How Does Knowledge Diffusion Impact Maintenance Performance? Lessons from a Survey in a Brazilian Petrochemical Company

  •  Renelson Sampaio    
  •  Francisco Passos    
  •  José Ricardo Lima    
  •  Alex Santos    


Continuous process industries depend on complex systems that operate in uninterrupted cycles using diversified resources, such as dedicated equipment; process and auxiliary materials; production and maintenance personnel; as well as several types of services. Maintenance services are an important element of these resources, focusing on asset preservation and improvement. To perform satisfactory work, maintenance teams increasingly appear to depend on the streams of knowledge that flow through them. The main objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship between the diffusion of organisational knowledge through the social network of a maintenance team and the performance indicators of the team. We conducted a survey in a Brazilian petrochemical company by collecting data from four maintenance teams. To examine that relationship we used, respectively, two proxies: the Overall Performance Index (OPI) and the Knowledge Diffusion Index (KDI). A positive correlation between OPI and KDI was noted, indicating that diffusion of organisational knowledge should be, to a certain extent, stimulated as a way of contributing to the improvement of the maintenance performance of the team.

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