Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration

School

School of Management Information System

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

First Advisor

Dr Paul Jackson

Second Advisor

Professor Craig Standing

Abstract

Knowledge management IS a relatively new concept that has received substantial attention in the academic and industry literature. particularly in the information systems field. Proponents of knowledge management argue that it has been driven by the desire of organisations for greater innovation. cost reduction and process improvements (Wilson. Jackson & Smith 2003). Little research. though. has been conducted from a knowledge management perspective into how Western Australian house-building enterprises develop and implement information systems. The WA house-building industry forms part of the wider building and construction community. Most construction firms are small to-medium-sized enterprises that differ from large organisations in that they generally lack internal expertise. Financial resources and have IS and IT landscapes that have been shaped by the dominant role played by the owner or manager of the firm (rink 1998). The exponential rise in communication technologies - such as the Internet. Intranets and mobile digital imaging - is rapidly changing the environment in which the W A house-building industry operates. These emerging technologies are reducing the need for firms to rely on sophisticated proprietary systems to collect. store and disseminate their knowledge. This situation brings with it its own sets of issues that must be intelligently managed. A strategic approach will leverage technologies to support knowledge-in-action within the social and cultural context of the organisation. At the same time. space must be created to permit the emergence of tools that may strengthen organizational performance and sustainable competitive advantage. The critical point taken up by this research was that there is a range of considerations in the planning and implementation of an information system. and the use of multiple knowledge management theories in tandem may facilitate this. The theoretical problem guiding this; study was to expand knowledge management theory to include the W A house-building industry. The first objective of this study was to identify how W A house-building enterprises approached their knowledge management initiatives. The second was to construct a framework for analysing the factors that may be used to assist local managers in predetermining the critical success factors and outcomes of their knowledge management initiatives. A case study methodology incorporating an interpretive perspective was adopted within the research. Case samples were limited to two Western Australian house building enterprises. This study contributes to a better understanding of the Western Australian house building industry and their approach to developing and implementing knowledge management systems. Furthermore. the discoveries and recommendations presented in this research can be applied to the wider construction industry and small to medium sized business community

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