Study on Knowledge Management and
Information Acquisition of Engineers

( Electrical and telecommunication engineers in large organizations )

The study-related survey is scheduled to take place from  

15.12.2000 (to 31.01.2001) in response to popular demand to 15.02.2001
 The study-related data collection is finished !

The questionnaire is addressed to electrical and telecommunication engineers who are working in a company with more than 1000 employees.

Targets and further details can be found under
The findings of the study will be published now under

The study is performed as part of a diploma thesis at the
FH (University of Applied Sciences) in Cologne (GERMANY).

 Back to first page

Questions concerning the person and the organization:

1) If you have been personally informed by me about this study, please give your participation number.
If not, continue with question # 2.
  (participation number)
2) Please indicate your sex :  
3) Please tick the group of age you are belonging to:  
20 years or less
21 to 30 years
31 to 45 years
46 to 65 years
more than 65 years
not applicable
4) What is your nationality?
( e.g.: German / UK / ... )
5) Where did you pass your apprenticeship / study for your present job?
( e.g.: Germany / UK / ... )
6) Which function do you have in the company?  
Official in charge
Team leader
Head of department
Group executive
General manager / director
7) How many persons
a)advise you on important decisions?
b)assume joint responsiblity for your decision?
8) How many employees are subordinate to you at present?
9) How many people are employed with your company?  
up to 1.000 employees
1.000 up to 5.000 employees
5.000 up to 50.000 employees
more than 50.000 employees
10) When was your company founded? (year)   (e.g. in 1963)
11) What is the key activity of your company?  
Research and development
Buying / selling
Production / installation
12) Do you want to have your / your company name mentioned in the study?  
Yes, my name / my company's name is:

Questions concerning the methods used by engineers to acquire information:

13) Do you have an overview on the knowledge availabe in your company?  
Yes, I have a good general overview
Yes, I have a good overview in my field of activity
No, I do not have a good overview
14) How do you start to solve a problem?  
I try to approach the task by way of telephone inquiries
I delegate the task to others
I establish a team
I use know-how from previous projects
15) Which external sources do you use to obtain information?  
Research institutes
Testing institutes
16) What kind of media do you use predominantly to obtain information?  
Magazines / catalogues
Professional literature
17) Please indicate which percentage of the knowledge you acquired you are actually using for your present activity (total=100%) :
a) Basic knowledge (studies)
b) Privately acquired knowledge
c) Knowledge gained from professional experience
d) Special corporate in-house knowlege
18) What additional private efforts do you undertake to obtain personal information enefits?  
Further education and training in my leisure time
Private relationships
Private research work
19) What kind of information do you need?  
Product information
Information about other companies
Information about clients
Latest news
20) What occasions do exist for an exchange of information?  
Regular information sessions of employees
Work group meetings
After office hours
21) How does the information exchange take place between older experienced employees and younger engineers?  
No regular exchange
Mixed project teams
Individual training before the older employees leave the company
22) Do you attend seminars or other opportunities for further education and training?  
Yes, as often as possible
Yes, mandatory seminars
Rather seldom
23) What does the company management do to improve the information acquisition efforts of the employees?  
No activities known
Establishment of a dedicated department for information exchange
Special in-house skill lists (e.g. skill databases)
24) What do you think should be the purpose of "Knowledge Management"?  
Saving of time
Knowledge transfer
Avoiding the repetition of mistakes
25) Please assess your chances to obtain information on the following subjects?
Score from 1 ( excellent )  to  5 ( poor )
a) Latest news
b) Unofficial news
c) Dates and deadlines
d) Standards
e) Information on patents
f) Tender documents
g) Other companies
h) Price information
i) Technical information
j) Product information
k) Laws / jurisdiction

Non-company-bound worldwide information pool (retrievable information database):

This chapter serves to find out the demand for a non-company-bound worldwide information pool for knowledge transfer. What requirements must be met?

26) What are the most important topics you expect to be included in such information pool?  
27) How long are you willing to wait for an answer to your query?  
Immediate answer required
Approx. one hour
Some days
Not important
28) What languages should be used in the information pool?  
29) Which costs are acceptable for the use of the information pool?  
Lump sum fee
Time fee
30) Please state the percentage of productivity rise you realistically expect from an information transfer among the companies if this is done in compliance with your ideas?   percent
31) Do you make available your own information within the company?
If yes, how? (e.g. Intranet)
32) Do you make available your own information to other organizations?
If yes, how? (e.g. Internet)
33) How "old" will the information be which you are prepared to make available to other companies in an information pool?  
34) What other criteria which have not yet been mentioned, do you deem relevant for an information pool?  

Acquisition of information abroad:

35) How do you cooperate with foreign companies?  
Employer status
Contractor status
Branch office of the own company
Brainstorming and development of ideas
Not applicable
36) Where, do you think, are better / more efficient solutions achieved?  
In Germany
In European countries other than Germany
In other countries abroad
37) According to your experience, does the engineering phase of a project take more or less time abroad compared to Germany? (percentage)
(+ means, engineers abroad need more time;
  - means, engineers abroad need less time)
  percent (do not forget to state + / -)
38) What are the advantages / disadvantages of companies abroad?   Advantages:

39) What are the advantages / disadvantages of the professional training in Germany compared to countries abroad?   Advantages:

40) Do you have branch offices abroad?
If yes, please state major locations.
41) If you have branch offices abroad, do you have an in-house corporate knowledge management system?  
42) Is the locally available knowledge of the branch office abroad sufficient to work autonomously?  
43) What do you think are the most important aspects when selecting any future site?  
I do not know
Local experience
Local knowledge
Price level

Thank you very much for your participation.

If you want to be informed about the findings of this study, please state your E-mail address(es) below.

You may give your feedback on the topic of this study here:

Send questionnaire
Reset entered data

If you want to fax the filled-in questionnaire: FAX: +49 69 1330 4049 678

My email adress is:
Telefon: +49 69 1330 4049 678   Fax: +49 69 1330 4049 678