Integrated use of technologies and techniques for construction knowledge management

The last two decades have witnessed a significant increase in discussions about the different dimensions of knowledge and knowledge management (KM). This is especially true in the construction context. Many factors have contributed to this growing interest including globalisation, increased competition, diffusion of new ICTs (information and communication technologies), and new procurement routes, among others. There are a range of techniques and technologies that can be used for knowledge management (KM) in construction organisations. The use of techniques for KM is not new, but many technologies for KM are fairly new and still evolving. This paper begins with a review of different KM techniques and technologies and then reports the findings of case studies of selected UK construction organisations, carried out with the aim of establishing what tools are currently being used in UK construction organisations to support knowledge processes. Case study findings indicate that most organisations do not adopt a structured approach for selecting KM technologies and techniques. The use of KM techniques is more evident compared to KM technologies. There is also reluctance among construction companies to invest in highly specialised KM technologies. The high costs of specialist KM technologies are viewed as the barrier to their adoption. In conclusion, the paper advocates integrated use of KM techniques and technologies in construction organisations.