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Effectiveness of knowledge transfer between project team members in digitally disrupted organizations

Vesna Tornjanski    
Dejan Petrovic    
Sandra Nesic    


Research question: The study aims to extend and deepen the understanding of maturity level of knowledge transfer effectiveness between project team members in an organization in which disruptive innovations and external forces foster acceleration of various types of changes within organization. Motivation / Idea: Banks in Serbia are characterized by dominant functional organizational structure in which knowledge is acquired and stored in well-established departments and branches. On the other hand, the banking sector in Serbia is going through transformation mainly due to external forces that accelerate significant changes, at the same time implying meaningful increase in number and types of projects which are becoming increasingly demanding and complex. These factors further imply a shift from functionally-based operations to project-based operations. A radical shift of temporary organization from functionally-oriented to project-oriented foster new challenges when knowledge transformation is in question. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to research predictors for knowledge transfer success between project teams and to reveal major barriers to knowledge transfer effectiveness in the banking sector. Data / Tools: This paper opted for a survey research method and the sampling frame includes 13 banks that operate in Serbia. Findings: Research results show that knowledge transformation between project team members is low. Moreover, very dynamic circumstances, projects complexity and tight deadlines create new challenges when knowledge transfer effectiveness is in question. Accordingly, research results show that organizational understanding, valuing and adequate support for knowledge acquisition and transfer represent significant indicators for knowledge transfer success within project teams in the banking industry of Serbia. Besides, individual readiness, efforts, capabilities and history of successful knowledge transfer play an important role in knowledge transformation success. Finally, regression analysis output disclosed that all observed aspects, i.e., characteristics of knowledge transfer, individual and organizational aspects represent significant simultaneous predictors for knowledge transfer success between project teams in the banking sector of Serbia. Contribution: The paper contributes to enriching the literature on knowledge transfer between project teams in an industry?s, country?s and regional contexts that have been poorly addressed so far. By focusing on this phenomenon, the paper contributes to project managers, strategic managers and policy makers by addressing the gap between importance of knowledge transfer in one hand, and poor project outcomes on the other.

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