Construction organizations must often facilitate the search for knowledge so that individuals can easily identify solutions from different parts of the project. In order to identify ways of improving and facilitating the knowledge search process, we must first identify factors that are considered to be important when searching for knowledge. This research addresses this need by asking the following question: what factors affect individual knowledge searching choices? To explore these question, the research team conducted 16 interviews at a large infrastructure engineering organization. Using inductive coding techniques, the interviews were qualitatively analyzed. Results showed that individuals searched for knowledge by approaching potential contributors or intermediaries who could direct them to potential contributors. The knowledge searchers sought potential contributors who had high levels of expertise, responsiveness, reachability, and intermediaries—individuals or tools—who were highly connected, specialized in the field, and had increased search capability. These results have essential implications for practitioners as they identify factors that are important to the process of knowledge searching.

Poleacovschi, C., Javernick-Will, A., and Tong, T. (2016). “Searching for Knowledge and Experts in Engineering and Construction Organizations.” Construction Research Congress. San Juan, Puerto Rico. doi: 10.1061/9780784479827.193