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The Effect of Organizational Culture and Information Technology on Knowledge Management Strategies in Construction

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Title:
The Effect of Organizational Culture and Information Technology on Knowledge Management Strategies in Construction
Creator:
HADDAD, JOSEPH E. ( Author, Primary )
Copyright Date:
2008

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Subjects / Keywords:
Collaboration ( jstor )
Computer technology ( jstor )
Corporate culture ( jstor )
Cultural studies ( jstor )
Employee motivation ( jstor )
Information sharing ( jstor )
Information technology ( jstor )
Knowledge management ( jstor )
Organizational culture ( jstor )
Trust ( jstor )

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright Joseph E. Haddad. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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5/31/2007
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658216653 ( OCLC )

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EFFECT OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES IN CONSTRUCTION By JOSEPH E. HADDAD A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN BUILDING CONSTRUCTION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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Copyright 2006 by Joseph E. Haddad

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This thesis is dedicated to my father Dr . Elias J. Haddad, my mother Lina and my grandmother Salma whose love, support and sacrifice will always be an inspiration for me. It is also dedicated to my three grandparents who have all passed into the great void. Moreover, it is dedicated to Dr. R. Raymond I ssa who supported me and treated me as if I was a member of his family. Finally, this thesis is dedicated to all t hose who believe in the richness of knowledge.

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Working on my masters’ thesis was a good experience. This process not only taught me how to do research but also how to think, to be patient, to focus on finishing what I have started, and to analy ze and find a solution to a problem. I would like to thank my Chair, Dr. Raym ond Issa, for his guidance and support, as well as Dr. Robert Cox, my cochair, and Dr . Esther Obonyo for their assistance and help throughout the completion of this project. I appreciate the time and effort of the top management personnel that worked for the participating construction companies. Finally, I would like to thank my family and my friends for their support and encouragement throughout the co mpletion of this research.

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v TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES............................................................................................................vii LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................viii ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Brief Purpose................................................................................................................1 Significance of the Study..............................................................................................2 Research Questions.......................................................................................................3 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.............................................................................................4 Knowledge Management..............................................................................................4 Purpose of Having Knowledge Management Strategies..............................................5 Personnel Turnover...............................................................................................5 Repeat Past Success...............................................................................................6 Learn from the Past...............................................................................................6 Knowledge Sharing......................................................................................................6 Factors That Affect Knowledge Sharing......................................................................7 Organizational Culture..................................................................................................8 Mutual Trust...............................................................................................................10 Technological Innovation...........................................................................................12 Information Technology......................................................................................13 IT and the Construction Industry.........................................................................13 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DATA COLLECTION...............................19 Proposed Model..........................................................................................................19 Problem Statement......................................................................................................19 Firms’ Cultural Characteristics...................................................................................21 Mutual Trust between Employees..............................................................................22 Technological Innovation...........................................................................................22 Organizations’ KM Consideration..............................................................................23

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vi Factors That Affect Knowledge Sharing....................................................................23 Demographic Information..........................................................................................24 4 DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS........................................................................26 Demographic Information and Descriptive Statistics.................................................26 Role of Culture, Trust and Technologi cal Innovation In Knowledge Sharing...........27 Organizations’ Cultural Characteristics......................................................................29 Computer-Supported Collaborative Work..................................................................30 Trust between Employees...........................................................................................31 IT and Knowledge Sharing.........................................................................................32 Companies’ Perception on the Eff ect of CSCW and OC on Trust.............................33 Successful KM Strategy.............................................................................................34 Regression Analysis....................................................................................................36 Effect of a Proper Organizational Cultu ral Strategy on Mutual Trust between Employees..............................................................................................................37 Effect of Heavy Use of CSCW to Sh are Knowledge on Mutual Trust between Employees..............................................................................................................38 The Relationship between Implemen ting KMS and Proper Organizational Culture, Mutual Trust between Employees and CSCW........................................39 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.....................................................41 Limitations of this Research.......................................................................................43 Recommendations for Future Research......................................................................43 APPENDIX A GLOSSARY...............................................................................................................45 B KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE............................................47 C PROPOSED QUESTIONNAIRE FOR FUTURE RESEARCH...............................49 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................51 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................54

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vii LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 The Usage and Effectiveness of Technologies for KM in Construction Organizations (Egbu, 2001).....................................................................................15 3-1 Firm’s Cultural Considerations................................................................................21 3-2 Mutual Trust.............................................................................................................22 3-4 KM as a top priority.................................................................................................23 3-5 Factors that affect knowledge sharing......................................................................24 3-6 Items to measure demographic information.............................................................24 4-1 KM as Organizations’ Top Priority..........................................................................27 4-2 Organizations’ Perception on the Role of Culture, Trust and IT in the Sharing of Knowledge...............................................................................................................29 4-3 Organizations’ Considera tion of a Cultural Strategy...............................................29 4-4 CSCW to Share Knowledge.....................................................................................30 4-5 Trust between Employees........................................................................................31 4-6 IT and Knowledge Sharing......................................................................................33 4-7 Organizations’ Perceptions on the Effect Of CSCW and OC on Trust...................34 4-8 Implementing a Successful KM Strategy.................................................................35 4-9 Reasons Leading to Difficu lties in Implementing KM............................................36 4-10 Analysis of Hypothesis H1.......................................................................................38 4-11 Analysis of Hypothesis H2.......................................................................................39 4-12 Relationship between a successful KM strategy and culture, trust and CSCW.......40

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viii LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2-1 Study By Supar and Azizi (2003)............................................................................17 3-1 Proposed Research Model........................................................................................19 4-1 Role of Culture In The Sharing Of Knowledge.......................................................27 4-2 Role of Mutual Trust In The Sharing of Knowledge...............................................28 4-3 Role of IT In The Sharing Of Knowledge................................................................28 4-4 Organizations’ Cultural Strategies...........................................................................30 4-5 Relying On CSCW To Share Knowledge................................................................31 4-6 Documents Availability And Knowledge Meetings................................................32 4-7 Effect of Technological I nnovation On Knowledge Sharing...................................33 4-8 CSCW and Organizational Culture’s Effect on Trust..............................................34 4-9 Success In Implementing KM Strategy....................................................................35 4-10 Effect of A Proper Organizati onal Culture On Mutual Trust...................................37 4-11 The Effect Of CSCW On Mu tual Trust Between Employees..................................38 4-12 KMS versus Organizational Cu lture, Mutual Trust and CSCW..............................39

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ix Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science EFFECT OF ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY ON KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES IN CONSTRUCTION By Joseph E. Haddad May 2006 Chair: R. Raymond Issa Cochair: Robert F. Cox Major Department: Building Construction Knowledge management and particularly knowledge sharing are popular subjects in the management literature. We argue that computer supported collaborative work will facilitate knowledge sharing. However, we al so admit that successful knowledge sharing is not mostly dependent on collaborative tec hnologies. Thus, in addition this study looks at organizational culture, trust and inform ation technology and their effect on knowledge sharing. Moreover it determines how a prope r organizational culture and computersupported collaborative work affect mutual trust between employees working in large construction companies. Finally this study de termines the ability of computer-supported collaborative work to substitute “human to human” personal relationships.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Various writers have indicated that knowledge is an orga nization’s best sustainable source of competitive advantage. Knowledge Management is considered a key part to create a competitive advantag e today. Knowledge sharing is one of the most important stages of the KM process. A lot of studies ha ve focused on this importa nt step as well as on the factors that have a major influence on it and on KM. Brief Purpose The purpose of this study is to conduct an examination of the role of culture, trust and information technology in encouraging employees to share their knowledge in organizations that have effective Knowledge Management Strategies. The goal of this examination is to iden tify the effect of proper organizational culture and Information Technology on mutual trust between employees as well as to determine if computer supported collaborativ e work is able to substitute personal relationships. Moreover, a quick check of the relati onship between a successful knowledge strategy on one side and culture, trust and computer-supported collaborative work on the other side is performed. The study broadly examines the role that culture, trust and information technology play in improving knowledge sharing betw een employees. Then, a survey will be conducted to find out how organizational cu lture and computer supported collaborative work are reinforcing mutual trust between employees and whether computer supported

