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Paper w78-2011-Paper-14:
INVESTIGATING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN PUBLIC BUILDING MAINTENANCE IN KUWAIT

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A Almarshad, I Motawa, S Ogunlana

INVESTIGATING KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT IN PUBLIC BUILDING MAINTENANCE IN KUWAIT

Abstract: Public Building Maintenance (BM) departments in Kuwait have the duty of maintaining buildings that vary in shape, type, size, complexity and purpose. The services provided by the departments extend from minor repair works to bespoke renovation and reconstruction projects making the process of maintenance complex. Knowledge Management (KM) is being implemented by organisations to improve their business performance. This paper is based on a study that investigated the current state of KM in the public part of the BM sector. Interviews were conducted to identify BM process, current KM activities and tools, barriers to knowledge sharing and perception to KM implementation. Findings of the study have assisted in modifying a proposed BM process based on procedures followed by the majority of interviewed departments, where knowledge capturing, organising, and retrieval activities can then be embedded in the process. The study revealed that there is lack of formal knowledge management techniques carried out within departments. Furthermore, there is no established communication links between branches of the same department resulting in lack of experiences and knowledge exchange between colleagues. Cultural/ethnic differences, fear of losing job, not knowing how to share knowledge and lack of time were the main barriers to knowledge sharing. However, the participants showed a positive attitude toward the introduction of a KM system with added activities and roles in the BM process related to KM.

Keywords: Building maintenance, Knowledge management, Kuwait, Public sector.

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