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Title: Knowledge management solutions and selection tool for engineering organisations
Author: Barnett, Timothy James
ISNI:       0000 0001 3446 5680
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2006
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It is widely accepted that engineering research, design, development and manufacturing processes are highly reliant upon the valuable knowledge, experiences and skills stored within the company's systems, processes, documents and employees. If these key knowledge resources can be identified, maintained and efficiently controlled, prior successes and failures can be capitalised upon, best practices can be captured and transferred and new solutions can be developed with minimal duplication of efforts and without unnecessary replication of prior work. Away from manufacturing and engineering organisations, in the broader business world, exists an array of solutions, tools and techniques developed specifically to facilitate the management of knowledge and experience these are collectively labelled as Knowledge Management (KM) tools and solutions. Such solutions, tools and techniques have achieved widespread recognition for their capabilities and consequent importance in enhancing processes across a variety of business applications and contexts. However their relevancy, applicability and relative merits in particular manufacturing and mechanical engineering (MME) contexts have generally not been identified or investigated. This thesis reviews and presents a large number of diverse KM solutions and implementations across industries and organisations and creates a new and unique single KM solutions space in which these solutions are characterised. The KM solution space is subsequently utilised by a new KM methodology and support tool that facilitates and demonstrates the enhancement of mechanical and manufacturing engineering processes through analysis followed by selection and implementation of the most appropriate existing KM solutions. The KM Tool is demonstrated via three industrial case studies detailing the process concerns and associated improvements identified and implemented. The KM Solution Space developed during this research has shown that there is significant opportunity to improve mechanical and manufacturing engineering processes through the adoption of appropriate KM solutions from the broader business world. The KM Tool developed via this research facilitates this identification and adoption of the most appropriate KM solution. In addition to the MME processes covered by the scope of this research there is additional scope to extend the use of the KM Tool and KM Solution Space to other business areas that have not yet had extensive exposure to KM.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified