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Boundary Objects as Facilitators of Knowledge Transfer in Project Based Organisations

Butters, R; Duryan, M; (2019) Boundary Objects as Facilitators of Knowledge Transfer in Project Based Organisations. In: Proceedings of the 20th European Conference on Knowledge Management. (pp. pp. 193-200). Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited: Lisbon, Portugal. Green open access

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Abstract

Boundary objects are tools used to transfer knowledge across organisational and functional divides. Where boundaries can create challenges for organisational learning and knowledge management, boundary objects can be an effective tool for overcoming them through translation and communication. Much of the project work in today’s large infrastructure organisations is carried out by cross-functional teams under pressure to deliver project objectives on time and within budget and it is crucial for staff to access meaningful information and knowledge from experts in the organisations involved in projects and from other areas of the business. Understanding the features that make boundary objects effective can improve organisational learning and better inform decision-making, eventually improving organisational performance. This paper assesses whether the features of boundary objects found to be effective in biological and manufacturing environments are valid in project-based industries, particularly construction. The findings suggest that, by maximising the efficacy of boundary objects, large construction organisations can address the knowledge-sharing issues literature has identified as arising from the complex and temporary nature of construction projects. This article contributes to theory by identifying three new features of boundary objects, in addition to those listed by Leigh Star, that are used effectively in the organisation under scrutiny. The findings also demonstrate that all of the features in Star’s theory contribute to knowledge transfer in a project-based environment, although not all are as effective compared to other industries.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: Boundary Objects as Facilitators of Knowledge Transfer in Project Based Organisations
Event: 20th European Conference on Knowledge Management ECKM 2019
Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Dates: 05 September 2019 - 06 September 2019
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.34190/KM.19.016
Publisher version: https://www.academic-conferences.org/conferences/e...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: boundary objects, knowledge sharing, construction projects, organisational learning
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett Sch of Const and Proj Mgt
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10081671
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