Designing Organizational Factors Affecting Knowledge Transfer Model Aimed at Reducing Environmental Hazards in Iranian Oil and Gas Projects

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD Student, Department of Architecture, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Despite the potential threats to the environment, the oil industry plays a positive role in society. Knowledge transfer not only plays a significant role in knowledge process, but also helps the oil and gas industry to reduce their environmental impact with improvement in their operational efficiency. Sharing of knowledge, information, and practices across cultural and national boundaries has become a means to address critical global problems. This paper explores oil and gas industry projects and identifies the critical organizational factors that affect knowledge transfer and influence their performance. The paper concludes with a conceptual model that accounts for the relationships among these factors that can guide further research in understanding knowledge and information transfer across national and cultural boundaries.
The oil industry holds a major potential of hazards for the environment, and may impact it at different levels. Despite its potential threats to the environment, the oil industry plays a positive role in society as well. It is still necessary to find ways to conciliate industry development, especially active organizations in this industry, with environmental protection. Organizations have the most essential effects in forming and directing the behavior of their staffs. Advances in modern societies have led to more consideration of knowledge management by organizations. Knowledge transfer plays a significant role in knowledge process. Besides, it helps the oil and gas industries to improve their operational efficiency and so reduce their environmental impact. There are various effective factors in knowledge transfer. These factors are generally related to individuals, organizations, and technology. Based on previous studies (Mei et al., 2007; Hassandoust et al., 2001; Wickramasinghe & Widyaratne, 2012), the effective factors can be divided into two main categories named content and context. Though in the literature that are many studies which have been focused on the different factors affecting knowledge transfer, limited studies have examined the organizational factors, and there are still many challenges to understanding the essential organizational factors which affect the knowledge transfer procedure in an industrial organization, company or group. This paper focuses on this type of factors, which affects knowledge transfer, from both theoretical and empirical viewpoints. We provide an integrative conceptual framework for organizing the literature on effective organizational factors for knowledge transfer. Most top ten effective factors are identified from the questionnaires filled out by 137 experts from Iranian oil and gas companies. The obtained results reveal that organizational culture, organizational relationships and reward system have the most significant influence on the knowledge transfer. Besides, we provided effective solutions for the organizations to improve their knowledge transfer process. Our findings can help practitioners develop a more focused approach in dealing with the most significant factors.
Materials and methods
Regarding the lack of theoretical point of views, complete and better frameworks is essential to summery and conduct all organizational factors which are most effective in a knowledge transfer process. In this research, it would be realized by answering the following research question.
Research Question: What are the most important organizational factors in knowledge transfer within projects?
The paper develops a conceptual framework for the analysis of knowledge flow transfers in projects. Based on this theoretical framework, the paper proposes research hypotheses and builds a causal model that links the constructs of the model. The organizational factors regarding knowledge transfer in general are summed up from literature and then the issue is studied by conducting a survey in companies. Participants of the study included well-known and successful oil and gas companies. Using in-depth data from Iranian oil and Gas Company, we study the role of organizational factors in knowledge transfer.
Discussion and Results
Based on a systematic investigation of effective factors in knowledge transfer currently available in the literature, a common frame of reference for knowledge transfer development is developed. This frame of reference consists of thirteen organizational factors. Besides, it will provide a good departure point for future work in knowledge transfer, both academically and practically. These factor including organizational structures, reward system, leadership characteristic, organizational culture, organization commitment, motivation, management support, strategy, organization relationship, training, opportunities to share, control mechanism and team orientation. These factors have investigated in oil and gas projects and it has been identified that 11 items of mentioned factors are effective on transferring knowledge and there is a direct relationship between them. Organizations should attempt to maximize the effect of these factors in order to increase knowledge transfer rate.
Organizational culture has been identified as the most important factor in knowledge transfer. All organizations have personalities as people do and characteristics such as flexibility, innovation, and more. In order to more success, an organization should implement the knowledge orientation culture, such that providing knowledge becomes institutionalized. The second identified priority is the organizational relationship. In order to succeed in knowledge transferring, organizations should create this motivation in their employees. Cash, non-cash, and organizational position lead to better performance of employees in knowledge transfer. Organizations can achieve the best response from their employees by proper defining their reward system. Among the factors studied, it was found that training and team orientations would not have a significant effect on the knowledge transfer in the projects. In addition, despite the positive effects of team works, this factor will not be lonely a motivator for more knowledge transfer. Organizations, with Strengthening and planning on effective organizational factors in knowledge transfer, can prepare the workplace so that knowledge transfer and sharing can be greatly increased.
Organizations have essential effects in forming and directing the behavior of their staffs. Today, most behaviors of the staffs have an organizational origin. This paper aims to identify the most effective organizational factors in knowledge transfer process in order to reduce environmental hazards in oil and gas projects. we developed a conceptual model and hypotheses to verify the role of organizational factors in knowledge transfer. The results reveal that organizational culture, organizational relationships, and reward system have the most significant influence on the knowledge transfer.


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