Refining the classification of knowledge transfer mechanisms for project-to-project knowledge sharing

Corro Van Waveren, Leon Oerlemans, Tinus Pretorius

Abstract


Background: The complex, unique and temporary nature of projects makes project-to-project knowledge transfer challenging and has attracted attention from both practitioners and academic scholars. This challenging nature of project-to-project knowledge transfer led to the proliferation of a host of tools and instruments (so-called knowledge transfer mechanisms) in which little structure can be discovered making selection by (project) managers a difficult task.

Aim: This article aims to deal with this unstructured proliferation of knowledge transfer mechanisms by empirically categorising these transfer mechanisms, thereby reducing the number of mechanisms to groups that share a common characteristic.

Setting: The study takes stock of the wide range of knowledge transfer mechanisms available and analyses them in terms of specific characteristics (e.g. explicitness or reach).

Methods: A multi-method approach is used in which a multi-level latent class analysis is applied on data collected via an expert panel.

Results: Five categories of transfer mechanisms could be empirically established where these mechanisms showed common characteristics.

Conclusion: The taxonomy developed will allow organisations and project managers to more efficiently select appropriate transfer mechanisms for use in project-to-project knowledge transfer.


Keywords


knowledge transfer; mechanism categories; latent class analysis

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v20i1.1642

Submitted: 04 August 2016
Published: 05 October 2017


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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences    |    ISSN: 1015-8812 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2222-3436 (ONLINE)