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Investigating Knowledge Transfer Mechanisms for Oil Rigs

[+] Author Affiliations
Giovanna Vianello, Saeema Ahmed

Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Lyngby, Denmark

Paper No. DETC2009-86967, pp. 1033-1041; 9 pages
  • ASME 2009 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 2: 29th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, Parts A and B
  • San Diego, California, USA, August 30–September 2, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4899-9 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3856-3
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


It is widely recognized, both in industry and academia, that clear strategies in knowledge transfer positively influence the success of a firm. A firm should support the transfer of knowledge by standardizing communication channels within and across departments, based upon personalization, codification or a combination of these two strategies. The characteristics of the business influence the choice of communication channels used for knowledge transfer. This paper presents a case study exploring the transfer of knowledge within and across projects, specifically the transfer of service knowledge in the case of complex machinery. The strategies used for knowledge transfer were analysed and compared with the expected transfer mechanisms, similarities and differences were investigated and are described. A family of four identical rigs for offshore drilling was the selected case. The transfer of experience across the rigs during the commissioning phase of the first and the second rigs of the series was explored through interviews with the operators and the project management team. Differences between the expected knowledge transfer strategy, focused upon the moving of rig personnel and reusing of lessons learnt from one rig to the next, and the actual situation emerged. Various approaches for transferring knowledge were elicited and analysed with regard to the types of knowledge that were transferred and the context in which they were used. This study indicates factors that should be considered whilst designing a knowledge management system to support the systematic reuse of service knowledge.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Mechanisms



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