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2 collaborative work is able to substitute pers onal relationships. The da ta collected will be analyzed statistically. Recommendations will be given according to the results of the data analysis. The intended audience is top manageme nt personnel of large construction companies, which consider Knowledge Manageme nt as one of their top priorities. Significance of the Study Many authors agree that organizational cu lture, trust, and information technology hold the key to successful knowledge management. For example, according to Davenport a nd Prusak (1998), successful knowledge management could be obtained through cultu ral and behavioral change, organizational change and technological innovation. According to Barlett (1994), trust is funda mental to an organization and crucial to strategic alliances and fo r successful relationships. Technology platforms may assist, but no t echnology will stimulate the flow of knowledge without attention to the cultural and organizationa l contexts in which people are encouraged to develop and sh are their knowledge (Clarke, 2001). Effective knowledge management depends not merely on information and information technology, but more on the social environment within which people operate (Gupta and Govindarajan, 2000). A search of past studies (Davenport and Prusak, 1998; Gottschalk, 2002; Jones, 2001) indicates that there have been resear ch done on the factors that affect knowledge sharing but that there is a lack of investiga tion on the interrelation between these factors. The intent of this study is to enable better understanding and awareness for the top management personnel of the consequences that may be reflected from one factor

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3 towards the other. For example, investing in technology may lead to less socialization which in turn leads to less knowledge sharing. Research Questions: To meet the aim of this paper the fo llowing questions will be considered: What are the factors that affect knowledge sharing? How does organizational culture and comput er-supported collaborative work affect mutual trust between employees? Will Information Technology (IT) be able to substitute personal relationships? Is a successful knowledge management st rategy related to organizational culture, mutual trust between employees and computer-supported collaborative work? The review of the literature in Chapter 2 will explore in depth the relative influences and importance of organizations’ cultural characteristics, trust between employees and Information Technology to know ledge sharing. In Chapter 3 the method used throughout this study will be described. Moreover, in Chapter 4 the analysis of the quantitative data will be shown. Finally in Chapter 5 a conclusion will be drawn and recommendations for future studies will be given.

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4 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Knowledge Management There are a variety of definitions fo r knowledge management (KM) generally illustrating the variations in the scope and content. KM is defined narrowly, in some instances, to emphasize the cap ture, access, and reuse of information and knowledge, using information technology (O'Leary, 2001). This narrow definition concentrating on explicit knowledge assumes that tacit knowledge cannot be mana ged as it is in people's head. Whilst it is generally accepted that tacit knowledge is more difficult to manage, KM is now increasingly recognized to incl ude the management of tacit knowledge. Scholars, practitioners, and others in field of business management are still debating the concepts and definitions related to knowledge management (King and Martin, 2000). According to Davenport and Pr usak (2000, p. 5), knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual info rmation, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporati ng new experiences and information. It originates and it is applied in the minds of knowers. In organizations, knowledge often becomes embedded not only in documents or repositories, but also in organizational routines, processes, practices, and norms. Davenport and Prusak ( 2000, p. 5) explain that knowledge exists within people. Knowledge derives from information as information derives from data. The authors suggest that if information is to become knowledge, humans must do virtually all the wo rk (Davenport and Prusak, 2000, p. 6).

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5 According to Malhotra (1997), knowledge that is contained in the minds of organizational members is the greatest or ganizational resource. Malhotra suggests, therefore, that knowledge mana gement is not only about managing knowledge assets, but also managing the interpersonal and organizatio nal processes that act upon these assets. Malhotra (1998) further defines knowle dge management as a synergistic combination of data and information proces sing capacity of information technologies, and the creative and innovativ e capacity of human beings. Rastogi (2000) defines knowledge manageme nt as a systematic and integrative process of coordinating orga nization-wide activities of acquiring, creating, storing, sharing, diffusing, developi ng, and deploying knowledge by individuals and groups in pursuit of major organizational goals. It is th e process through which organizations create and use their institutional and collectiv e knowledge by incorporating organizational learning, knowledge production, and knowledge distribution. Knowledge has become increasingly impor tant because of the increased pace of globalization, and the intera ction of technology and orga nizational change (Martin, 2000). Another reason for the rising valuation of knowledge in organizations is that it is no longer defined as just an input to businesses today; frequentl y, it is seen as the output and objective of the company. For example, the industrial economy that is based on goods and services is being matched and in some cases displaced, by a global knowledge economy, based on the production, distributi on, and use of knowledge (Martin, 2000). Purpose of Having Knowledge Management Strategies Personnel Turnover Corporate knowledge usually belongs to the individual a nd not to the firm. When employees leave a company, they take th eir knowledge and expertise with them.

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6 Personnel who share information with only people they work with at the same office limit the number of persons who can benefit from their experience. When the information about the business processes and best practic es are captured and shared, vast amounts of productivity are lost, recreating the wheel when personnel change jobs. Repeat Past Success Having a knowledge management strategy allows the firm to duplicate past successful projects. There should always be reco rds of what made the previous projects a success. Learn from the Past A knowledge management strategy helps a company to learn from past occurrence and prevents repeated mistakes. Knowledge coll ected from prior failures is most often the reason of the project’s success. Knowledge Sharing Knowledge sharing is one of the most important stages of the Knowledge Management process. It is one of manageme nt’s greatest challenges, because employees are often unwilling to share information. Know ledge sharing is dir ectly related to the competitive advantage of the firm because knowledge that is not shared slows the improvement of an organization. Knowledge sharing assumes a relationship be tween at least two parties, the owner and the recipient of the know ledge. The owner of that know ledge shares it through the process of externalization whereas the recipient internalizes it. Tacit knowledge cannot be shared as it neve r leaves one’s brain. When individuals leave the firm, the tacit know ledge leaves with them (T soukas, 1996). Organizations encourage employees to share knowledge so that when a person leaves the company,

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7 knowledge will remain there for future reuse. Furthermore, organizations are investing in technologies to store knowledge. Factors That Affect Knowledge Sharing Where knowledge has a tendency to spread easily, it reflects not suitable technology, but suitable social contexts (Brown and Duguid, 1998). In 2002, Van Beveren has indicated that the need to cr eate the right organi zational culture and infrastructure in which knowledge can be created and disseminated is important. Technology can certainly contribute by providi ng methods for the processing, delivery and sharing of valuable information that is needed for knowledge creation within individuals. The socio-technical analysis can be summar ized in terms of three major layers of Knowledge Management systems (Pan and Scarbrough, 1998): Infrastructure: the hardware/software wh ich allows the physical/communicational contact between network members. Infostructure: the formal rules which govern the exchange between the actors on the network, providing a set of cognitive resources (metaphors, common language) whereby people make sense of events on the network. Infoculture: the stock of background knowle dge which is embedded in the social relations surrounding work group processe s. This cultural knowledge defines constraints on knowledge and informati on sharing. To promote knowledge sharing, there should be a culture of trust, mistakes should not only be permitted but also valued, because they can be the source of new ideas and can help to identify innovative solutions to problems. According to Davenport and Prusak (1998) , as regards implementation, at the initial stage, projects coul d be carried out. However, in the second stage, knowledge management should be integrated with strategy, process, culture and behavior.

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8 Factors that contribute to knowledge shari ng can be broadly cate gorized into four categories: Cultural Factors, IT Factors, Communication Factors, and Organizational S upport Factors. Organizational Culture Organizational culture is a complex concep t that has been researched extensively, rejecting various perspectives (Ogbonna a nd Harris, 2002). In addition, no commonly agreed definition of organizational culture ex ists in the management literature (Alvesson, 2002). For example, organizational culture is historical and reflects the beliefs of the owners of the firm and it is the glue that bi nds individuals together (Mwaura et al., 1998). Furthermore, some aspects of organizational culture are highly visibl e, while others are salient; other aspects are taken for grante d by members of the organization and often difficult to change (Alvesson, 2002). Schein (1996) noted, “Organizational culture is shared tacit, taken for granted ways of perceiving, thinki ng and reacting”. A knowledge-enterprising culture is one of the most im portant conditions leading to the success of a KM project. Organizational culture is difficult to cha nge as it evolves over a period of time (Alvesson, 2002). In addition, within the organization employees build up sub cultures that may work against the existing corporate culture. In 2000, De Long classifies four ways in which culture influences the behaviors central to knowledge crea tion, sharing and use. It shapes assumptions about what knowle dge is and which knowledge is important to manage.

