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Title: Study of influential factors on knowledge sharing and its effect on performance in air traffic control system maintenance
Other Titles: Ying xiang zhi shi fen xiang yin zi yu zhi shi fen xiang dui kong zhong jiao tong guan zhi xi tong wei xiu biao xian guan xi de tan suo
Authors: Chan, Wai To (陳偉滔)
Department: Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management
Degree: Engineering Doctorate
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: City University of Hong Kong
Subjects: Air traffic control.
Knowledge management.
Notes: CityU Call Number: TL725.3.T7 C43 2008
ix, 217 leaves : ill. 30 cm.
Thesis (Eng.D.)--City University of Hong Kong, 2008.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 176-204)
Type: thesis
Abstract: Maintenance theory and practices are continuing to evolve to cope with rapidly changing technologies and increasing use of sophisticated equipment. This is especially true for air traffic control (ATC) system maintenance as it is highly knowledge-intensive and requires maintenance staff with a high degree of expertise. In fact, expertise in the ATC system maintenance sector requires a long time to acquire and is in short supply in the local job market. Long fault rectification time in the event of an equipment failure is unacceptable in ATC. ATC system maintenance organization must try to safeguard expertise and retain knowledge within the organization to provide satisfactory maintenance performance to ensure the highest availability of ATC system. Retaining and acquiring new maintenance knowledge/skills are essential to achieve high maintenance standard. Good knowledge management and knowledge sharing within such organization is necessary. This research was thus carried out to study the factors affecting maintenance staff’s knowledge sharing behaviour and its effect on ATC system maintenance performance so that improved maintenance performance could be achieved through better knowledge sharing. Although many researchers have examined numerous personal or organizational factors believed to affect individual’s knowledge sharing behaviours since the introduction of the knowledge management paradigm, most of the studies are focused on the information technology (IT) industry, project management, software engineering and so on. There is limited empirical research on the determinants of knowledge sharing behaviour of technical staff working in safety-critical environment and little is known about the effect of knowledge sharing on the maintenance performance. Thus, this research study attempted to address the questions of: (1) What are the factors affecting knowledge sharing behaviours of maintenance staff of ATC system maintenance organization? (2) What is the mechanism through which knowledge sharing affects maintenance performance of the organization? (3) What factors do organizations need to consider in planning and implementing knowledge sharing initiatives for improving maintenance performance? To address the above research questions, this research study aimed to:- • identify, examine and develop understanding of the factors facilitating or inhibiting knowledge sharing behaviours of ATC system maintenance staff in the organizational context; • explore and establish understanding on the knowledge sharing – maintenance performance link; • develop an Integrated Knowledge-sharing Behavioural model on enhancing maintenance performance; • test and validate the theorized model by pilot run in the department which the researcher is working for; • examine and evaluate the effectiveness, implications to theoretical perspective/organization management and limitations of the posited model. The methodology adopted in this study included the process of literature review, hypotheses setting, field survey, hypotheses testing by multiple regression analysis and case implementation of the proposed Integrated Knowledge-sharing Behavioural model in the researcher’s working department to validate the model and to evaluate its applicability. Hypotheses were developed through extensive literature review. A theoretical model was then proposed from the result of field survey of maintenance staff of my working department. The survey study result empirically supported that the identified influential factors including expected trust, expected contribution, learning capability and perceived openness would positively affect knowledge sharing behaviour. It also indicated that the use of information technology influenced positively the employee’s perception of openness to the organization; and fear of loss of personal competitiveness was shown as an inhibitor of knowledge sharing behaviour. Overall, the result showed that knowledge sharing behaviour has a positive influential effect on maintenance performance; and collaboration has a mediating effect between knowledge sharing behaviour and collective problem-solving capability. The result also showed that the positive effect of knowledge sharing behaviour on maintenance performance was partly mediated by the collective problem-solving capability. To mitigate the possible bias arising from the self-report questionnaire, to validate the theorized integrated knowledge sharing model and evaluating its applicability, an improvement project team was set up in my department to carry out a pilot run of the proposed Integrated Knowledge-sharing Behavioural model by employing the Project-based Action Learning (PAL) framework. The pilot run results are consistent with the survey findings indicating that the two influential factors, expected trust and learning capability of recipients, affected most the knowledge sharing behaviour and that better knowledge sharing could lead to improved maintenance performance. Wholly speaking, this pilot run was supportive of the empirical results from the questionnaire survey and led to improved maintenance performance reflected by a significant reduction of fault rectification time. Moreover, the real application of the proposed model demonstrated that setting up project-based task force is a practical and effective ways for implementing knowledge sharing initiatives for improving maintenance performance. This study extends and supplements past researchers by not only identifying the influential factors on knowledge sharing behaviours but also establishing an empirical relationship between knowledge sharing behaviours and ATC system maintenance performance. It helps to bridge the understanding of the determinants of knowledge sharing and its effect on maintenance performance and also offers a tested practical framework for implementation and further empirical study on knowledge sharing – team performance link in other context.
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