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.

Author Biographies

Vesna Tornjanski

Vesna Tornjanski is a PhD candidate at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Organizational Sciences, Serbia. She works at Eurobank, a.d. Belgrade. Her interests lie in the area of organizational development, service design and business excellence, innovation and technology management and business decision-making. Her research profile is available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Vesna_Tornjanski

Dejan Petrovic

Dejan Petrović, PhD, is a full professor at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Belgrade, Department of Management and specialized management disciplines. He is also a visiting professor at several universities in the country and abroad. His research interests include management, project management, strategic management, project appraisal and change management. He has been a consultant for a wide variety of public and private organizations and he has published books and articles in refereed journals.

Sandra Nesic

Dr Sandra Nesic is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Media and Communications at the Singidunum University, teaching courses on Startup and Entrepreneurship and Management in the digital age. Dr Nesic published a number of articles in academic journals and co-authored a textbook on Corporate Finance (2010) and on the Modern theories of management: schools and new approaches (2014). She also holds the position of Program Director at the Center for technoogy entrepreneurship development and innovation – ICT Hub, where her job is to develop and manage programme activities related to entrepreneurial education, startup ecosystem development and corporate innovation. Within the ICT Hub, she developed and is directing an Innovation Management Academy.

How to Cite
Tornjanski, V., Petrovic, D., & Nesic, S. (2019). Effectiveness of knowledge transfer between project team members in digitally disrupted organizations. Management:Journal Of Sustainable Business And Management Solutions In Emerging Economies, . doi:10.7595/management.fon.2018.0034