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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Moria Levy

Knowledge retention is becoming a main challenge in many countries, as knowledge becomes a main asset of organizations. The research questions the challenge of how can

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge retention is becoming a main challenge in many countries, as knowledge becomes a main asset of organizations. The research questions the challenge of how can organizations minimize the loss of important knowledge while experiencing high levels of retiree? The research aims to suggest a framework for knowledge retention initiatives in organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology is multi‐case research. The unit of analysis is organization (eight organizations analyzed, overall more than 30 retiree knowledge retention mini projects). Data linkage to the propositions and method of interpretation – explanation building technique.

Findings

This research suggests that successful knowledge retention can be achieved in three primary stages: defining scope; documenting (planning and implementation); and integrating knowledge back into the organization. Special care must be dedicated throughout the process to: retaining best practices and unexpected situations; structuring the process of knowledge retention; structuring retained documentation.

Research limitations/implications

Academic implications are two‐fold. First, it suggests that assessment projects, which estimate knowledge loss risk, and described in most academic researches, should be eliminated in knowledge retention models; second, research should continue, developing more models regarding detailed planning and implementation stages, as initiated in Hofer‐Alfeis DeLong and here. Further research should be conducted in order to discover how effective the suggested methods are in retrospect (after years, and not only after months).

Practical implications

Business implications do exist. The case studies described, using the proposed framework, show that knowledge retention is not only important, but also applicable. Structuring the process and results, as described above, may provide organizations with guidelines how to conduct such projects.

Originality/value

Its value is in changing the suggested known frameworks for knowledge retention, enabling more effective and efficient knowledge retention, and therefore less knowledge loss in organizations.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Naresh Kumar Agarwal and Md Anwarul Islam

This paper aims to investigate how libraries prevent the loss of knowledge with people leaving or resigning, and the strategies they adopt to retain this knowledge and to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how libraries prevent the loss of knowledge with people leaving or resigning, and the strategies they adopt to retain this knowledge and to transfer organizational knowledge to new employees.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were gathered from 101 academic librarians from 35 countries in 6 continents who provided qualitative answers to two open-ended questions in a survey questionnaire.

Findings

Documentation, training and digital repositories were found to be the primary strategies used. A number of respondents admitted to retention and transfer being done poorly. Very few libraries had a formal knowledge management (KM) process. The study proposes a theoretical framework for knowledge retention and transfer in libraries.

Practical implications

Libraries will be able to learn of retention and transfer strategies, and identify gaps in their KM process based on the mapping of a specific strategy to knowledge dimension or phase of the KM cycle.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study in the area of knowledge retention in libraries. The study brings together the perspectives of libraries across the world. The primary research contribution is the theoretical framework which can be used to further research on knowledge retention and transfer in the context of libraries.

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Ellen Caroline Martins and Hester W.J. Meyer

The purpose of this article is to identify and explore the organizational and behavioral factors that influence knowledge retention, specifically in the tacit knowledge sphere.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to identify and explore the organizational and behavioral factors that influence knowledge retention, specifically in the tacit knowledge sphere.

Design/methodology/approach

A multidisciplinary approach focusing on knowledge management and organizational behavior was followed to develop a theoretical model that identifies the organizational and behavioral factors to be considered when addressing the issues relating to knowledge loss. A quantitative empirical research paradigm using the survey method was adopted to determine the organizational and behavioral factors that impact on knowledge retention. The survey was conducted electronically and on paper in the water supply industry. The exploratory principal component factor analysis technique (PCFA technique) was used to explore the factor structure underlying the variables. The theoretical model was compared with the newly proposed factor model to determine similarities and differences.

Findings

Nine key factors were identified through the factor analysis, of which knowledge behaviors, strategy implementation, leadership and people knowledge loss risks proved to be the most important. In comparing the factor structure of the theoretically derived model and the PCFA‐composed factor structure, some factors essentially remained the same with few changes, and a number of new factors emerged.

Research limitations/implications

The literature study reveals that little research has been conducted in the field of knowledge retention with a behavioral focus. However, a vast amount of literature is found on knowledge, knowledge management, knowledge retention with a focus on organizational challenges and solution driven knowledge retention initiatives, and the organizational behavior discipline as such, thus facilitating the application of the relevant concepts to knowledge retention from an organizational and behavioral perspective.

Practical implications

This study encourages practitioners to take cognizance of the fact that organizations are different and that enhancing and impeding organizational factors as well as behavioral factors of knowledge retention are to be considered.

