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Sri Lanka: A Land Like No Other PDF Print E-mail

The island of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean, to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. This tropical island, famous for the production and export of tea, coffee, rubber and exotic spices, was known by many names in the past. It was Tambapanni to Emperor Asoka of India, Taprobane to the Greeks and Romans, Serendib to the Arabs, Ceilao to the Portuguese, Ceylaan to the Dutch, Ceylan to the French and Ceylon to the British.

Sri Lanka is a tourist paradise with an abundance of attractions like the lovely beaches, beautiful landscapes, scenic lagoons, fertile wetlands, ecological forests, imposing mountains, bounteous rivers and waterfalls, an abundance of wildlife, inspiring heritage sites from ancient cities to colonial forts, exquisite handicrafts, world renowned gems, traditional dance and drama, colourful festivals, a vibrant culture, charming people and not forgetting the mouth watering Sri Lankan cuisine.

Video source: Sri Lanka Tourism
Professor H.P. Siri Caldera (1934-1989) FAIQS, FCIArb, FIQSSL PDF Print E-mail

Founder of the Department of Building Economics

By Lakshman Ramanayake MSc, BSc(QS)Hons, MRICS and Kapila Ranatunga MSc, BSc(QS)Hons, MRICS

Late Professor H.P.S. Caldera was the first head of Department of Building Economics at the University of Moratuwa as well as the founder President of Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Sri Lanka. He was an internationally recognised Building Economist and Educationalist. However, he is being perhaps most remembered by the construction industry by his roles as a Chartered Arbitrator, an Expert Witness and a Consultant.

Department of Building Economics: 25 Years of Service to the Country PDF Print E-mail
By Dr. Raufdeen Rameezdeen, Head – Department of Building Economics

The 3Cs of Knowledge Sharing
Copyright. David Skyrme Associates. All Rights Reserved.

One of the challenges of knowledge management is that of getting people to share their knowledge. Why should people give up their hard-won knowledge, when it is one of their key sources of personal advantage? In some organizations, sharing is natural. In others the old dictum "knowledge is power" reigns. In this article we explore some of the barriers and offers some pointers to overcoming them.

Why Don't People Share?

Some of the common reasons given by those I meet and in helpful articles and books (see, for example, the section on psychological obstacles in reference 1 or "the impediments" in reference 2) are:

  • "Knowledge is power" - but how true is this really? My own view is that citing this reason is often a cop out by managers or change agents who are not adequately addressing the human factors or motivational aspects. In today's enterprise, where so much depends on teamwork and collective knowledge, it is only a handful of people who have knowledge for which they can hold their peers (and bosses) to ransom. It might be the owner-manager of a small company not wanting to lose trade secrets; it may be a particular specialist who has been in the organization many years and built up his or her own unique way of achieving success without perhaps even understanding the deep tacit knowledge of how they do it. Don't get me wrong - knowledge IS power, but is typically not the primary reason for lack of knowledge sharing.
  • "not invented here" syndrome - this is more common. People have pride in not having to seek advice from others and in wanting to discover new ways for themselves.
  • Not realizing how useful particular knowledge is to others - an individual may have knowledge used in one situation but be unaware that other people at other times and places might face similar situations. Additionally, knowledge derived for one need may be helpful in totally different contexts; or it may be a trigger for innovation - many innovative developments come from making knowledge connections across different disciplines and organizational boundaries.
  • Lack of trust - if I share some of my knowledge, will you use it out of context, mis-apply it (and then blame me!), or pass it off as your own without giving any acknowledgement or recognition to me as the source?
  • Lack of time - this, I suspect, is the major reason given in many organizations. There is pressure on productivity, on deadlines, and it's a general rule that the more knowledgeable you are, the more there are people waiting to collar you for the next task. How can you possibly find time to add your lessons learnt to the knowledge database or have a knowledge sharing session with your colleagues?

Other barriers cited by experts include functional silos, individualism, poor means of knowledge capture, inadequate technology, internal competition and top-down decision making. Generally, a mix of structural and infrastructure barriers is exacerbated by the predominance of human ones - social, behavioural and psychological.

How can we overcome such barriers? Certainly address the issues of organizational structure and inadequate technology. But give your focus to the three Cs of Culture, Co-opetition (a blend of co-ooperation and competition), and Commitment.

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Knowledge Sharing: The Facts and the Myths

Copyright © 2005 Paul Chin. All rights reserved.

"Share everything." So says Robert Fulghum in his book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten." Sadly, for many, it's a concept that hasn't translated well into adulthood.

Parents have always tried to teach their children to share things with siblings and schoolyard chums. They try to remain patient when their kids pull a tantrum, declaring with all the determination of a hungry bear that their toys are, "Mine! Mine! MINE!!!" But despite all that preaching, once the kids are sent to school, the gloves come off and it's their turn to cry, "Mine! Mine! MINE!!!" At the office, large amounts of professional knowledge are squirreled away even though this information will be beneficial to a wider audience — perhaps on the corporate intranet. However, it stays in workers' heads, on their computers, or in their desk drawers.

While the possibilities for intranet applications have grown innumerably with the advances in technology, it's still most often used as the backbone for knowledge sharing. The systems that succeed are reflections of the cooperation and willingness of an organization's staff to share their knowledge. Similarly, those that fail may reflect a shortcoming in those respects. The deathblow of many knowledge sharing intranets is not the tool itself, because that's merely a vehicle to transport and carry the knowledge and information to the masses. Rather, the coup de grâce is a lack of community, the lack of a cooperative knowledge network.

So why keep knowledge to yourself when it can benefit the organization as a whole? Is it for job security? Is it to maintain power? Is it to gain personal advantage over those not in the know?

Children may not have a natural tendency to share and may hoard things they perceive as their rightful property. But they don't do this with any malicious intent or egotistic self-promotion. They're far too young to even comprehend such motives; and this lack of sharing is something they will most likely grow out of. So why do they do it? Simple, they do it — and here's the big point — because they're children, what's your excuse?

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