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9 It defines the relationships between individual and orga nizational knowledge, determining who is expected to manage a particular knowledge, as well as who must share it and who can possess it. It creates the environment for social in teraction that determines how knowledge will be used in particular situations. It shapes the methods by which new know ledge, with its accompanying doubts, are created, legitimized, and distri buted within organizations. To achieve successful knowledge sharing, companies need to persuade people to eliminate the old-school thinking that they are being measured by what they know. Such thinking only perpetuates knowledge hoarding wh ich leads to little value-adding transfer. One way in which this can be achieved is through performance a ppraisal (Robertson and Hammersley, 2000). A reward system is an important compone nt of an organization culture. These rewards can take the form of financial bene fits or training and pr omotional opportunities. On the other hand, recognition can come in simple r forms of reward such as verbal praise for a well done job. Regardless of their na ture, rewards strengthen and transmit the culture by providing tangib le indication of what the organization values. Civi (2000) suggested that trai ning is the best way to star t to induce a culture within organizations seeking to engender a mo re open collaborative environment. A common purpose and a sense of shared mean ings help in building trust to share knowledge (Bechky, 2003). The next section de scribes trust and its importance to knowledge sharing in the organization.

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10 Mutual Trust Trust is defined as “as an expectancy held by an individual or group that the word, promise, verbal, or written statement of a nother individual or group can be relied on” (Rotter, 1980). In addition, tr ust is the expectation that the other party will perform a particular action important to the trustier, ir respective of the ability of the trustier to monitor or control the ac tions of the other part y (Mayer et al., 1995). Trust is an important element and a ke y ingredient for th e success of knowledge management because, if the recipient of knowle dge is not persuaded that the source is capable and trustworthy, it is not likely knowle dge from that individual will be accepted. Moreover, if the owner of the knowledge does not trust the seeker, he may choose to save his valuable tacit knowledge. Tac it knowledge is very difficult to share and requires a lot of effort by the owner and the seeker of that knowledge to enable its flow from one person to the other. Trust is essential to an organizati on because it improves positive behavior, encourages network relations, reduces conf licts, transaction costs and improves the creation of a good working environment. In a study done by Connelly and Kelloway in the year 2000, respondents noted that they would only be willing to share knowledge in situations where they trusted the recipient of this knowledge. However, it has also been noted that sharing information between different members of the company increases th e level of trust (Bowles, 1999). In other words, as people start to share their knowledge because of the company’s policies, they will feel interpersonal trust w ith each others. Therefore, interpersonal trust may develop as a result of knowledge sharing.

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11 Sharing of tacit knowledge is risky, becau se the person is not certain how the knowledge will be used and if the value that is connected with that knowledge will be transferred to the trustee. For that reason, to share knowledge is to have both parties assume risk. In situations in which there is little trust, the individual will rely on organizational policies to mitigate the level of risk. Nonaka (2000) also made suggestio ns for creating trust for knowledge management. The recommendations are the following: Create a sense of mutual dependence; Make trustworthy behavior part of the performance review; Increase individual reliability by creating a map of expectations; Share personal information (applicable for smaller groups); and Use symbolic gestures to indicate in terdependency (Von Krogh et al., 2000). The first and last annotations generate in terdependency which in turn creates one type of interpersonal trust (Rolland and Chauvel, 2000). The second, talks about institutional sancti ons; thus, it is associated with the development of institutional-based tr ust and with organizational trust. The third increases the unde rstanding of peoples’ inten tions, which can increase interpersonal trust based on predictability (e.g., k nowledge-based trust). Sharing personal information increases in terpersonal trust (Mishra and Morrisey, 1990). Particularly, it can help in the development of knowledge-based trust. These suggestions imply that the tran sfer of knowledge can be reached by developing interpersonal trust, and/or organizational trust because it can be hard for managers to develop simply one type of trus t within an organization as well as to force employees to trust one another (Von Krogh et al., 2000). The latter has influence over

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12 laws and organizational culture which will assist in starting knowledge management practices. Knowledge transfer can be reached through two ways: Limited interpersonal trust and enough sanctions and policies by the company. Simply through interpersonal trust. Therefore to insure there is sharing of knowledge within your organization a firm should encourage all types of trust for individua ls who lack strong inte rpersonal trust, to still share their knowledge th rough organizational trust. The final component for trus t and knowledge management is the issue of distrust. Distrust is characterized by fear, doubt, cyni cism, wariness, watchf ulness and caution (Lewicki et al., 1998). If distrust is present within an organization, knowledge management cannot, and will not, succeed (D avenport and Prusak, 1998). The reason for this failure is that when fear is present, people will not contribute in sharing critical information and will be suspicious regardi ng the organization’s true intentions. Technological Innovation Technology platforms may assist, but no t echnology will stimulate the flow of knowledge without attention to the cultural and organizationa l contexts in which people are encouraged to develop and sh are their knowledge (Clarke, 2001). According to Pan and Scarbrough (1998), th e socio-technical analysis can be summarized in terms of three major laye rs of Knowledge Management systems: Infrastructure (hardware/software), infost ructure (rules) , infoculture (stock of background knowledge).

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13 Information Technology IT has a great potential that can facilita te organizational learning and knowledge management within a construction firm, bot h because the computer and information technology is continually growing and because it promises to address the problems caused by the construction projects. Examples of IT tools that can assist knowledge management and learning within an organiza tion are decision support tools, data mining, case based reasoning, computer supported wo rk reasoning as well as networking and communication technologies. Real knowledge is usually taci t but there is also a great amount of data, information and knowledge that can be repr esented in electronic form. People tend to use IT such as Web Technology and Document Management Systems to make the above reachable and to call this a KM system. IT and the Construction Industry IT is becoming more important to KM in construction organizations. However, the construction industry has been slow to r ecognize the benefits of IT as a major communications tool (Egbu et al., 2001). Tr ansferring knowledge and information across projects is a critical issue for construc tion companies. Professional and practical knowledge is lost from one project to the ne xt weakening an organization’s ability to develop knowledge and generate new ideas. Gann (2000) argues that IT can assist the transfer of knowledge and in formation between project team s, enabling the expansion of new knowledge for innovation. The concept of knowledge management tec hnologies is both broad and difficult to define (Egbu, 2000). Even some information in frastructure technologi es that appear not to fall naturally within this theory can be helpful in assisting knowledge management.

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14 Examples are video-conferencing and tele phone. Although it is doubt ful whether these technologies capture or distribute structured knowledge, many would argue that they are useful at enabling people to transfer tacit knowledge. Other KM technologies include intranets, portals, semantic engines and ontologybased tools. A study done by Egbu (2001) addressed 19 small, medium and large British public and private sector organizations. From a list of technologies and systems, respondents of the questionnaire were asked to rank their usage, on a 5-point Likert scale. They were then asked to rank the effectiveness of these tools and technologies in managing knowledge . Table 2-1, presents the mean score for each technology listed according to their usage in construction companies and their effectiveness in mana ging knowledge. The mean values for the usage of the technologies were calculate d on the following scale 5=Always, 4=Very often, 3=Sometimes, 2=Rarely and 1=Never. Si milarly, the mean values for the perceived effectiveness of the technologies were calculated on the following scale 5=Highly Effective, 4=Effective, 3=Of Some Effect, 2=Of Little Effect and 1=Of No Effect.

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15 Table 2-1: The Usage and Effectiveness of T echnologies for KM in Construction Organizations (Egbu, 2001). From the data it is clear that the most commonly used technologies in construction companies are: telephone, In ternet/intrane t/e-mail and documents and reports. These are followed by face-to-face meetings and interaction with the supply chain. This suggests that conventi onal techniques for acquiring, de veloping, sharing and storing knowledge are still used frequently am ong construction companies. The telephone remains important for KM because it coul d be used to capture explicit and tacit knowledge (Egbu, 2000). Importantly, face-to-face meetings was ranke d as being one of the most effective techniques, supporting the notion that social in teraction is a pre-re quisite for successful KM (Davenport and Prusak, 1998).

