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Inter-organisational motility of construction knowledge practices

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This paper presents a new model of intra-organisational knowledge management in terms of motility of knowledge practices. While existing conceptualisations of knowledge, such a tacit and explicit have proved a valuable lens for focusing on knowledge practices within organisations and in relatively well understood or stable contexts, this paper argues that their use may be less effective in considering knowledge practices shared and communicated between organisations and when knowledge needs are still being negotiated. Based on research into the construction industry’s approach to the issue of sustainability and the knowledge challenges it poses, this paper introduces the concept of motile knowledge practices as an alternative lens through which to make sense of, and improve, the industry’s ability to support innovation for sustainability. The notion of motile knowledge helps us to focus on the fundamental property of knowledge practices as they move, mutate and decay. Seeing knowledge as essentially motile it is possible to question the application of existing approaches to knowledge management within inter-organisational domains. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for practice made apparent by the lens of knowledge motility.

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