Original Research

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

Corro Van Waveren, Leon Oerlemans, Tinus Pretorius
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 20, No 1 | a1642 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v20i1.1642 | © 2017 Corro Van Waveren, Leon Oerlemans, Tinus Pretorius | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 August 2016 | Published: 05 October 2017

About the author(s)

Corro Van Waveren, Department of Engineering and Technology Management, Graduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Leon Oerlemans, Department of Organization Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tilburg University, the, Netherlands
Tinus Pretorius, Department of Engineering and Technology Management, Graduate School of Technology Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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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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