Managing knowledge to promote sustainability in Australian transport infrastructure projects
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To deliver tangible sustainability outcomes, the infrastructure sector of the construction industry needs to build capacities for the creation, application and management of ever increasing knowledge. This paper intends to establish the importance and key issues of promoting sustainability through knowledge management (KM). It presents a new conceptual framework for managing sustainability knowledge to raise the awareness and direct future research in the field of transport infrastructure, one of the fast growing sectors in Australia. A holistic KM approach is adopted in this research to consider the potential to "deliver the right information to the right person at the right time" in the context of sustainable development of infrastructure. A questionnaire survey among practitioners across the nation confirmed the necessity and identified priority issues of managing knowledge for sustainability. During infrastructure development, KM can help build much needed industry consensus, develop capacity, communicate decisions, and promote specific measures for the pursuit of sustainability. Six essential elements of the KM approach and their priority issues informed the establishment of a conceptual KM framework. The transport infrastructure sector has come to realise that development must not come at the expense of environmental and social objectives. In practice however, it is facing extensive challenges to deliver what has been promised in the sustainability agenda. This research demonstrates the importance of managing sustainability knowledge, integration of various stakeholders, facilitation of plans and actions and delivery of tangible benefits in real projects, as a positive step towards meeting these challenges.
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