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Managing knowledge as quantity surveyors: An exploratory case study in Sri Lanka


S Senaratne ,

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S Sabesan

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Being one of the key professionals in the construction industry who is the expert in construction cost management, quantity surveyor has a necessity to manage its knowledge to continuously learn and improve. Quantity surveyor has the responsibility to address cost, financial and contractual issues of the construction process, which is highly influenced by environmental parameters, which are very sensitive to changes and unique for every project. These key drivers have made them to relate and narrate new conditions with existing knowledge and past experience. Quantity surveyors can accomplish this expertise by learning from the past and sharing knowledge within the profession. Thus, the study which is reported in this paper is aimed at exploring issues related to quantity surveyors in Sri Lanka when managing their knowledge in order to learn and improve as professionals. Case studies were used to investigate this research problem. The case studies specifically explored key challenges faced by Quantity Surveyors and their knowledge transfer and sharing processes. These were compiled into a framework to represent the managing knowledge process of Sri Lankan Quantity Surveyors. The findings further revealed even though the Sri Lankan Quantity Surveyors are performing well in their duties with their current level of knowledge, due to very tight work schedules and comparatively low recognition to other construction professionals, there are less opportunities for them to acquire new knowledge and develop tacit knowledge base. Thus, the findings offers implications to construction industry and other professionals, too, as to improve wider knowledge dissemination mechanisms within the industry and more specific implications include for managerial level quantity surveyors to open up discussions with government departments and make them aware of quantity surveying and make it recognised in the country. Further, junior quantity surveyors should not just consider profit maximisation but also continuous professional development by acquiring and utilising new knowledge in their day-to-day work, so that the profession will develop as a whole.

DOI: 10.4038/besl.v8i2.1911

Built-Environment Sri Lanka Vol.8(2) 2008 41-47

How to Cite: Senaratne, S. and Sabesan, S., 2010. Managing knowledge as quantity surveyors: An exploratory case study in Sri Lanka. Built-Environment Sri Lanka, 8(2), pp.41–47. DOI:
Published on 18 May 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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