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Knowledge processes and capabilities in project-based organizations

Pemsel, Sofia LU (2012) In ISRNLUTVDG/TVBP--12/1036--SE
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Vad triggar kunskapsprocesser och kunskapsstrategier i projektbaserade organisationer?



Sofia Pemsel, Institutionen för Byggvetenskaper, Lunds Tekniska Högskola.



Inledning

Vad avgör om en organisation har välutvecklade och fungerande kunskapsprocesser och färdigheter eller inte? Varför är vissa organisationer fantastiska på kundhantering medans andra är fenomenala i tekniskt relaterade produktfrågor? Redan de gamla grekerna diskuterade kunskap och lärande och ämnet fascinerar fortfarande forskare. Sofia Pemsel, lägger i dagarna fram sin doktorsavhandling: Knowledge processes and capabilities in project-based organisations. Avhandlingen undersöker... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Vad triggar kunskapsprocesser och kunskapsstrategier i projektbaserade organisationer?



Sofia Pemsel, Institutionen för Byggvetenskaper, Lunds Tekniska Högskola.



Inledning

Vad avgör om en organisation har välutvecklade och fungerande kunskapsprocesser och färdigheter eller inte? Varför är vissa organisationer fantastiska på kundhantering medans andra är fenomenala i tekniskt relaterade produktfrågor? Redan de gamla grekerna diskuterade kunskap och lärande och ämnet fascinerar fortfarande forskare. Sofia Pemsel, lägger i dagarna fram sin doktorsavhandling: Knowledge processes and capabilities in project-based organisations. Avhandlingen undersöker vilka underliggande mekanismer som triggar igång kompetens och kunskapsutveckling i projektbaserade organisationer i fastighetssektorn.



Kunskapsmäklare och Governacne strategier för kunskap

Hantering utav brukare och kunder är en kärnkompetens fastighetsföretag ständigt bör utveckla för att överleva på marknaden. I interaktionen med brukare i projekt uppkommer ett flertal barriärer och svårigheter professionella måste överbrygga för att få till en effektiv process och i slutändan nöjda kunder. För att hantera dessa barriärer utvecklar ofta professionella aktörer olika strategier, roller och metoder för att förstår brukarnas behov och kravbild i byggprojekt. Dock förblir dessa kunskaper och kompetenser ofta personbundna vilket, ur ett företagsstrategiskt perspektiv, är en riskfaktor. För att förbättra interna kunskapsprocesser i projektbaserade organisationer implementerar ofta fastighetsföretag så kallade projektkontor med uppgift att agera kunskapsmäklare. Projektkontorens förmåga att agera kunskapsmäklare varierade dock avsevärt mellan organisationerna som ingick i denna studie. I vissa organisationer kämpade projektkontorets personal i ständig motvind medans i andra fall lyckades de vinna projektledarnas tillit och kan anses vara ”framgångsrika” kunskapsmäklare, i alla fall avseende vissa kompetensområden.



Forskningen påvisar bland annat att fastighetsföretagen i denna studie utvecklat olika Governance strategier för kunskap. Governance strategierna nyttjades för att trigga igång interna kunskapsprocesser och visas vidare vara en del utav ett flertal samspel i organisationen mellan faktorer såsom tacit – explicit kunskap, individuell – kollektivt hållen kunskap, konsultativa och coachande – lagsättande approacher, projekt – affärsmål, strategier avseende exploration – exploitation processer, formellt – informellt ledarskap, favoriserandet utav kunskapskodning, kunskapsartikulerande eller kunskapsackumulerande aktiviteter etc. Vissa företagsstrategier trycker hårdare på endera faktorn i dessa samspel vilket denna forskning visar får konsekvenser för företagets övergipande kompetensutveckling.



Studien bygger på litteraturstudier samt empiriskt material bestående av 100 semistrukturerade intervjuer, 17 workshops och möten med forskare och företagsrepresentanter samt dokumentanalyser i företag i fastighetssektorn i Australien, Finland och Sverige. (Less)
Abstract
The beauty of projects lies in their ability to integrate different knowledge bases and expertise in novel ways. Projects, though, are temporary in nature and this has consequences for the organization that uses them as a business strategy to improve its efficiency. Project-based organizations are representative of this organizational form and can either be standalone or subsidiary organizations within a larger corporation. In project-based organizations the majority of products or services are produced through projects for either internal or external customers. Nevertheless, project-based organizations are characterized as loosely coupled systems with independent sub-units resulting in sparse internal knowledge processes and capability... (More)
The beauty of projects lies in their ability to integrate different knowledge bases and expertise in novel ways. Projects, though, are temporary in nature and this has consequences for the organization that uses them as a business strategy to improve its efficiency. Project-based organizations are representative of this organizational form and can either be standalone or subsidiary organizations within a larger corporation. In project-based organizations the majority of products or services are produced through projects for either internal or external customers. Nevertheless, project-based organizations are characterized as loosely coupled systems with independent sub-units resulting in sparse internal knowledge processes and capability development.

