Governance of learning mechanisms: Evidence from construction firms

Sik Wah Fong, Le Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The focus of knowledge management (KM) in the construction industry is moving towards capability building for value creation. The study reported by this paper is motivated by recent assertions about the genesis and evolution of knowledge management capability (KMC) in the strategic management field. It attempts to shed light on the governance of learning mechanisms that develop KMC within the context of construction firms. A questionnaire survey was administered to a sample of construction contractors operating in the very dynamic Hong Kong market to elicit opinions on the learning mechanisms and business outcomes of targeted firms. On the basis of a total of 149 usable responses, structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis identified relationships among knowledge-governance mechanisms, knowledge processes, and business performance, thereby supporting the existence of strategic learning loops. The study findings provide evidence from the construction context for capability assertions that knowledge-governance mechanisms and processes form learning mechanisms that carry out strategic learning to create value, effect performance outcomes, and ultimately drive the evolution of KMC. The findings imply that it is feasible for managing construction firms to govern learning mechanisms through managing the capability-based holistic KM system, thereby reconfiguring KMC to match needs in the dynamic market environment over time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1064
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2012


  • Construction companies
  • Construction management
  • Contractors
  • Evaluation
  • Knowledge-based systems
  • Performance characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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