Published: 10 February 2014

Surrey academic wins knowledge management research consultancy project with Infineum

Dr Julie Gore, Chartered Psychologist and Senior Lecturer in Organisational Behaviour at Surrey Business School (SBS), has won a research consultancy project for lubricant and fuel additives organisation, Infineum.

Working collaboratively with University of Surrey colleagues Dr Adrian Banks and Dr Almuth McDowall from the School of Psychology, Dr Gore is acting as lead research consultant on the project, which builds on her psychological research expertise in knowledge elicitation techniques, aimed at improving decision-making.

Dr Gore’s on-going work with Dr Banks and Dr McDowall has involved training senior engineers (several of whom have PhDs in Chemistry or Physics) to use and adapt cognitive task analysis (CTA) techniques. The CTA techniques are structured research informed methods that help document expert thinking, judgement and decision-making for knowledge sharing and training purposes.

A joint venture between ExxonMobil and Shell, Infineum is a leading organisation in the formulation, manufacture and marketing of petroleum additives for lubricants and fuels. This project offers an example of how research-informed methods can effectively translate to organisational settings.

"Working with Infineum has been a fantastic opportunity to translate findings from applied academic research to assist knowledge management in a high-reliability context”, commented Dr Gore.

“Working with experts across the organisation has provided a unique insight into judgment and decision-making processes. We are very much looking forward to seeing how training progresses and how participants will continue to embed CTA techniques into their work".   

Infineum’s Ian McKenna commented: "The knowledge and expertise Julie, Almuth, and Adrian have brought has been invaluable. It really helped us understand how we can access the tacit knowledge of our science and engineering colleagues to improve performance across a range of disciplines."

Dr Gore has previously worked with Infineum on a pilot project centred around capturing engineers’ cognitive expertise. The project aimed to provide transformative, effective methodological solutions for knowledge management transfer and was presented at the 11th International conference on Naturalistic Decision Making, Marseille, May 2013.

Discover more information about Infineum on their website and explore ongoing Surrey Business School research on the SBS website.

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