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Leblanc, H and Thomson, C (2012) Paradigm interplay to develop a sustainability related knowledge management strategy. In: Smith, S.D (Ed.), Proceedings 28th Annual ARCOM Conference, 3-5 September 2012, Edinburgh, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 1145–55.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: research methodology; knowledge management; interpretivism; functionalism; paradigm interplay
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-6-9
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2012-1145-1155_Leblanc_Thomson.pdf
  • Abstract:
    In the construction industry two approaches to Knowledge Management (KM) can be distinguished. First, a functionalist perspective encourages the development of KM strategies and systems aiming to capture, reuse and manage technical knowledge usually with the help of databases and computerized systems. Second, an interpretivist perspective where knowledge is viewed as not existing independently from human interactions with a focus on the development of social structures and processes within organizations. This paper presents the methodological approach to develop a Sustainability-Related KM Strategy (SKMS) for Housing Association (HA) planned works (cyclical replacement of housing components). In this research the authors acknowledge the managerial benefits for construction practice of the functionalist approach but also argue that the socially constructed nature of knowledge requires the interpretivist approach to be considered within the development of the research methodology. As a result, the authors advocate the use of an interpretivist research paradigm with a functionalist perspective to knowledge and explore this through the context of this research, with the benefits and challenges to paradigm interplay considered.