Real estate organizations are often composite organizations where one part is project-based with a temporary perspective, and the other parts perceive the organization to have a longer term perspective, represented by facility management, asset management, maintenance, operational services etc. Real estate organizations thus often maintain a long-term relationship with customers and end-users, although are frequently found to be lacking in their management of end-users. Moreover, they are often found to have inadequate competence in project management and in connecting their business and project networks, resulting in inefficient use of resources.

The present research investigates how practices in project-based organizations impact upon internal knowledge processes and capability development with the aim of fulfilling end-users’ needs and requirements. The research question is formulated as follows: how do project-based organizations’ underlying mechanisms impact on internal knowledge processes? This is investigated through a knowledge-based view of project-based organizations and explores it from the bottom up through the organizational hierarchies, that is, from the interaction with end-users in projects, through the project management office and up to top-management and its knowledge governance strategies. The research adopts a critical realism perspective, holds knowledge processes as the unit of analysis and combines literature reviews with 14 qualitative case studies and a final qualitative sample survey, and is published in five peer-reviewed research journal papers. The empirical dataset consists of 100 semi-structured interviews, 17 workshops and meetings with researchers and practitioners, plus document analysis.

The thesis is divided into two parts: Summary of the research and Appended papers. The Summary part of the thesis provides a synthesis and reflection of the findings in the papers through (a) developing six knowledge governance strategy profiles of project-based organizations, (b) extending existing contingency framework of P- and M-form corporations, (c) proposing a tentative multilayer knowledge governance framework for knowledge processes and capabilities of project-based organizations in the real estate sector and (d) suggesting an interplay focus among identified factors and layers in the proposed framework to comprehend emerging knowledge processes in PBOs. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Associate Professor Eriksson, Per-Erik, Luleå Tekniska Universitet, Luleå
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
PBO, project, knowledge process, capabilities, end-user, real estate sector, PMO, knowledge governance, bridging boundaries, critical realism
in
ISRNLUTVDG/TVBP--12/1036--SE
pages
240 pages
publisher
Lund University
defense location
Pufendorfinstitutet, lecture hall, Biskopsgatan 3, Lund.
defense date
2012-06-15 13:15
ISSN
1651-0380
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d6546251-facc-4fb6-b99b-993992af432e (old id 2542696)
date added to LUP
2012-05-22 08:44:12
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:46
@phdthesis{d6546251-facc-4fb6-b99b-993992af432e,
  abstract     = {The beauty of projects lies in their ability to integrate different knowledge bases and expertise in novel ways. Projects, though, are temporary in nature and this has consequences for the organization that uses them as a business strategy to improve its efficiency. Project-based organizations are representative of this organizational form and can either be standalone or subsidiary organizations within a larger corporation. In project-based organizations the majority of products or services are produced through projects for either internal or external customers. Nevertheless, project-based organizations are characterized as loosely coupled systems with independent sub-units resulting in sparse internal knowledge processes and capability development.<br/><br>
Real estate organizations are often composite organizations where one part is project-based with a temporary perspective, and the other parts perceive the organization to have a longer term perspective, represented by facility management, asset management, maintenance, operational services etc. Real estate organizations thus often maintain a long-term relationship with customers and end-users, although are frequently found to be lacking in their management of end-users. Moreover, they are often found to have inadequate competence in project management and in connecting their business and project networks, resulting in inefficient use of resources.<br/><br>
The present research investigates how practices in project-based organizations impact upon internal knowledge processes and capability development with the aim of fulfilling end-users’ needs and requirements. The research question is formulated as follows: how do project-based organizations’ underlying mechanisms impact on internal knowledge processes? This is investigated through a knowledge-based view of project-based organizations and explores it from the bottom up through the organizational hierarchies, that is, from the interaction with end-users in projects, through the project management office and up to top-management and its knowledge governance strategies. The research adopts a critical realism perspective, holds knowledge processes as the unit of analysis and combines literature reviews with 14 qualitative case studies and a final qualitative sample survey, and is published in five peer-reviewed research journal papers. The empirical dataset consists of 100 semi-structured interviews, 17 workshops and meetings with researchers and practitioners, plus document analysis.<br/><br>
The thesis is divided into two parts: Summary of the research and Appended papers. The Summary part of the thesis provides a synthesis and reflection of the findings in the papers through (a) developing six knowledge governance strategy profiles of project-based organizations, (b) extending existing contingency framework of P- and M-form corporations, (c) proposing a tentative multilayer knowledge governance framework for knowledge processes and capabilities of project-based organizations in the real estate sector and (d) suggesting an interplay focus among identified factors and layers in the proposed framework to comprehend emerging knowledge processes in PBOs.},
  author       = {Pemsel, Sofia},
  issn         = {1651-0380},
  keyword      = {PBO,project,knowledge process,capabilities,end-user,real estate sector,PMO,knowledge governance,bridging boundaries,critical realism},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {240},
  publisher    = {Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {ISRNLUTVDG/TVBP--12/1036--SE},
  title        = {Knowledge processes and capabilities in project-based organizations},
  year         = {2012},
}