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16 Groupware is important collabo rative software for the sharing and transferring of knowledge in organizations (Robinson et al ., 2001). However, th e quantitative data shows that this tool is rarely us ed by the majority of respondents. The benefits of using such technologies are not fully understo od and organizations are more incremental in their implementation of IT. The type of IT used by construction orga nizations depends on the context of the work that is done. Organizations should appl y tools for a specific purpose, rather than embracing IT in a generic sense. For example, it is expected that smaller companies implement fewer formal measures than larger ones. Generally, small organizati ons tend to have capital and therefore, they cannot invest in formal techniques. In the research illustrated in the figure below the four main categories were tested for their significance as a contributing f actor towards knowledge sharing. Then the outcome of knowledge sharing is investigated in terms of its effect on performance. This research was done on three selected higher academic institutions and the number of academic stuff that contributed to this study is 2320. The findings highlighted the importance of management support, solida rity, knowledge sharing to be included in work process, presence of IT infrastruc ture and mentoring in affecting knowledge sharing.

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17 Figure 2-1: Study By Supar and Azizi (2003) The results of this study s howed that management support to be the most important factor followed by solidarity, knowledge sharing to be included in work process, presence of IT for knowledge sharing and mentori ng. If we place these factors under broader categories of culture, IT, communication and organizational support, the latter appeared Communication Factors i) Trust (Pan & Scarbrough, 1998; Clarke & Rollo, 2001; Empson, 2001) ii) Face-to-face interactio n (Dixon, 2000; HaldinHerrgard, 2000; Davenport & Prusak, 1998) iii) Reciprocity (Davenport & Prusak, 1998) iv) Repute (Davenport & Prusak, 1998) v) Altruism (Davenport & Prusak, 1998) vi) Acknowledgement (Dixon, 2000) Organizational Support Factors: i) Management Support (Jones, 2001; Anthes, 2000) ii) Rewards (Jones, 2001) iii) Mentoring (Davenport & Prusak, 1998) iv) Knowledge sharing to be included as part of work process Knowledge Sharing (Gottschalk, 2002 ) Performance (Jones, 2001; Wiig, 1999; Elliott & O’Dell, 1999; Riesenberger, 1998) IT Factors: i) Availability of IT infrastructure (Gottschalk,2002) ii) Availability of IT for knowledge sharing ii) Expert vs. distributed model (Dixon, 1999; 2000) iii) Problem of codification (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995) Cultural Factors: i)Sociability (Goffee & Jones, 1996) ii)Solidarity (Goffee & Jones, 1996) iii)Power Distance (Hofstede, 1997)

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18 to be the most important, followed by culture and IT. In other word s, the study indicated that organizational support a nd culture have a bigger effect than IT on knowledge sharing which in turn contributes to performance. The next chapter, Chapter 3, will describe in detail the methodology followed in the research.

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19 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND DATA COLLECTION Proposed Model Figure 3-1 above shows the proposed model of this study. In this study the effect of Organizational Culture and CSCW on Mutual Trust be tween employees was found. Moreover, the availability of a relationship between implementing a Successful KM Strategy on one side and Culture, Trus t and CSCW on the other was checked. Figure 3-1: Proposed Research Model. Problem Statement The relationship between proper organizati onal culture and knowledge sharing as well as the association between mutual trus t and knowledge transfer has been studied over the years. Whereas, there is a lack in research on the effect of a proper

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20 organizational culture and of the heavy us e of CSCW on mutual trust between staff members. Moreover this paper studies the relationship between a successful knowledge strategy and proper organizational cu lture, mutual trust and CSCW. The specific research hypotheses fo r this study include the following. Hypothesis 1: H01: There is no significant li near relationship between Organizational Culture and Mutual Trust between employees . Ha 1: There is a significant linear relati onship between Organizational Culture and Mutual Trust between employees. Hypothesis 2: H02: There is a no significant linear relati onship between the Heavy Use of CSCW and Mutual Trust between employees. Ha 2: There is a significant linear rela tionship between the Heavy Use of CSCW and Mutual Trust between employees. Hypothesis 3: H03: There is no significant positiv e relationship between successful implementation of a Knowledge Management Strategy on one side and proper organizational culture, Mutu al trust between employees and CSCW on the other side. H 3: There is a significant positive rela tionship between successful implementation of a Knowledge Management Strategy on one side and proper organizational culture, Mutual trust between employees and CSCW on the other side. A survey methodology was used in this study to gather quantitative data. After the constructs and corresponding it ems were identified, a paper-based survey was developed.

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21 Then input from the thesis committee members was solicited and implemented. No major problems with the instrument were reported. Afterward, the online ve rsion of the survey instrument was prepared. The next sections discuss constructs and corresponding items used in the survey. Surveys were sent by ma il as well as by e-mail for collecting data. Firms’ Cultural Characteristics The evaluation of Cultural features is done via perceptions of promotion, sanctions, socialization meetings and incen tive programs. This section describes the constructs and the corresponding set of items that will be used to measure the firms’ cultural strategy. This construct uses a seven-point scale anchored on “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree.” Participants are asked to indicat e the extent to which they agree with the following statements. The construct ite ms are shown in Table 3-1 below. Table 3-1: Firm’s Cultural Considerations Promotion, sanctions, socializing meetings and incentive programs are the main factors that constitute a cu ltural strategy. These factors a ffect knowledge sharing in an organization. By promoting employees who share knowledge, by giving sanctions to people who do not contribute and by giving incentives to thos e who make their documents available to others, there will be more distribution of information in the organization. Moreover, organizing socializ ation meetings is a key element of the organization’s cultural strategy because it a llows people to get to know better each other Employees believe that sharing th eir knowledge will help them in their career. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 There are negative consequences for employees who do not share their knowledge in your firm. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Your organization holds meetings that support employees in getting to know one another better. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Your company has established an incentive program for the sharing of knowledge (e.g. Suggestion Box, .). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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22 which in turn lead to more trust between th em. Those statements we re addressed to the participant firms to assess the extent to which they give importance to cultural considerations and to examine if they focus on their people. Mutual Trust between Employees Constructs having a seven-point scale an chored on “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree”, were used to study the extent of trust between employees working in the contributing construction companies. Participan ts were asked to indicate the extent to which they agree with the following st atements shown in Table 3-2 below. Table 3-2: Mutual Trust The extent, to which employees are maki ng their work documents more available and organizing more knowledge meetings than be fore, indicates the le vel of trust between them. Technological Innovation Constructs having a seven-point scale an chored on “strongly agree” and “strongly disagree”, were used to study the extent of which these construction firms rely on computer-supported collaborative work, if they are facing difficulties in using new information and communication technologies and their perception towards whether IT will assist or will motivate employees to share knowledge. Participants were asked to indicate the extent to which they agree with the following statements shown in Table 3-3 below. Employees make their work documents even more readily available to others than before. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Employees are organizing more know ledge sharing events such as meetings and socials with other staff. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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23 Table 3-3: Technological Innovation Organizations’ KM Consideration Participants were asked to perceive the extent to which a good knowledge management strategy is one of their top priori ties and if they have been successful in implementing knowledge and information management strategies. The statements are shown in Table 3-4 below. Table 3-4: KM as a top priority. Factors That Affect Knowledge Sharing The participant companies were asked to perceive the importance of organizational culture, trust and technologi cal innovation in achieving su ccessful knowledge sharing. Moreover, those were asked if computer-s upported collaborative work will lead to less socialization and if a good cultural strategy will enhance trust in an organization. The construct items are shown in Table 3-5 below. Your firm relies heavily on com puter-supported collaborative work to share knowledge. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Your organization is facing difficu lties in using new information and communication technologies. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 All types of knowledge can be repr esented in an electronic format. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Information technology will assist employees in sharing their knowledge. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Information technology will motivate employees to share more of their knowledge. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Good Knowledge Management is one of your organization’s top priorities. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Your organization has been very successful in implementing knowledge and information management strategies. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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24 Table 3-5: Factors that affect knowledge sharing Demographic Information Demographic information will be collected using single-item questions. The scale and items are shown in Table 3-6. Table 3-6: Items to measure demographic information Items What is your current pos ition in the company? How long have you worked for your organization? In which City is your company located? In which State is your company located? The companies were asked to participate in this survey becau se of their thorough knowledge and experience in th e subject as well as contri butors in the construction industry. Participants will not have to answer any question(s) they do not wish to answer. The survey will be conducted in their wor kplace. They will only have access to the survey that they fill out. The statistical data collected from their surveys will be documented in my thesis. There are no anticipated risks, compensa tion or other direct benefits to these organizations as participants in this surve y. They are free to wit hdraw their consent to participate at any time without consequence. Proper organizational culture motivates employees to share knowledge and ideas for the improvement of the company. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Mutual trust among employees is ne eded in order for knowledge to flow freely with your company. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Technological innovation is necessary to achieve a successful Knowledge Management strategy in an organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Information technology will motivate employees to share more of their knowledge. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 A good cultural strategy will enhance trust in an organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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25 This chapter described in detail the me thodology used in this research study and gave a detailed description of the constructs. In the following chapter, Chapter 4, the quantitative data retrieved from the participant companies will be statistically analyzed.

