Knowledge retention in the IT service industry

Jayachandra Bairi (SAIC India, Bangalore, India)
B. Murali Manohar (Vellore Institute of Technology – VIT University, Vellore, India)
Goutam Kumar Kundu (SAIC India, Bangalore, India)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Publication date: 23 March 2011



The purpose of this paper is to develop and evaluate an effective employee retention plan for information technology (IT) service organizations as part of a knowledge management (KM) strategy.


The employee retention plan is evaluated at three IT multi‐national companies which are providing global IT services with successful knowledge management systems (KMS) in place. Semi‐structured telephone interviews were conducted with senior managers and team leaders of three companies. The data collected is used for studying attrition and retention and its impact on KM.


The paper provides evidence of various strategic, technological, and local issues influencing the success of retention and its benefit to KM programs in global IT service companies. Organizations adapt attrition control measures for long‐term benefit. These measures help in effective KM, serving the client at lower cost with consistent service levels.

Research limitations/implications

Interviews are limited to three large companies in the IT services sector in the Bangalore (India) region. Future in depth studies would benefit from a larger and more diverse sample. It is suggested that IT service organizations develop and practice effective employee retention plans along with effective KMS.

Practical implications

To provide clear benchmarks for developing employee retention capabilities, an employee retention plan for IT services is proposed. The employee retention plan is discussed from a consistent delivery perspective and in view of effective KM practice.


The paper conducts an evaluation of the retention measures and provides a roadmap for future research endeavors.



Bairi, J., Murali Manohar, B. and Kundu, G.K. (2011), "Knowledge retention in the IT service industry", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 43-65.

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