Conceptions of learning and managing the flow of knowledge in the project-based environment
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine how people can conceive learning and knowledge management processes within project teams and provides conceptual guidance on the most effective way to managerially approach these important and often neglected project issues. Design/methodology/approach This is a conceptual paper which draws on and dissects a very broad and relevant literature on learning and knowledge management. Findings Based on the analysis conducted, and with an eye to improving project learning, project outcomes and participant learning skills, the key argument of this paper is that participants in project teams must acknowledge and pursue a more socially oriented trajectory in their learning and knowledge management activities. Therein, the participants, their project practices and the organization of the project environment become the focal points of attention and action. Research limitations/implications This paper puts forward a conceptually grounded argument for a greater practical emphasis to be placed on the social systems in learning and knowledge management processes in projects. The opportunity exists to test this argument in further empirical project studies. Practical implications This paper provides a foundation for project practitioners to critically reflect on their current learning and knowledge management attitudes and practices, while encouraging their attention towards the management of their project social systems. Originality/value This paper confronts conventional and limited perspectives about learning and managing the flow of knowledge within projects, and serves to stimulate participant and researcher reflection on more socially oriented approaches towards these project activities.