An exploratory study of knowledge flows: A case study of Public Sector Procurement

Shirley Ann Hazlett, Rodney McAdam, Victor Beggs

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    The Knowledge Management discourse continues to develop in relation to both theory and practice. However, there is a paucity of empirical studies of Knowledge Management in the public sector. In this sector the flow of people-based knowledge (knowledge transfer) across processes and different organizational levels has more significance than that of the private sector. The aim of the paper is to explore the flow of knowledge (knowledge transfer), from document/contract preparation through to site implementation for a Public Sector Procurement Agency. A series of multi-level semi-structured interviews and secondary data is used. The findings show the need for an increased emphasis on lateral knowledge transfer and a diminishing of the traditional pyramidal approach to knowledge. Enabling influences included managing the development of experienced staff, appropriate ICT systems and collaborative teams. Barriers included over-reliance on consultants with consequent loss of experience and lack of empowerment of on-site engineers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)57-66
    Number of pages10
    JournalTotal Quality Management and Business Excellence
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jan 2008

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


    • Conceptual framework
    • Flows
    • Knowledge Management
    • Knowledge transfer
    • Public sector


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