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Title: Knowledge mapping and process modelling to develop a sustainability-related knowledge management strategy for Scottish Housing Association planned works
Author: Leblanc, Herve
ISNI:       0000 0004 2722 1479
Awarding Body: Glasgow Caledonian University
Current Institution: Glasgow Caledonian University
Date of Award: 2012
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In the United Kingdom (UK) the social housing sector is mainly managed by Local authorities (LAs) and Housing Associations (HAs), and is at the forefront of the development of sustainable practices. In Scotland, the growing number and financial capacity of HAs places this sub-sector in a privileged position to develop sustainable practices. Furthermore, aging housing stock and limited budgets for new housing or large refurbishment projects places maintenance (and more precisely, planned works defined by the cyclical replacement of internal and external housing components) at the centre of efforts. Although evidence suggests that amongst HA practitioners, awareness of the concept of sustainability is growing, changes in practice remain relatively slow. This research argues that despite governmental initiatives and existing sustainable guidelines and frameworks, insufficient emphasis has been placed on the management of sustainability-related I knowledge held by practitioners. This thesis therefore aims to investigate the nature (explicit, implicit and tacit) and flow of HA planned work sustainability-related knowledge in order to develop a sustainability-related KM strategy improving the exchange, storage and retrieval of knowledge. The research adopts an interpretivist approach to investigate the socially constructed nature of knowledge based on four case studies with different HAs. Prior to the case studies, social housing experts were interviewed to develop an understanding of sustainability awareness amongst HA practitioners. In addition, a Planned Work Process Model (pWPM) was developed through interviews and a survey with HA practitioners to serve as a structure for knowledge mapping exercises across the case studies. The PWPM was contextualised for each of the four case studies and knowledge maps (Kmaps) were used to explore the nature and flow of knowledge around each of the activities. The comparison of the PWPM and the four contextualised case study versions provided the basis for a Generic PWPM (GPWPM) for HA planned works comprised of 6 phases and 30 activities classified as mainstream, occasional and recurrent. From the analysis and comparison of the Kmaps recommendations were developed for the generic HA level and for every GPWPM phase/activity and these formed a sustainability-related KM strategy. In terms of sustainability agenda, the research confirmed the position of planned works as central to future strategy for Scottish HA' s mainly because of the economic downturn limiting new build and large refurbishment projects and the growing governmental pressure for sustainability. The research proposes the integration of KM principles into practitioners' daily activities through practical recommendations considering all sustainability dimensions. The developed GPWPM provides HA practitioners with a process model specific to planned work and a level of detail that is not currently available in the literature. Finally, the knowledge mapping technique developed in this thesis is inspired by existing approaches but builds upon this through a relatively novel practical and systematic way of capturing sustainability-related knowledge from practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available