order to have a more achieving industry,it becomes important that the industry has an efficient, motivated and competent workforce.
1.2 Statement of Research Problem
According to Egbuet al. (2005) the type of construction markets prevailing has resulted to greater demands from clients andan increase in the level of involvement of the clients. The complicated nature of projects, the increasing collaborative nature between client and contract administrators has made the construction industry increasingly becoming a more knowledge-intensive industry. Professional knowledge is being relied upon in a knowledge- intensive industry. Most construction firms are said to have undertaken Knowledge management practice in one way or the other which have yielded some positive result in terms of organisations‟ effectiveness and efficiency(Anumbaet al., 2005;Boondao, 2013). However these practices are not clearly label with knowledge management but are just seen as a good business practice rather than KM practice (Ferguson et al., 2008; Quintas, 2005). Due to this Knowledge is lost during the development stages of project as a result of lack of KM practices by construction professionals. Knowledge that supposed to have been built on earlier knowledge developed, to get rid of costly redundancies and avoid making at least the same mistake have not been fully leveragedleaving construction company to reinvent in the wheel(Kasimuet al., 2013; Dalkir, 2005).
Anumbaet al. (2005) also statedthat, the links between KM and business performance is not clearly understood. Project performance has increasingly been a source of worry, as the construction industry is struggling to meet up with the client demands in terms of time, cost and quality (Meng, 2011). KM practice in relation to performance in the construction industry is not clear (Anumbaet al., 2005).
Meng (2011) stated that, time, cost and quality has been generally identified as the three most important target of project success.However, when construction projects are lacking significant achievement, these are shown in terms of time delays, cost overruns and quality defects. Kasimu and Usman (2013) highlighted that delay in construction projects in Nigeria was as a result of incompetence of contractors, poor experience of project team and mistakes during construction. Similarly, poor knowledge of work as a result of not managing an organisation knowledge base and important tacit knowledge causes low performance (Ailabouniet al., 2009). Furthermore, knowledge created during the construction phase of projects wasstill lostas a result of lack of awareness of the benefits resulting from knowledge management practice (Kasimuet al., 2014).This set back in KM was acknowledged by Okeet al. (2013) stating that, there are limitations to managing of information and knowledge relating to construction project in Nigerian construction industry.
1.3 Justification of the Study
According to Armstrong (2006), in order for construction industry to do well in the labour market of the future, the construction industry will have to be seen as the most advanced knowledge-based industry. Construction Company with good management position is more likely to have an increase in its workers performance. People being the central part of the organisation makes management of people a subject of concern to organisations performance than management of materials, money or machine. People can use resources in a way that resources cannot act on people(fryer, 1996). Knowledge management can improve people performance which can be influenced by their ability to proffer solution to problems (Anumbaet al., 2005).
Knowledge is identified as one of the most important assets of any organisation (Egbuet al., 2005). Knowledge management when fully adopted in the construction industry can result to enhancement in productivity; better customer satisfaction and enhancing the way organisations act to client needs. Some potential benefits can also be in form of preventing repetition of same error, bridging the gap between what organisations know and what individual know in an organisation.Improve professionalism and also better supports for knowledge workers can be derived from KM to enhance construction project performance in Nigeria (Okeet al., 2013).
Certainly the relative importance of the construction sector to the Nigerian economy cannot be underemphasized as it contributes tremendously to the gross domestic product of the nation. Assessing knowledge management in the Nigerian construction industry seems to present a rewarding area for research due to various benefits highlighted to be derived through the adoption of Knowledge management.
1.4 Aim and Objectives
The aim of this research is to assess professionals‟ perception on knowledge management practice on construction project performance with a view to enhancing building project delivery.
The specific objectives are;
- To assess the importance of knowledge management practice attributes in the construction
- To assess the factors determining the capture and reuse of project
1.5 Scope and Limitations
This research focused on knowledge workers as described by Egbuet al. (2005) as being responsible for providing important skills and knowledge in the construction industry. They include Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, Estate Surveyors, Architects, and Builders as highlighted in a research carried by Okeet al. (2013) on Knowledge management practice among construction professionals in Nigeria. Furthermore, this study was carried out in Abuja because it‟s one of the fastest developing capital cities in the world according to Real Estate Development Agency of Nigeria (REDAN, 2012). Due to the large expanse of the construction industry, the study is limited to the views of construction professionals such as the Architect, Builders, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors and Estate Surveyors who are engaged in construction activities in the FCT Abuja. Lastly, the knowledge type considered in this research is in form of tacit knowledge in a way of assessing professionals knowledge and also in the form of explicit knowledge that is, trying to examine establish practices or laid down procedure of carrying out knowledge management in respondents‟ organisation.
- The research encountered rejections from certain companies that were not willing to participate in responding to the
- Certain professionals in some firms did not find it suitable divulging personal information which resulted in their
- The research work encountered certain limitations as a result of insufficient knowledge of the subject by the representatives of the