Building Knowledge in Projects: A Practical Application of Social Constructivism to information Systems Development

Document Type

Journal Article


Elsevier Ltd.


Business and Law






This article was originally published as: Jackson, P., & Klobas, J. (2008). Building knowledge in projects: A practical application of social constructivism to information systems development. International Journal of Project Management, 26(4), 329-337. Original available here


Projects are collective, purposeful activities based upon the development of common understandings and interpretations of means and ends. They generate the personal and group knowledge which contribute to their own success. This article describes the development of a knowledge creation and sharing process model based upon social constructivist theory and the integration into the model of heuristics for effective knowledge construction. The intent of this is to help project managers create an optimal environment for the creation and maintenance of shared knowledge. We use the example of information systems development to demonstrate the application of this model. We use published literature and case studies to identify heuristics associated with each process in the model and test the model and heuristics by operationalizing them in a simply survey tool which was subjected to expert opinion and an initial field test. We conclude that the proposed model of knowledge construction, with the associated heuristics, offers a promising avenue toward improving project outcomes through giving project managers insight and tools for enhancing a project’s knowledge-environment.

Access Rights

open access


Link to publisher version (DOI)