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Utilising a systematic knowledge management based system to optimise project management operations in oil and gas organisations

Ochieng, Edward Godfrey; Ovbagbedia, Oghenemarho Omaruaye; Abdulai, Raymond; Matipa, Wilfred; Zuofa, Tarila; Ruan, Ximing; Oledinma, Akunna

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Edward Godfrey Ochieng

Oghenemarho Omaruaye Ovbagbedia

Raymond Abdulai

Wilfred Matipa

Tarila Zuofa

Ximing Ruan
Senior Lecturer in Stategy and Operations Mgmt

Akunna Oledinma


© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the efficacy of knowledge management (KM) based systems and best practices that could be used to address operational issues in the oil and gas sector. Design/methodology/approach: Given little was known empirically about the strategies and practices which contribute to improved performance, innovation and continuous improvement in the oil and gas sector qualitative method was used. Semi-structured interviews were used to derive senior managers’ constructs of project delivery efficiency and KM based systems. The interviews were analysed through the use of a qualitative analysis software package NUDIST NVivoTM. Participants were selected using purposive sampling. Validity and reliability were achieved by first assessing the plausibility in terms of already existing knowledge on some of the operational issues raised by participants. Findings: These were synthesised into a framework capturing seven well-defined stages. All these steps emerged as being related; they are comprised of independent variables. These steps were found to comprise of knowledge management technology approaches, knowledge management people approaches, KM strategies and value enhancing practices. Research limitations/implications: Although the findings are pertinent to oil and gas organisations, it will be important to conduct follow-up research validating the potential for using the results of this study to establish frameworks for knowledge and information management in different organisations and contexts. This will provide not only data about the validity of the framework in generic terms but will also generate additional data on the application of KM strategy. Practical implications: As shown in this study, successful KM based systems requires the aligning of business strategy, technology for KM, project management operations with an enterprise knowledge-sharing culture. Such sharing requires managing the behaviour of project personnel such that knowledge transfer becomes part of the organisation’s norm. Social implications: The implementation of KM based systems requires deliberate planning and action to create the conditions for success and put in place the strategy, leadership, goals, process, skills, systems, issue resolution, and structure to direct and exploit the dynamic nature of project work. The strategies proposed in this research cannot be expected to resolve all KM issues in the oil and gas sector. However, their use defines an approach that is superior to the traditional approaches typically adopted and consequently merits far wider application. Originality/value: The proposed framework presents a better way of optimising the performance of project-based operations thus enabling oil and gas organisations to reform their poor performance on projects and empower them to better manage emerging cultural challenges in their future projects. Reflecting on their experiences, the participants confirmed that the proposed KM framework and its seven well-defined stages were central to the effectiveness of KM in oil and gas operations. Although the scope of this research was restricted to projects in Nigeria and the UK, the geographical focus of this research does not invalidate these results with respect to other countries. The fact is that the oil and gas sector globally shares some common fundamental characteristics.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 27, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 3, 2018
Publication Date Apr 3, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 13, 2018
Journal Information Technology and People
Print ISSN 0959-3845
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 2
Pages 527-556
Keywords knowledge management systems, knowledge integration, IT project management, cross-cultural issues, knowledge adoption, decision making
Public URL
Publisher URL https://doi/org/10.1108/ITP-08-2016-0198
Additional Information Additional Information : This is the accepted version of the article. The final version can be found at: https://doi/org/10.1108/ITP-08-2016-0198
Contract Date Nov 28, 2017


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