How engineering and project management knowledge is managed in Malaysian subsidiaries of foreign oil and gas contracting companies

[German title: Wie Ingenieur- und Projektmanagementwissen in malaysisch Niederlassungen ausländischer Öl- und Gasunternehmen gemanagt wird]

Title: Knowledge management of foreign subsidiaries of international oil and gas contracting companies 
Author(s): Abdul-Rashid Abdul-Aziz, Kim Zoo Lee 
Journal: International Journal of Energy Sector Management 
ISSN: 1750-6220 
Year: 2007 Volume: 1 Issue: 1 Page: 63 – 83 
DOI: 10.1108/17506220710738605 
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited 

Abstract: Purpose – To present the findings of a study which examined the application of knowledge management of subsidiaries of foreign oil and gas contracting companies in Malaysia.
Design/methodology/approach – The subsidiaries were examined on how engineering and project management knowledge was created, captured, stored, shared and protected. These processes were traced by looking at the organisational facets of culture and structure, human resource management, information and communication technology and parental control. Five companies formed the sample population. The multi-case study approach was adopted to take into account the likely variability of the sample population. Data were collected and triangulated using postal questionnaires, face-to-face interviews and secondary sources.
Findings – Four subsidiaries were found to manage knowledge, albeit in varying ways. The fifth subsidiary was subjected to strong control by the parent to the extent that it had minimal knowledge base which thus obviated the need for knowledge management.
Research limitations/implications – The one respondent-per-subsidiary approach may have led to possible response bias, although triangulation of data served to minimise the effect.
Practical implications – The subsidiaries of oil and gas contracting companies in Malaysia which have yet to manage their knowledge asset holistically should take note of their rivals which have been re-defining competitiveness in this manner and should, therefore, react similarly.
Originality/value – This study highlights the strong influence the parent companies of oil and gas contracting companies have over the degree to which knowledge is dispersed to their subsidiaries and the manner in which the latter are permitted to manage their knowledge asset. 

Keywords: Gas industry, Knowledge management, Malaysia, Oil industry, Subsidiaries 

Article Type: Research paper 

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