Employees of engineering and construction organization are often exposed with problems they do not know how to solve and turn to other employees to find solutions. The process of knowledge seeking, or identifying and choosing a provider to ask for knowledge, represents the initial process in coordinating knowledge. While the process is essential for knowledge coordination, it has been understudied. We address this gap by identifying relational factors which influence individual knowledge seeking choices. Using qualitative data with thirty employees at an infrastructure engineering organization, we identified that relationships between the seeker and provider matter during the process of knowledge seeking. Specifically, we identified that the quality of relationships is based on knowledge provider’s engagement, shared and sustained work experiences, psychological safety and reciprocation. These factors emphasize the importance of relationships and the social-practice of knowledge seeking.

Poleacovschi, C. and Javernick-Will, A. (2016). “A Relational View Explaining the Process of Knowledge Seeking.” Engineering Project Organization Conference. Cle Elum, WA.