• Zhitao Liu

Student thesis: Phd


The construction industry is the largest industry in the world and operates inknowledge-based project organisations. The success of projects relies on themanagement of both tacit and explicit knowledge. This situation calls for a methodfor disseminating tacit knowledge from individuals to achieve higher performance andsuccess value in construction projects.For the purpose, this study first articulates the problems of knowledge management inthe construction industry. Then, by reviewing some knowledge engineering andmanagement literatures, this research sets a theoretical foundation of knowledgemanagement in the construction industry. A questionnaire survey was used toinvestigate and examine the current situation of knowledge management in UK andChina construction industry. The result of frequency analysis and nonparametric testanalysis provides the perceptions on the importance of knowledge transfer, theimplementation of knowledge transfer, the resources of knowledge, and barriers fortacit knowledge transfer.From the literature review, this study proposes a tacit knowledge transfer processframework (3I) and identifies a series of factors correlated with effectiveness ofknowledge transfer. This thesis also identifies four main independent variables-organsiational culture, organizational structure, IT technology and No-IT technology,and investigates the relationship between orgsainsational elements with these factorsand the performance of knowledge transfer.The findings are based on three case studies and responses of questionnaire surveyand interviews. The results reveal that there are significant relationships betweensome of the variables and either the creation of knowledge assets or performance ofknowledge transfer. Therefore, it is necessary for construction organsiations toconsider these elements in developing and implementing a knowledge managementstrategy/system in a construction organisation.This study proposes a practical methodology to transfer knowledge by using anintegrated system (TKTMS). The TKTMS can be an effective tool for all projectmembers to transfer tacit knowledge across firms' boundaries and accelerate the speedof knowledge creation, share and transfer in the construction industry. The integrationof the function model (IDEF0) with the information model (IDEF1) is applied tounderstand the necessary function/information for consideration in the 3I model andimplement TKTMS..Keywords: construction industry, knowledge management, tacit knowledge,know-how, knowledge transfer.
Date of Award1 Aug 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJamshid Parvar (Supervisor)


  • Knowledge transfer
  • Know-how
  • Knowledge management
  • Construction industry
  • Tacit knowledge

Cite this