Social processes, patterns and practices and project knowledge management: A theoretical framework and an empirical investigation

N. J. Brookes*, S. C. Morton, A. R J Dainty, N. D. Burns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The importance of social patterns, processes and practices to effective project knowledge management is becoming well recognised. However, these concepts (including ideas of social networks and social capital) have not been fully explored in a project context. This paper presents a framework to delineate and relate these concepts to a project environment. It uses this framework to identify how improving the 'connectivity' and 'conductivity' of relationships can improve project social capital and hence project knowledge management. It then documents an empirical investigation of over 700 relationships in UK engineering projects to understand the determinants and provenance of conductive relationships within projects. Levels of trust and respect in relationships, the age of the relationship and the degree to which the people involved in a relationship share a common professional background or interact outside the project all correlate significantly with the conductivity of a relationship. The paper concludes with a discussion of the extendibility of the project's findings and the implications of the investigation for project practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-482
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2006

Keywords

  • HRM
  • individuals
  • knowledge management
  • managing projects
  • social capital
  • social networks
  • teams

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