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Chen, L and Mohamed, S (2008) Impact of the internal business environment on knowledge management within construction organisations. Construction Innovation, 8(01), 61–81.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Business environment; Construction industry; Hong Kong; Knowledge management; Organizational culture
  • ISBN/ISSN: 1471-4175
  • URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/14714170810846521
  • Abstract:
    Purpose – Recent knowledge management (KM) literature suggests that KM activities are influenced by the elements of the internal business environment (BE) of organisations. This paper attempts to provide some unique insights into the contextual input of the KM process through empirically identifying the major factors (i.e. “forces”) within the internal BE of construction organisations operating in Hong Kong, and investigating their impact on the intensity of KM activities. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire survey was administered to a sample of construction contractors operating in Hong Kong to elicit opinions on the internal BE and intensity of KM activities as executed by targeted organisations. A total of 149 usable responses were received from 99 organisations representing about 38 percent of the research population. In parallel, to the survey, a total of 15 semi-structured interviews were undertaken to provide more insights into the phenomenon under investigation. Findings – Supported by the empirical and qualitative evidence, this study established that firstly, both organisational and technical environments have the capacity to either positively or negatively impact the intensity of KM activities, and both environments serve as stimuli in increasing each other's dynamism; secondly, certain types of KM activities are stronger “energy receivers” and easily to be “powered up” by manipulating factors representing these two environments. Then, through interactions between KM activities, the intensity of the whole strategic KM cycle will be increased thus helping to strengthen organisational competitive advantage. Originality/value – The impact of internal BE on KM activities was both empirically and qualitatively investigated, from a strategic perspective, within the construction business context. Record 14.