Internal Knowledge Sharing by Infrastructure Maintenance Engineers in Small and Medium Size Construction Companies in Japan
It is necessary to increase the capability of engineers to carry out maintenance management for keeping infrastructure safe and serviceable. Many regional training programs have been established to develop engineers into “maintenance experts.” While small and medium size construction companies and engineering consultants play an active role in infrastructure maintenance, they have limited human and economic resources for joining the training programs, so the sharing of knowledge acquired from the programs becomes important for improving the capability of the company as a whole. The objective of this research is to investigate how engineers who participated in regional training programs shared their knowledge inside their organization using an online questionnaire survey. It was found that leadership is an important factor for driving knowledge sharing activities, particularly for adapting the knowledge acquired from the training program to the company’s environment. However, the lack of experience serves as a barrier to the deeper transfer of knowledge, such as on-the-job training or seminars, as these methods of knowledge sharing require expert knowledge. For organizations to improve their knowledge sharing practices, it is necessary to consider the type of knowledge to be shared and the appropriate method for sharing, along with the improvement of the leadership for knowledge sharing in the organization.