KNOWLEDGE SHARING IN BUSINESS NETWORKS FROM THE BUILDING INDUSTRY
Introduction: Both networking and knowledge management can give a company a competitive advantage. But the combination of these two approaches is particularly interesting. Knowledge sharing is crucial in the building industry, because it is changing all the time nowadays. The knowledge of new technologies and environmentally friendly building materials is especially important for companies from the construction industry. Also an average investor, who plans on building a house, has a very low level of knowledge about building materials and modern building technologies. So it is not surprising, that there are some business networks in building industry, which use knowledge sharing in their strategy.
Objectives: The objective of this study is to explore the knowledge sharing in business networks from the building industry. Our research question is: what forms of knowledge sharing take place in the construction industry and what is the scale of this phenomenon.
Methods: The case study method was used to analyze one of the largest and fastest growing Polish business networks of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - Grupa Polskie Składy Budowlane (PSB). The survey among the owners and managers was carried out, interviews, document studies and observations were used.
Results: Both the sharing of date and a large number of educational activities were observed in the studied business network. The vast majority of network members are engaged in these actions. Knowledge sharing in the building industry is implemented not only in relation to network partners and their employees but also in relation to customers.
Conclusions: A business network can use knowledge management to achieve its business goals. The educational aspects of this approach are especially interesting. The scale of this phenomenon in the building industry is much bigger than it might seem. The range of these educational actions can go beyond the formal boundaries of the network.
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