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26 CHAPTER 4 DATA ANALYSIS AND RESULTS Survey respondents were top management personnel at thirty three different big construction companies across the United States . These companies were chosen from the ENR top 400 construction companies. The surv ey was sent by regular mail as well as by e-mail, in early 2006 (February–March) to 195 s ubjects of which 33 filled out the survey. The response rate was 16.9 percent. Only 29 out of the 33 surveys were studied due to lack of information in the remaining four questionnaires. Demographic Information and Descriptive Statistics This section describes the demographic information of subjects who filled out the questionnaire as well as descrip tive statistics of the constructs used in this study. Thirtyeight percent were Presidents, CEOs and Ch airmen, 17% Vice Pres idents and Senior Vice Presidents, 17% HR managers and Direct ors and the other 28% were Senior Project Managers, Project Managers, Business Deve lopment Managers and Employee Relations Coordinators. Sixty-six per cent of the respondents were from companies located in Florida and 34% were from othe r states like California, New York, Texas, Georgia, Nevada, Rhode Islands and Missouri. The re spondents’ average number of years with their firms is fourteen. KM as a Top Priority Participant firms were asked if knowledge ma nagement is one of their top priorities because the aim of this study is to address th e large construction companies that consider a good knowledge management as one of their t op priorities. Table 41, shows that the

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27 participants agree with an average of 5.28 over 7 that a good knowledge management is one of their t op priorities. Table 4-1: KM as Organizations’ Top Priority. KM As a Top Priority Valid 29 N Missing 0 Mean 5.28 Median 5.00 Mode 6.00 Std. Deviation 1.10 Role of Culture, Trust and Technol ogical Innovation In Knowledge Sharing The respondents were asked about the importance of a proper organizational culture (POC), mutual tr ust between employees (MT) and technological innovation (TECH), in improving the sharing of knowle dge in an organization. One question was asked for each of these three factors. Fi gure 4-1, shows that the majority of the respondents agree that proper organizational cu lture motivates employees in sharing their knowledge in an organization. Proper Organizational Culture Motivates Employees To Share Their Knowledge 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 1234567 Company's PerceptionNbr Of Responses Avg= 5.93 Figure 4-1: Role of Culture in the Sharing of Knowledge.

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28 Figure 4-2, illustrates that the majority of the resp ondents strongly agree that mutual trust is needed in order for know ledge to flow freely within the company. Mutual Trust Among Employees Is Needed In Order For Knowledge To Flow Freely With The Company 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 1234567Company's PerceptionNbr Of Responses Avg= 6.10 Figure 4-2: Role of Mutual Trust in the Sharing of Knowledge. Figure 4-3, illustrates that th e majority of the respondent s agree that technological innovation is necessary to achieve a succe ssful KM strategy in an organization. Technological Innovation Is Necessary To Achieve A Successful KM Strategy In An Organization0 2 4 6 8 10 12 1234567Company's PerceptionNbr Of Responses Avg= 5.45 Figure 4-3: Role of IT in the Sharing of Knowledge. From Table 4-1 above, as well as from Figures 4-1 to 4-3, it can be concluded that the respondents consider mutu al trust between employees as the most important factor that affects knowledge sharing, followed by a proper organizational culture and by technological innovation.

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29 Table 4-2: Organizations’ Perception on the Role of Culture, Trust and IT in the Sharing of Knowledge. POC MT TECH Valid 29 29 29 N Missing 0 0 0 Mean 5.93 6.10 5.45 Median 6.00 6.00 6.00 Mode 6.00 7.00 6.00 Std. Deviation 1.03 1.01 1.30 Organizations’ Cultural Characteristics To examine the organizations’ culture, a number of questions were addressed. Respondents were asked if their employees believe that sharing knowledge will help them in their career (Promotion), if there ar e negative consequences for those who do not share knowledge (Sanctions), if their organiza tion holds meetings for employees to know one another better (Meet ings) and if their company has established an incentive program for those who share knowledge (Incentives). Table 4-3, shows that the part icipant companies are not giving a lot of attention to the cultural characteristics of their organiza tions. Their responses pr ove that they are not doing an effort to encourage their people to share knowledge. Those are holding meetings for their employees to know better each other but they are not promoting and giving incentives to those who share knowledge and sanctions to those who do not. Figure 4-4 and Table 4-3, illustrate that the participating companies are not putting a lot of effort in building a strong cultural strategy. Table 4-3: Organizations’ Considerati on of a Cultural Strategy Promotion Sanctions Meetings Incentives Valid 29 29 29 29 N Missing 0 0 0 0 Mean 4.93 4.17 5.38 4.45 Median 5 4 6 4 Mode 5.00 4.00 5.00 7.00 Std. Deviation 1.22 1.54 1.45 1.97

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30 4.93 4.17 5.38 4.45 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 PromotionSanctionsMeetingsIncentives Type Of Cultural SupportResponses Avg Value Figure 4-4: Organizations’ Cultural Strategies Computer-Supported Collaborative Work Participant organizations were asked if they rely heavily on CSCW to share knowledge. Table 4-4 and Figure 4-5, show th at these companies rely heavily on CSCW to share knowledge with an av erage of 5.62 out of 7. This show s that the participant firms are investing in technological innovation to improve the sharing of knowledge between their employees. Table 4-4: CSCW to Share Knowledge. Relying Heavily On CSCW To Share Knowledge Valid 29 N Missing 0 Mean 5.62 Median 6 Mode 5.00 Std. Deviation 1.10

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31 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 1234567Company's PerceptionNbr Of Responses Avg= 5.62 Figure 4-5: Relying on CSCW to Share Knowledge Trust between Employees The respondents were asked whether thei r employees are making their documents more readily available than before and whether those are organizing more knowledge sharing events such as meetings and socials with other staff. Table 4-5: Trust between Employees Sharing More Than Before Organize Knowledge Meetings Valid 28.00 29.00 N Missing 1.00 0.00 Mean 4.97 4.66 Median 5.00 5.00 Mode 5.00 5.00 Std. Deviation 1.18 1.59 From Figure 4-6, it can be shown that empl oyees are not taking enough initiatives to share knowledge between themselves, which means that there is not a high level of trust between them.

