Knowledge Management Practice in Two Australian Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) Companies
Knowledge management (KM) could be described as a management system that supports the creation, sharing and retrieving of valued information, expertise and insight within and across communities of people and related organizations using information and communication technologies and hence it is a combination of the effective application of information technlogy and management of human resources. KM is becoming a core competitive factor in construction operations. This paper presents the results of two case studies of KM practices in large AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) companies through desk-top study and semi-structured interviews. The results indicate that implementing KM in AEC companies leads to competitive advantages and improved decision-making, problem solving and business performance. The results also indicateed that while technology plays an important role, top management commitment, total employee involvement, performance assessment and the culture of knowledge-learning and sharing must be considered when implementing KM. Therefore it is suggested that the implementation of KM should incorporate the company's vision, work processes, technology and culture, to improve the ability of knowledge creating, capturing, sharing, retrieving and ultimately, to improve the company's competitive advantage, decision making, problem solving and innovation.