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Title: Knowledge domains and skills that facilitate knowledge sharing in project management : a case study in the Chinese construction industry
Author: Li, Shuyang
ISNI:       0000 0004 7428 2215
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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The aim of this thesis is to identify different sets of skills that facilitate the knowledge sharing practice of project managers within the context of a construction project. This aim stems from a gap identified in the knowledge sharing literature concerning the individual skills that contribute to knowledge sharing by project managers in the applied setting of construction projects. In order to achieve the research aim, an exploratory qualitative study was conducted following a combination of Grounded Theory and case study as the research method. The study focuses specifically on a construction project in China. The construction industry in China has been experiencing an increasing development as a result of the national economy’s sustained growth and continuing urbanisation trends, but it is still confronted with challenges in knowledge sharing practice especially concerning the role of project manager, who performs the high level control of projects. Grounded Theory is the main method and a case study provides the appropriate context for the research. Empirical data were collected through a total of twenty-one interviews at a five-star hotel construction project, located in Hebei Province, eastern China. Following the constant comparison method, iterations in data analysis contributed to the development of an integrative framework. The framework indicates knowledge pertaining to five domains, including risk, planning, implementation, people, and business strategies and operations, needs to be shared by project managers. It also illustrates three sets of skills that contribute to the practice of sharing knowledge. Social cognitive skills assist project managers in interpreting differences in knowledge and achieving mutual understanding; interpersonal skills facilitate knowledge sharing through creating a positive project environment; strategic orientation skills contribute to reaching agreement among participating organisations and stakeholders. Furthermore, the framework reveals the specific relationships between the knowledge domains and skills, within the three phases of the construction project. In addition, findings suggest that the sharing of knowledge and the application of skills are of a dynamic and relational nature. The project is a collective and interactive process where knowledge pertaining to different domains needs to be dynamically shared and skills need to be dynamically applied. The knowledge domains and skills do not operate independently but overlap and interact over the duration of the project. Moreover, they are open to different interpretations according to various positions of actors within the project. This thesis contributes to an enhanced theoretical understanding of skills for knowledge sharing in the specific context of construction projects. It also delivers practical guidance for project managers on how to develop and apply the skills in these knowledge sharing practice.
Supervisor: Martins, Jorge ; Vasconcelos, Ana Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available