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32 4.66 4.96 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Sharing More Than BeforeOrganize Knowledge MeetingsResponse Avg Figure 4-6: Documents Availability and Knowledge Meetings IT and Knowledge Sharing Participating companies were asked to give their opinion on several statements regarding IT and Knowledge Sharing. The ta rget of those questions was to study the relationship and the effect of IT on the sharing and distribution of knowledge. The respondents were asked whether their firm s are facing difficulties in using new information and communication technologies , if all types of knowledge can be represented electronically, and whether information technology will assist or motivate the sharing of knowledge. Table 4-6 and Figure 4-7, show that th e participant companies are not facing difficulties using IT. This is, because good knowledge management is one of their organization’s top priorities (Table 4-1), and due to the large size of these companies. Moreover, the majority of the firms believe that not all types of knowledge can be represented electronically. Fo r example, tacit knowledge can only be shared through personal contact and experience. Finally, there is a strong agreement that IT will assist in

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33 sharing knowledge and a neutral belief that it will motivate employees to share their knowledge. Table 4-6: IT and Knowledge Sharing Facing Difficulties Using IT All Types of Knowledge Can be represented Electronically IT Will Assist Employees In Sharing Knowledge IT Will Motivate Employees To Share Knowledge Valid 29.00 29.00 29.00 29.00 N Missing 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 Mean 3.72 3.93 5.90 4.69 Median 4.00 4.00 6.00 5.00 Mode 5.00 2.00 6.00 5.00 Std. Deviation 1.77 1.91 1.11 1.28 3.72 3.93 5.9 4.69 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Facing Diff. In Using IT All Types Of Knowledge Can be Represented Electronically IT Will Assist In Sharing Knowledge IT Will Motivate In Sharing KnowledgeAvg Perception Figure 4-7: Effect of Technological Innova tion on Knowledge Sharing. Companies’ Perception on the Effe ct of CSCW and OC on Trust Participants were asked if they believe that CSCW will lead to less interaction between employees in the firm and if they think that a good cultural strategy will enhance trust in an organization.

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34 Table 4-7, shows that the participants do not agree that CSCW will lead to less interaction between people in the company. The average rate of their responses was 4.52 over 7. Table 4-7: Organizations’ Perceptions on the Eff ect Of CSCW and OC on Trust CSCW Leads To Less Interaction A Good Cultural Strategy Will Enhance Trust Valid 29.00 29.00 N Missing 0.00 0.00 Mean 4.52 6.34 Median 5.00 6.00 Mode 5.00 6.00 Std. Deviation 1.62 0.55 Moreover, the respondents strongly agree that a good cultural strategy will enhance trust in an organization with an average of 6.34 over 7. Fi gure 4-8 illustrates these perceptions. 6.34 4.52 1 2 3 4 5 6 7CSCW Leads To Less SocializationA Good Cultural Strategy Enhances TrustAvg Response Rate Figure 4-8: CSCW and Organizational Cu lture’s Effect on Trust Successful KM Strategy Organizations were asked to perceive how successful they were in implementing knowledge and information management strategies.

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35 Table 4-8 and Figure 4-9, show an aver age response rate of 5.10 over 7, which means that these company have not been very successful in that. Table 4-8: Implementing a Successful KM Strategy Successful KM Strategy Valid 29 N Missing 0 Mean 5.10 Median 5.00 Mode 5.00 Std. Deviation 1.60 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 1234567Company's PerceptionNbr Of Responses Avg= 5.1 Figure 4-9: Success in Implementing KM Strategy Causes of Difficulties Met By Organizations The firms were given statements to perceive the extent to which they agreed that one of the statements expressed the reason th at is leading to difficulties in implementing KM. Table 4-9, does not show an agreement by the organizations that the cause of meeting difficulties was from the focus on IT and communication rather than on people or that it is not their top priority. The average rate of these two responses was respectively 3.5 and 3.62 over 7. Whereas they agree more that the cause for meeting difficulties in the implementation of KM is due to resistance by certain employees to share knowledge.

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36 Table 4-9 : Reasons Leading to Difficulties in Implementing KM. Focus On IT rather Than People Resistance By Certain Employees Not a Top Priority Valid 28 28 29 N Missing 1 1 0 Mean 3.50 4.25 3.62 Median 4.00 4.50 3.00 Mode 4.00 5.00 2.00 Std. Deviation 1.32 1.48 1.70 Regression Analysis To be able to find the relationships betw een culture, CSCW, trust and successfully implementing a KM strategy, regression analysis was used. The determination coefficient for th e sets of points was calculated: r2 = [Sum of cross-products] / SQRT [(Sum of squares of X)(Sum of squares of Y)] r2 = [ xy-( x)( y)/n] / ([ x2-( x)2/n]*[ y2-( y)2/n]) Taking its square root, we get “r ” as the Correlation Coefficient. In order to test the null hypothesis th at the true Correlation Coefficient, , equals zero Ho: = 0 The Student’s-t statistic was used t = [(r – ) (n-2)] / [ (1 – r2)] with n-2 degrees of freedom. If this value is bigger than the value in the t-table that is the largest value expected to occur 90% percent of the time, then ther e is a 90% confidence in rejecting the null hypothesis, Ho: = 0, and accepting the alternate hypothesis, H1: 0. The interpretation is that there is a signifi cant linear relationship between X and Y. If there is a significant linear relationship, we can proceed with calculation of the least squares line of best fit – the regression line. Then from the best fit line plot was checked which is the slope of the line.

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37 If the sample indicates that the true regression coefficient (the slope) is not significantly different from zero, then there is no linear relationship between X and Y. That is, the regression line is essentiall y horizontal throughout the range of X, Ho: = 0. For this study, the computed t-value should be larger than 1.703 (tabulated t-value) for direct positive relationships and less than -1.703 for direct negative ones, which is significant at 0.05 levels (1-tailed), with a degree of freedom of 27. Effect of a Proper Organizational Cult ural Strategy on Mutual Trust between Employees Promotions, sanctions, meetings and incentives are the main factors that constitute a proper organizational culture. Sharing of doc uments as well as organizing knowledge meetings indicates the extent to which employees trust each other. Therefore, to be able to find the rela tionship between a proper organizational culture and mutual trust between employees th e average perception va lues of the factors that constitute each one of them were calcu lated and compared; (average of promotion, sanctions, meetings and incentives versus the average of shared documents and knowledge meetings) were calculated and co mpared as shown in Figure 4-10 and Table 4-10. Figure 4-10 : Effect of a Proper Organizational Culture on Mutual Trust Avg. Perception Value (Trust) Avg. Perception Value (Cultural Characteristics)

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38 Table 4-10: Analysis of Hypothesis H1 After calculating the value of t which came out to be greater than 1.703 (Student ttable value), we are 90% confident in rejecting the null hypothesis (H0 1) and accepting the following: Ha 1: There is a significant linear relations hip between Organizational Culture and Mutual Trust between employees. Effect of Heavy Use of CSCW to Share Knowledge on Mutual Trust between Employees Participant companies were asked whet her they relied heavily on Computer Supported Collaborative Work in sharing know ledge as well as if their employees are sharing more documents and if they are organizing more knowledge meetings between themselves. Then these two categories were compared as shown in Figure 4-11 and Table 4-11 to see the effect of CSCW on mutual trust between employees. y = 0.4189x + 2.4558 R2 = 0.1515 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 2345678Avg. Perception Value (Heavy Use Of CSCW)Avg. Perception Value (Trust) Figure 4-11: The Effect Of CSCW On Mu tual Trust Between Employees. S Path Analysis t = 3.10 p < 0.05 H01 : There is no significant linear relationship between Or ganizational Culture and Mutual Trust between employees. S Regression = 0.8973

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39 Table 4-11: Analysis of Hypothesis H2 After calculating the value of t, which came out to be less than 1.703 (Student ttable value), and finding that p is greater than 0.05 (1-tai led), the null hypothesis with 90% confidence cannot be rejected and it can be concluded that there is no significant linear relationship between the heavy us e of CSCW and Mutual Trust between employees. Relationship between Implementing KMS and Proper Organizational Culture, Mutual Trust between Employees and CSCW Finally, to be able to find whether ther e is a relationship be tween a successful implementation of a KM strategy on one si de and CSCW, Organizational Culture and Trust between employees the data is plotted as shown in Figure 4-12 and the results are tabulated in Table 4-12. y = 0.4039x + 2.6713 R2 = 0.3206 y = 0.473x + 3.2068 R2 = 0.3243 y = 0.5833x + 1.8333 R2 = 0.42590 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 02468Avg. Perception Value (Successful KM Strategy)Avg. perception Value (Trust, Culture & CSCW) Trust Culture CSCW Linear (Culture) Linear (CSCW) Linear (Trust) Figure 4-12: KMS versus Organizational Culture, Mutual Trust and CSCW NS Path Analysis t = 0.80 p = 0.22 H02: There is no significant linear relationship between th e heavy use of CSCW and Mutual Trust between employees. S Regression = 0.4189