Originality/value

The findings should provide insight into the organizational and behavioral factors that should be considered in implementing a knowledge retention strategy to retain critical tacit knowledge, thus ensuring organizational effectiveness and competitive advantage.

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Muhammad Saleem Sumbal, Eric Tsui, Eric See-to and Andrew Barendrecht

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how companies are handling the issue of knowledge retention from old age retiring workers in the oil and gas sector. This is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how companies are handling the issue of knowledge retention from old age retiring workers in the oil and gas sector. This is achieved by providing a detailed insight on the challenges and strategies related to knowledge retention through study of companies from different geographical locations across the globe.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a qualitative research methodology and 20 semi-structured interviews, with open-ended and probing questions, were conducted to gain an in-depth insight into the knowledge retention phenomena.

Findings

Knowledge retention activities tend to be inconsistent in majority of the oil and gas companies, with not much work being done regarding knowledge loss from old employees, partly because of the fall in oil prices and layoffs. Oil prices turn out to be a decisive factor in oil and gas industry regarding workforce and knowledge retention activities. The political situation and geographical locations of the companies also affect the knowledge retention activities. Moreover, the aging workforce and retirement issue is more acute in the upstream sector.

Research limitations/implications

The focus of the study was on the oil and gas sector, and thus the research results may lack generalizability.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills an identified need for investigating the issues and challenges of knowledge retention regarding old age retiring employees by taking into account a global perspective and providing a comparison among different companies in different geographical locations.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2020

Leonardo Ensslin, Clarissa Carneiro Mussi, Sandra Rolim Ensslin, Ademar Dutra and Lydia Pereira Bez Fontana

The purpose of this paper is to support the management of organizational knowledge retention through a multi-criteria decision aiding–constructivist model.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to support the management of organizational knowledge retention through a multi-criteria decision aiding–constructivist model.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory and descriptive case study presents a decision support model guided by the constructivist approach and proactive in its operationalization.

Findings

The objectives and concerns of decision-makers regarding the retention of organizational knowledge are identified and organized into six strategic areas of concern, namely, recognition, knowledge dissemination, organizational culture, succession of professionals, management of vulnerability origins and knowledge management; a multi-criteria model is constructed and operationalized by a cluster of cardinal scales, showing and measuring the status quo of the performance profile, both in a local and global way, to support the management of the organization's knowledge retention; activities are classified into three performance levels (compromising, competitive and excellent), supported by graphical and numerical evidence; and the process to generate actions to improve the performance of critical activities and create the conditions to maximize the results of the organization is illustrated.

Practical implications

Based on the model, decision-makers are now aware of the essential aspects to support knowledge retention management, enabling them to monitor the current situation and proactively respond to ensure that the current knowledge potential is maintained and exploited.

Originality/value

Use of a constructivist approach to support the management of knowledge retention, incorporating into the model the specifics of the context and the values of its managers, and thus giving it legitimacy.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 24 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2018

Ewa Wikström, Ellinor Eriksson, Lejla Karamehmedovic and Roy Liff

The focus of this study is on the knowledge retention process, including knowledge capture, knowledge codification and the internalising of knowledge in organisations – a…

Abstract

Purpose

The focus of this study is on the knowledge retention process, including knowledge capture, knowledge codification and the internalising of knowledge in organisations – a key aspect of age management. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to an understanding of the difficulties in this process to discuss implications for organizational measures to retain knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on field research on a Swedish multinational company from the perspective of senior employees.

Findings

The findings indicate that knowledge retention is a complex phenomenon, partly because valued knowledge is tacit and knowing is highly subjective and transferred through learning in collaboration with others in the process of undertaking assignments and acting together in work situations.

Research limitations/implications

Knowledge retention is considered only from the perspective of senior, white-collar employees in this study; it would be of interest to consider other employees’ perspectives as well. A second limitation is that the data were collected at a single site. It could be argued, however, that a single case study research format provides an opportunity to gain deep knowledge and allows for explanations about observed phenomena, thereby contributing towards transferable scientific knowledge.

Practical implications

Knowledge retention is hindered by focusing solely on senior workers and on an explicit and commodified view of knowledge.

Social implications

Knowledge retention should be an on-going way of working throughout the organization in which tacit knowledge and knowing are important.

