Knowledge transfer processes in PFI: identification of barriers and enablers
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Increasingly, the UK’s Private Finance Initiative has created a demand for construction companies to transfer knowledge from one organization or project to another. Knowledge transfer processes in such contexts face many challenges, due to the many resulting discontinuities in the involvement of organisations, personnel and information flow. This paper empirically identifies the barriers and enablers that hinder or enhance the transfer of knowledge in PFI contexts, drawing upon a questionnaire survey of construction firms. The main findings show that knowledge transfer processes in PFIs are hindered by time constraints, lack of trust, and policies, procedures, rules and regulations attached to the projects. Nevertheless, the processes of knowledge transfer are enhanced by emphasising the value and importance of a supportive leadership, participation/commitment from the relevant parties, and good communication between the relevant parties. The findings have considerable relevance to understanding the mechanism of knowledge transfer between organizations, projects and individuals within the PFI contexts in overcoming the barriers and enhancing the enablers. Furthermore, practitioners and managers can use the findings to efficiently design knowledge transfer frameworks that can be used to overcome the barriers encountered while enhancing the enablers to improve knowledge transfer processes.