ASSESSMENT OF KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT CAPABILITIES OF THE NIGERIAN QUANTITY SURVEYING FIRMS. A RESEARCH PROJECT MATERIAL ON QUANTITY AND SURVEYING
Knowledge Management (KM) capabilities provide the supportive structure required to share knowledge within the context in which it is required in an organizations. Previous researches have shown that at least more than half of failed KM initiatives and the problem of ineffective KM occur as a result of firms not assessing their capabilities before implementing KM program. This research was aimed at assessing the KM capabilities of Nigerian Quantity Surveying firms in view of adopting and implementing KM concept. A quantitative research approach was undertaken in this study. 78 Structured questionnaires had been administered to the professionals in the practicing Quantity Surveying firms to obtain the required data for the purpose of this study. Our assessment furnished us with the extent of KM capabilities of the Nigerian Quantity Surveying firms and also provides us with the grey areas such as motivation that should be improved in order to adopt and implement KM effectively. The study reveals that Quantity Surveyors have positive perception toward the KM concept and most of them are in the view that Knowledge is a key resource to any firm that owns it and they also have the opinion that adopting and implementing KM in the Nigerian Quantity Surveying firms would enhance their ability in carrying out their cost management services.
1.1 Background of the Study
In the last decade, the importance of knowledge has been highlighted by both academics and practitioners (Wu & Lin, 2009). Nowadays, knowledge is the fundamental basis of competition (Zack, 1999; Grant, 1996). Particularly tacit knowledge can be a source of competitive advantage because it is unique, imperfectly mobile, imperfectly imitable and non-substitutable. However, the mere act of processing knowledge itself does not guarantee strategic advantage. Instead, knowledge has to be managed (Zack 1999).
During the formative age of KM, Scarborough & Swan (1999) advanced that, firms that create new knowledge and apply it effectively and efficiently will be successful at creating competitive advantages. From a practice perspective, Zack (1999) further supported this view by stating that, firms are noticing the importance of managing knowledge if they want to remain competitive while Salojurvi, et al, (2002) advance the state by adding survival and growth. These realizations among organizations have seen companies everywhere begin to actively manage their knowledge and intellectual capital (DeTienne, et al, 2004).
Within the research community, three major factors are emphasized for successful implementation of KM thus; capabilities, processes and organizational performance
(Bechman, 1999; O’Dell & Grayson, 1999; Demarest, 1997). Nonaka (1995) opined that KM capabilities are organizational mechanisms for generating knowledge continuously. Stonehouse & Pemberton, (1999) added that, they can encourage acquiring knowledge, protecting knowledge and facilitating knowledge sharing in an organization. However, KM processes can be thought of as a structured coordination for managing knowledge effectively or the tasks and activities that are implemented to manage knowledge (Gold et al, 2001).