Originality/value

This study shows the importance of considering knowledge and knowing retention as a matter of continual interaction between actors. Retention of tacit knowledge and knowing is not merely a matter of capturing and codifying knowledge. This study contributes to an understanding of the internalisation of tacit knowledge and knowing in continual interaction and cannot be preceded by a step-wise process.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 22 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2011

Jayachandra Bairi, B. Murali Manohar and Goutam Kumar Kundu

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

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2013

Abdelkader Daghfous, Omar Belkhodja and Linda C. Angell

Research on knowledge loss is at an early stage of evolution. This paper seeks to extend the existent literature through an exploratory investigation of the drivers and

Abstract

Purpose

Research on knowledge loss is at an early stage of evolution. This paper seeks to extend the existent literature through an exploratory investigation of the drivers and impacts of knowledge loss, as well as associated retention strategies within manufacturing and service operations.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple research streams are used to explore and capture the complexities and intricacies of knowledge loss within four firms. The author follows a multiple case study approach with theoretical sampling of manufacturing and service firms.

Findings

The results of this study suggest that organizations should retain and diffuse architectural knowledge, improve strategic coordination among units, develop existing capabilities through different networking strategies and more effective networks, and transform these capabilities into effective organizational routines to mitigate knowledge loss and increase knowledge retention. Meanwhile, relying solely on standard operating procedures, information systems, and codification of knowledge in databases could undermine knowledge retention and lead to knowledge loss.

Practical implications

A comprehensive strategy to guide knowledge management efforts and actions should be adopted. Moreover, knowledge cannot be retained without the adoption of an integrative approach that comprises various strategies and without management commitment and drive.

Originality/value

The findings of this exploratory investigation add to the understanding of the knowledge loss phenomenon by showing that it is much more complex than was found in earlier studies emanating from various research streams. The paper proposes directions for future research.

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Tung-Ching Lin, Christina Ling-hsing Chang and Wen-Chin Tsai

Knowledge loss impact on the performance of management information system (MIS) departments due to its influence on absorptive capacity. Furthermore, knowledge retention

Abstract

Purpose

Knowledge loss impact on the performance of management information system (MIS) departments due to its influence on absorptive capacity. Furthermore, knowledge retention in human resource management and information system application is also included in the research model, in order to examine their effectiveness in mitigating knowledge loss. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey method and hypotheses are tested with the collected data from 191 Taiwanese IS personnel.

Findings

The results not only indicate knowledge loss has impacts on the absorptive capacity and performance of MIS departments while information systems could mitigate knowledge loss, but also provide deeper understanding of knowledge loss and potential issues for academics; as for practitioners, this study could serve as a reference to design and adopt knowledge management (KM) mechanisms.

Originality/value

KM is an important issue for organizations since it is the source of competitive advantages and excellent performance, although the investment in KM is not necessary effective in retaining knowledge. This study conducts survey to examine the influences of knowledge loss in MIS departments, since the high turnover rate of employees and the rapid environmental changes in technical world may worsen the situation. According to dynamic capability theory, absorptive capacity is a critical ability to have while facing turbulent environment.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 54 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2018

Nadège Levallet and Yolande E. Chan

This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of organizational information technology (IT)-based and non-IT-based knowledge transfer mechanisms (KTMs) for the retention of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effectiveness of organizational information technology (IT)-based and non-IT-based knowledge transfer mechanisms (KTMs) for the retention of different types of knowledge from mobile experts. It differentiates among four types of knowledge loss (KL), namely, conscious knowledge (i.e. individual explicit knowledge that can be codified); codified knowledge (i.e. explicit knowledge captured at the social level); automatic knowledge (i.e. implicit individual knowledge); and collective knowledge (i.e. implicit knowledge embedded in the organization).

Design/methodology/approach

A research framework connecting the organizational knowledge retention (KR) cycle to KL is developed and an exploratory analysis is conducted using data from two case studies in the Canadian federal public service. Findings are confirmed using a third government agency.

Findings

Without the right processes in place for organizational knowledge retrieval and reuse, the KR cycle is not complete, leading to KL. The lack of available social KTMs for the conversion of individual to social objectified knowledge leads to KL. KTMs shortcomings increase the risk of automatic and objectified KL.

Research limitations/implications

Exploratory results demonstrate that KL does not always equate to lack of KR. Implementing knowledge-specific organizational KTMs is important to encourage the retention of individual knowledge at the social level. Propositions and a framework are developed for future research.

Practical implications

Mobile experts hold valuable knowledge at high risk of being lost by organizations. This paper provides managers with a set of guidelines to develop a knowledge-specific strategy focused on KTMs that increase KR and mitigate KL.

Originality/value

This paper challenges the assumption that KL only results from poor retention and studies both retention and loss to identify additional types of unintentional loss that occur when individual knowledge is not converted to social knowledge.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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