Relationships between Project Interdependencies, Knowledge Creation and Knowledge Transfer : An explanatory study of the visual management tools in European companies
The number of project-based organizations is increasing every year; this increase indicates the need to understand the complexities and ascertain the best ways of managing them. In these organizations, where the multi-project complex environment is dominant, one of the main challenges is dealing with project interdependencies. Interdependency relationships among the projects can be better understood and managed if appropriate tools and techniques are used efficiently. Thus, the ultimate goal of this study is to investigate and evaluate the best methods practiced by project-based organizations to effectively manage the interdependencies among the projects and suggest a new approach to view and understand those relationships better. A number of past researches have emphasized that effective project interdependency management results in an increase of the project and portfolio success. This research examines and explainsthe impacts of knowledge creation and knowledge transfer on interdependency management and vice-versa, by reviewing the existing literature and collecting data through multi-method qualitative study. In addition, the role of visual interdependency management and visual knowledge management tools are analyzed and compared, with the purpose of filling the gaps in the currently available literature, and investigating their moderating effects on interdependency management. Previous studies have found supporting evidence for the impacts of project interdependency management, knowledge creation and knowledge transfer on project success and organizational performance. However, there is no research targeted on how project interdependencies interact with knowledge creation and knowledge transfer. In order to investigate these interactions four project-based organizations from IT, multinational event management and consulting areas are involved in the semi-structured interviews. Additionally, as a part of qualitative study, questionnaires were undertaken to get access to valuable insights into the project and portfolio managers’ experience in dealing with interdependencies among the projects in the selected cases. The study is explanatory, cross- sectional in nature and takes a mixed approach to theory. The findings showed the presence of mutual impacts between knowledge creation, knowledge transfer processes and project interdependencies. The results revealed that the visual knowledge management tools, which are employed for the knowledge management, are beneficial in terms of project interdependency management as well. The visual interdependency management tools that are separately discussed in the existing literature, were found to be suitable for the knowledge management practices. Thus, it was found reasonable to integrate the visual interdependency management tools into the knowledge management area. As a result, these tools altogether serve to the efficient project interdependency management and lead to more successful project outcomes, which affect the organization’s performance as well.
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