Managing knowledge in platforms: boundary objects and stocks and flows of knowledge
Journal article, 2010
Previous research suggests that construction industry companies use relatively little formal managerial procedures when managing knowledge. Instead, many construction companies are relying on informal networks and social capital as conduits for the sharing of knowledge. However, objects play an important role in organizations as vehicles for the sharing of knowledge. The use of platforms, standardized packages of prescribed components, routines and practices, in a major Scandinavian construction company (SCC), demonstrates that platforms are potentially useful when sharing and accumulating knowledge. The platform concept is a boundary object integrating various functions and activities and standardizing work procedures while at the same time leaving some room for contingencies and local conditions. SCC’s use of platforms contributes to the understanding of knowledge sharing practices by emphasizing the role of formally enacted objects and tools and by underlining the need for bridging and bonding the stocks and flows of knowledge in construction companies.