Wiley
Wiley.com
Print this page Share

Building on Knowledge: Developing Expertise, Creativity and Intellectual Capital in the Construction Professions

ISBN: 978-1-4051-4709-5
320 pages
September 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Building on Knowledge: Developing Expertise, Creativity and Intellectual Capital in the Construction Professions (1405147091) cover image
This guide shows design practices and other construction professionals how to manage knowledge successfully. It explains how to develop and implement a knowledge management strategy, and how to avoid the pitfalls, focusing on the techniques of learning and knowledge sharing that are most relevant in professional practice. Expensive IT-based ‘solutions’ bought off-the-shelf rarely succeed in a practice context, so the emphasis here is on people-centred techniques, which recognise and meet real business knowledge needs and fit in with the organisational culture.

Knowledge is supplanting physical assets as the dominant basis of capital value and an understanding of how knowledge is acquired, shared and used is increasingly crucial in organisational success. Most business leaders recognise this, but few have yet succeeded in making it the pervasive influence on management practice that it needs to become; that has turned out to be harder than it looks.

Construction professionals are among those who have furthest to go, and most to gain. Design is a knowledge-based activity, and project managers, contractors and clients, as well as architects and engineers, have always learned from experience and shared their knowledge with immediate colleagues. But the intuitive processes they have traditionally used break down alarmingly quickly as organisations grow; even simply dividing the office over two floors can noticeably reduce communication. At the same time, increasingly sophisticated construction technology and more demanding markets are making effective management of knowledge ever more important. Other knowledge-intensive industries (such as management consultancy, pharmaceuticals, and IT), are well ahead in adopting a more systematic approach to learning and sharing knowledge, and seeing the benefits in improved technical capacity, efficiency, customer satisfaction and reduced risk.

See More

Preface vii

Acknowledgements xi

Part One Foundations 1

1 Introduction 3

Paradoxical professionals 5

New context, new issues 9

What is in this book 12

2 Knowledge at Work 15

How we learn 15

What makes an expert 19

Varieties of knowledge 22

Putting the pieces together 27

3 Strategic Frameworks 34

Starting points 34

Frameworks for thinking 35

Finding conviction 41

4 The Challenges of Change 44

Why initiatives fail 44

Difficulty is normal 59

5 Leadership and Other Roles 61

Action starts where the buck stops 61

Practical leadership 63

Other roles 70

Knowledge-conscious management 78

6 Knowledge Audit and Beyond 79

Finding square one 79

Audit techniques 83

From audit to action plan 89

Putting plans into practice 92

Part Two Tools and Techniques 95

7 The Knowledge-Friendly Office 97

Environments matter 97

Designing the knowledge-friendly office 99

Workplaces for teams 102

8 Expanding Networks 106

It's not what you know . . . 106

Help from IT 108

Designing networking tools 111

9 Learning from Peers 119

See one, do one, teach one 119

Mentoring in different contexts 122

10 Learning from Practice 128

Practice: the invisible lab and unsung teacher 129

Windows of opportunity 130

Foresight: learning from invention 131

Hindsight: learning from mistakes – and success 135

Choosing cases 144

11 Communities of Practice 146

Encouraging enthusiasts 146

Creating communities 148

12 Organisational Memory 151

The indispensability of the written word 151

Deciding what to record, and how 154

Capturing knowledge 156

Documenting knowledge 159

Software frameworks 165

13 Personal Knowledge Management 176

Equipment for the mind gym 176

Developing personal expertise 177

Building a bionic memory 179

14 Synergies 181

IT-enabled synergies: networking directories, knowledge bases and business systems 181

Creating and sharing knowledge: foresight, hindsight and knowledge bases 184

Multiple synergies: communities of practice, knowledge bases and mentoring 185

Part Three Knowledge Management in Practice 187

15 Introduction to the Case Studies 189

The case studies 189

Recurring patterns 190

16 Aedas 193

Starting points 194

MIS 194

Aedas Studio 197

Knowledge audit 199

Emerging knowledge systems 202

Commentary 204

17 Arup 206

Starting points 206

Projects 207

Future 210

Commentary 211

18 Broadway Malyan 213

Starting points 213

Business Process 215

Who's Who 218

Contact database 219

Induction process 221

Commentary 222

19 Buro Happold 223

Starting points 224

The prototype 224

The fi nal design 225

Assessing the results 228

Commentary 229

20 Edward Cullinan Architects 231

Starting points 233

Knowledge strategy 235

Commentary 241

21 Feilden Clegg Bradley 244

Starting points 245

Hindsight reviews 246

Yellow Pages 248

Knowledge base 249

Commentary 251

22 Penoyre & Prasad 254

Starting points 255

The R&D database 256

The knowledge bank 257

Lessons learned 260

Commentary 261

23 Whitbybird 263

1: Identifying knowledge systems and assets 264

2: Selecting a subset for audit 265

3: Choosing audit methods 265

4: Designing the questionnaire 266

5: Testing and refi ning the questionnaire 266

6: Conducting the survey 266

7: Analysing the results 267

Commentary 268

24 WSP 269

Starting points 269

Technical coordinator workshops 271

Commentary 272

25 Case Studies on Foresight and Hindsight 273

Amicus Group 275

BAA 277

BP/Bovis Global Alliance 279

Buro Happold 282

Lattice Property 284

Epilogue 289

26 Where Next for Knowledge Management? 291

Web 2.0 292

The Semantic Web 293

Developments in psychology and the science of human relations 294

Insights from neuroscience 294

Further Reading 296

Index 301

See More
David Bartholomew has been managing knowledge for over 25 years as a director of research, a business manager, a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at De Montfort University and a consultant on innovation.
See More

  • best practice guide of tried-and-tested techniques

  • practical and user-friendly

  • thorough coverage but well phrased and clearly organised

  • style appropriate to busy professionals as well as to senior students
See More
Buy Both and Save 25%!
+

Building on Knowledge: Developing Expertise, Creativity and Intellectual Capital in the Construction Professions (US $110.00)

-and- Construction Management Strategies: A Theory of Construction Management (US $65.00)

Total List Price: US $175.00
Discounted Price: US $131.25 (Save: US $43.75)

Buy Both
Cannot be combined with any other offers. Learn more.

Related Titles

Back to Top