Assessing knowledge retention in construction organisations: Cases from the UAE

Mohammed Arif, Malik M A Khalfan, James H Barnard, Nathan A Heller


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present different issues facing the problem of knowledge retention by construction sector companies in the UAE.

Methodology: Existing framework in the area of knowledge retention has been used to assess three large construction consultancies in the UAE. The case study methodology used in this paper highlights some key issues in the area of knowledge retention in the UAE.

Findings: Based on the analysis of the knowledge retention system the major drivers for its successful implementation are prevalence of a culture of sharing knowledge, reward and recognition for sharing knowledge, a technology platform that can accommodate multi formats of files, awareness of knowledge retention system and its benefits among its employees, and top management support.

Research Limitations: The paper presents three case studies and draws conclusions about the UAE construction sector. Although the three companies are large companies, there are several Small and Medium sized Enterprise (SME) operating in the construction sector in the UAE. Future researchers need to look at these SMEs.

Originality / Value: Through the three case studies, several issues related to the implementation of robust knowledge retention practices have been identified and highlighted for the UAE construction sector.


Knowledge Retention, Knowledge Management, Organisational Culture, Knowledge Retrieval, Knowledge Leakage, Knowledge Sharing

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