Determinants of Knowledge Transfer for Information Technology Project Managers: A Systematic Literature Review

Ismail Bello, Mazida Ahmad, Maslinda Mohd Nadzir
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 18  •  2023  •  pp. 871-891

The purpose of this study is to identify the key determinants hindering Knowledge Transfer (KT) practices for Information Technology Project Managers (ITPMs)

The failure rate of IT projects remains unacceptably high worldwide, and KT between project managers and team members has been recognized as a significant issue affecting project success. Therefore, this study tries to identify the determinants of KT within the context of IT projects for ITPMs.

A systematic review of the literature (SLR) was employed in the investigation. The SLR found 28 primary studies on KT for ITPMs that were published in Scopus and Web of Science databases between 2010 and 2023.

Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) was used to build a theoretical framework where the determinants were categorized into Personal factors, Environmental (Project organizational) factors, and other factors, such as Technological factors influencing ITPMs (Behavioral factors), to implement in KT practices.

The review identified 11 key determinants categorized into three broad categories: Personal factors (i.e., motivation, absorptive capability, trust, time urgency), Project Organizational factors (i.e., team structure, leadership style, reward system, organizational culture, communication), and Technological factors (i.e., project task collaboration tool and IT infrastructure and support) that influence implementing KT for ITPMs

The proposed framework in this paper can be used by project managers as a guide to adopt KT practices within their project organization.

The review showed that some determinants, such as Technological factors, have not been adequately explored in the existing KT model in the IT projects context and can be integrated with other relevant theories to understand how a project manager’s knowledge can be transferred and retained in the organization using technology in future research.

This study emphasizes the role of individual actions and project organizational and technological matters in shaping the efficacy of KT within project organizations. It offers insight that could steer business owners or executives within project organizations to closely observe the behavior of project managers, thereby securing successful project outcomes.

The determinant list provided in this paper is acquired from extensive SLR and, therefore, further research should aim to expand and deepen the investigation by validating these determinants from experts in the field of IT and project management. Future studies can also add other external technological determinants to provide a more comprehensive KT implementation framework. Similarly, this research does not include determinants identified directly from the industry, as it relies solely on determinants found in the existing literature. Although a comprehensive attempt has been made to encompass all relevant papers, there remains a potential for overlooking some research in this process.

knowledge transfer, knowledge transfer determinants, project manager, information technology project
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