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40 Table 4-12: Relationship between a successful KM strategy and culture, trust and CSCW After calculating the t values which all came out to be greater than 1.703 (Student ttable value), the null hypothesis (H0 3) can be rejected with 90% Confidence and the following can be accepted: Ha 3: There is a significant positive relationship between successful implementation of a Knowledge Management Strategy on one side and proper Organizational Culture, Mutual trust between employees and CSCW on the other side. This chapter provided a detailed analysis of the results us ing descriptive and regression analysis. An overview of the responses given by the participants was illustrated. In the following chapter, Chapter 5, the results will be discussed and recommendations will be given accordingly. S Path Analysis t = 2.45 p < 0.05 There is no significant positive relationship between a successful knowledge management strategy and mutual trust between employees. S Regression = 0.583 S Path Analysis t = 1.76 p < 0.05 There is no significant positive relationship between a successful knowledge management strategy and proper organizational culture. S Regression = 0.404 S Path Analysis t = 1.78 p < 0.05 There is no significant positive relationship between a successful knowledge management strategy and culture. S Regression = 0.473

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41 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The literature review indicat ed that a lot of research has been conducted on the factors that affect knowledge sharing. Past literature points out that culture a nd trust are the main factors that affect knowledge sharing. Computer-supported collabor ative work (CSCW) assists but will not motivate employees to share their knowledge. The results of the survey show that the pa rticipant organizations have KM as one of their top priorities. They believe that proper organizational cult ure, mutual trust between employees in the organization and the use of computer-supported collaborative work will lead to more knowledge sharing. The participants strongly agree that a proper organizational culture will enhance mutual trust in the organization. They also agree that information technology will assist not motivate people in sharing their knowledge. Moreover, t hose consider that not all types of knowledge can be shared using technolo gical innovation. Although they believe so, the re sults show that they are i nvesting more in IT rather than in their own people. Those are not giving a lot of concern to cultural characteristics which are promotions and acknowledgements, sancti ons for people who do not share their knowledge, incentives to those who share knowle dge and meetings for employees to get to know better each other.

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42 The regression analysis conducted shows th at a proper organizational culture will positively affect mutual trust between employ ees. Therefore it can be understood that a proper organizational culture comprised of motivation, incentives, sanctions and meetings will lead to more trust between employees. Moreover, this analysis shows that there is a slight positive relationship between the heavy use of computer-supported collabo rative work and trust between workers which contradicts the hypothesis. Finally, the availability of a relationsh ip between successful implementation of a knowledge management strategy on one hand and culture, trust and computer-supported collaborative work on the other hand was checke d. The results show that there is positive relationship between these factors. After reviewing the past literature and anal yzing the data these conclusions can be drawn: Proper Organizational Culture will lead to more knowledge sharing between employees. Mutual Trust among employees is needed in order for knowledge to flow freely with a company. Technological Innovation is necessary to achieve a successful knowledge management strategy. Proper organizational culture is signifi cantly related to mutual trust between employees. Computer-supported collaborative work will assist and could motivate the sharing of knowledge. Not all types of knowledge can be represented electronically. The implementation of a successful knowledge strategy is related to culture, trust and computer-supported collaborative work.

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43 It can be concluded that the unavailability of strong trustful relationships among employees working for the participant constr uction companies is due to their lack of attention to cultural ch aracteristics. Companies should inve st in IT but should also be aware that IT is only a tool that helps in the sharing of know ledge. Those should not forget that the most important asset that a ffects the sharing of knowledge is a trustful relationship that is directly affected by a proper organi zational culture. Therefore construction firms should invest in their employees by promoting them, giving them incentives and by organizing meetings that s upport them to know one another better. Limitations of this Research The main limitations of this study are as follows: The participating companies might not be representative of all large construction companies. When studying the effect of the heavy us e of computer-supported collaborative work on mutual trust, the result came to be positive instead of negative. This may be due to the unspecified type of the computer-supported technology. The relationship between successfully implementing a KM strategy on one hand and culture, trust and CSCW on th e other was not studied deeply. The participants were not asked to fill out their annual volume of construction work. Recommendations for Future Research There is a lack of basic research on the e ffect of culture and IT on trust. Moreover, there is a dearth of research on the relationship between su ccessfully implementing a KM strategy on one hand and culture , trust and computer-supported collaborative work on the other. Areas of suggested research include the following: Determining the effect of each one of the cultural characteristics on mutual trust between employees. For example, studying the role that socializing meetings play in enhancing mutual trust between employees.

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44 Determining which technological KM t ools positively affect trust between employees. Conducting the same study on small construction companies that do not have enough budgets to invest in knowle dge management technologies. Conducting a research that studies th e relationship between a successful implementation of KM strategies on one ha nd and culture, trust and IT on the other hand and the reasons for their connection. Conducting a research to study if the sharing of inform ation that results from companies’ policies, will positively a ffect mutual trust between employees.

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45 APPENDIX A GLOSSARY Computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW): computer-based network system that supports group work in a common task and provides a shared interface for groups to work with (Ellis et al. 1991). Data: un-interpreted material on which a decision is to be based. Explicit Knowledge: It is the most common type of knowledge. It can be expressed to others. It is fo rmal and systematic. For this it can be easily communicated and shared, in a computer program. Information: data interpreted in a given context. Knowledge: “Knowledge is experience or info rmation that can be communicated or shared”. It is a body of information. Knowledge Management (KM): the process of creati ng, locating, capturing and sharing knowledge and expert ise by individuals and groups within a company in pursuit of major organizational goals. Knowledge Management Strategy: It is simply a plan that describes how an organization will manage its knowledge better for its benefit. Organizational Culture: a social environment that dr ives an organization's formal and informal expectations of individuals, de fines the types of people who will fit into the organization, shapes individuals' freedoms to pursue actions without prior approval, and affects how people interact with others both inside and outside the organization (Gupta and Govindarajan, 2000).

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46 Tacit Knowledge: Knowledge that we cannot communicate in words or symbols. It is highly personal and hard to formaliz e. Tacit knowledge is transferred by tradition and shared experience.

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47 APPENDIX B KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE Part 1: Demographic Questions. a. Current position in the company: _________________ b. Length of service in the company : _______________ Part 2: KM Questions. CIRCLE THE NUMBER THAT BEST REFLECTS YOUR PERCEPTION Knowledge Management is herein defined as the process of creating, locating, capturing and sharing knowledge and expertise by individuals and groups within a company in pursuit of major organizational goals. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly Disagree Neutral Strongly Agree 1. Proper organizational culture motivates employees to share knowledge and ideas for the improvement of the company. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. Employees believe that sharing their knowledge will help them in their career. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3. There are negative consequences for employees who do not share their knowledge in your firm. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4. Your organization holds meetings that support employees in getting to know one another better. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 5. Your company has established an incentive program for the sharing of knowledge (e.g. Suggestion Box, etc) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6. Mutual trust among employees is needed in order for knowledge to flow freely with your company. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7. Employees make their work documents even more readily available to others than before. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. Employees are organizing more knowledge sharing events such as meetings an d socials with other staff. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9. Technological innovation is necessary to achieve a successful Knowledge Management strategy in an organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 10. Your firm relies heavily on computer-supported collaborative work to share knowledge. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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48 11. Your organization is facing difficulties in using new information and communication technologies. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 12. All types of knowledge can be represented in an electronic format. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 13. Your organization has been very successful in implementing knowledge and information management strategies. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 14. Computer-Supported collaborative work can lead to less interaction between employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 15. A good cultural strategy will enhance trust in an organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 16. Information technology will assist employees in sharing their knowledge. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 17. Information technology will motivate employees to share more of their knowledge. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 18. Good Knowledge Management is one of your organization’s top priorities. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 19. My organization met difficulties in implementing Knowledge Management because: aThe focus was on Information Technology and Communication rather than on people. bResistance by certain employees. cIt is not my organization’s top priority. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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49 APPENDIX C PROPOSED QUESTIONNAIRE FOR FUTURE RESEARCH Part 1: Demographic Questions. a. Name: _______________ b. Name of the company: _______________ c. Current position: _______________ d. Length of service in the company: _______________ e. Annual volume: _______________ f. City: _______________ g. State: _______________ Part 2: KM Questions. CIRCLE THE NUMBER THAT BEST REFLECTS YOUR PERCEPTION Knowledge Management is herein defined as the process of creating, locating, capturing and sharing knowledge and expertise by individuals and groups within a company in pursuit of major organizational goals. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Strongly Disagree Neutral Strongly Agree 1. Proper organizational culture motivates employees to share knowledge and ideas for the improvement of the company. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 2. Employees believe that sharing their knowledge will help them in their career. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3. There are negative consequences for employees who do not share their knowledge in your firm. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 4. Your organization holds meetings that support employees in getting to know one another better. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 5. Your company has established an incentive program for the sharing of knowledge (e.g. Suggestion Box, etc) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 6. Incentives given to employees that share knowledge have a positive effect on mutual trust between them. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7. Negatives consequences given for employees that do not share their knowledge increases the level of trust between them. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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50 8. Holding knowledge meetings increases the level of trust between employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9. Mutual trust among employees is needed in order for knowledge to flow freely with your company. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 10. Employees make their work documents even more readily available to others than before. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 11. Technological innovation is necessary to achieve successful Knowledge Management in an organization. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 12. Your firm relies heavily on computer-supported collaborative work to share knowledge. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 13. List the three most common types of technological KM tools used by your firm: _______________ _______________ _______________ 14. Technological KM tools used by your organization can lead to less inter action between employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 15. Information technology used by your firm will motivate employees in sharing their knowledge. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 16. Your organization has been very successful in implementing knowledge and information management strategies. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 17. There is a direct positive relationship between a successful implementation of KM strategies and a proper organizational culture. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 18. There is a direct positive relationship between a successful implementation of KM strategies and a mutual trust between employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 19. There is a direct positive relationship between a successful implementation of KM strategies and information technology (IT). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 20. Sharing of information that results from companies’ policies positively affects mutual trust between employees. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 21. Good Knowledge Management is one of your organization’s top priorities. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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51 LIST OF REFERENCES Alvesson, M., “Understanding organisational culture,” Sage Publications, London, 2002. Bechky, B., “Sharing meaning across occupational communities: The transformation of understanding on a production floor,” Or ganization Science, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 312-330, 2003. Bowles, T., “Themes and variations in shared cognition in organizations,” The Management of Knowledge, Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. Publishers, Mahwah, NJ, pp. 328-348, 1999. Brown, J., & Duguid, P., “Organizing know ledge,” California Management Review, Vol. 40 , No. 3, pp. 90-111, 1998. Civi, E., “Knowledge management as a competitive asset: A review,” Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 166-174, 2000. Clarke, T., “The knowledge economy,” Education + Training, Vol. 43, No. 5, pp. 189196, 2001. Connelly, C., & Kelloway, K., “Predictors of Knowledge Sharing in Organizations,” MSc Thesis for Queen’s School of Business, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, 2002. Davenport, T., & Prusak, L., “Working Know ledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know,” Harvard Business School Press, 1998. Davenport, T., & Prusak, L., “Working knowledge : How organizations manage what they know,” Boston: Harvard Bu siness School Press, 2000. Egbu, C., “The role of information technol ogy in strategic knowledge management and its potential in the construction indus try,” In: Proceedings of UK National Conference on ‘Objects and Integration for Architecture, Engineering and Construction’, BRE, Watford, 2000. Egbu, C., Bates, M., & Botterill, K., “A c onceptual research framework for studying knowledge management in project-based e nvironments,” In: Proceedings of the International Postgraduate Research Conference in the Built and Human Environments, University of Salford, UK, 2001.

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52 Egbu, C., Gaskell, C., & Howes, J., “The role of organizational cult ure and motivation in the effective utilisation of informa tion technology for team working in construction,” In: Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM), University of Salford, UK, 2001. Gann, D., “Building Innovation: Complex Constructs in a Changing World,” London, Thomas Telford Publishing, 2000. Ghoshal, S., & Bartlett, C., “Linking organi zational context and ma nagerial action: the dimension of quality management,” Stra tegic Management Journal, Vol. 15, Special Issue, pp. 91-112, 1994. Gruenfeld, D., Martorana, P., & Fan, E., “W hat do groups learn from their worldliest members? Direct and indirect influence in dynamic teams,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Proc esses, Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 45-59, 2000. Gupta, A., & Govindarajan, V., “Knowledge Ma nagement's Social Dimension: Lessons From Nucor Steel,” Sloan Manageme nt Review, Vol. 42, No. 1, pp. 71-81, 2000. Harris, L., & Ogbonna, E., “The unintended co nsequences of cultu re interventions: A study of unexpected outcomes,” British J ournal of Management, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 31-50, 2002. King, W., “Playing an Integral Role in K nowledge Management. Information Systems Management,” Business Source Elite, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 59 – 6, 2000. Lewicki, R., McAllister, D., & Bies, R., “T rust and distrust: New relationships and realities,” Academy of Management Review, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 438-458, 1998. Mayer, R., Davis, J., & Schoorman, D., “An in tegrative model of organizational trust,” Academy of Management Review, Vol. 10, pp. 709-734, 1995. Mishra, J., & Morrisey, M., “Trust in employ ee/employer relationships: A survey of West Michigan managers,” Public Personnel Management, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 443-463, 1990. Mwaura, G., Sutton, J., & Roberts, D., “Corporat e and national culture – an irreconcilable dilemma for the hospitality manager?,” International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 10, No. 6, pp. 212-220, 1998. Pan, S., & Scarbrough, H., “A Socio-Technica l View of Knowledge -Sharing at Buckman Laboratories,” Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 55-66, 1998. Rastogi, P., “Knowledge Management and Intellectual Capital The New Virtuous Reality of Competitiveness,” Human Systems Management, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 3949, 2000.

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53 Robertson, M., & Hammersley, G., “Know ledge management practices within a knowledge-intensive firm: the significance of the people management dimension,” Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 24, No. 4, pp. 241-253, 2000. Robinson, H., Carrillo, P., & Al-Ghassani, A., “Knowledge management: Towards an integrated strategy for construction proj ect organizations,” In: Proceedings of Fourth European Project Management Conference, London, 2001. Rolland, N., & Chauvel, D., “Knowledge Hori zons: The Present and the Promise of Knowledge Management,” Butterworth Heinemann, Boston, MA, pp. 225-236, 2000. Rotter, J., “Interpersonal trust, trustworthin ess, and gullibility,” American Psychologist, Vol. 35, pp. 1-7, 1980. Schein, H., “Culture: The missing concept in organization studies,” Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 229-240, 1996. Tsoukas, H., “The firm as a distributed know ledge system: A constructionist approach,” Strategic Management J ournal, Vol. 17, pp. 11-25, 1996. Von krogh, G., Ichijo, K., & Nonaka, I., “E nabling knowledge creation: How to unlock the mystery of tacit knowledge and re lease the power of innovation,” Oxford University Press, New York, 2000.

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54 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Joseph Elias Haddad was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on October 4, 1982, to Elias and Lina Haddad. He was raised in Lebanon. Jo seph earned a Lebanese Baccalaureate in 1999 from “Mont-La-Salle” high sch ool. Later that year he deci ded to join the Lebanese American University, from which he earned a bachelor degree in civil engineering in 2004. In late 2004, he moved to Gainesville, Florida, to pursue his studies at the University Of Florida. Joseph is grateful that he got accepted to the graduate program at the Rinker School of Building Construction at UF. Upon his gr aduation in May 2006, Joseph plans to work for a construction company in the United States.