The Dynamics of Knowledge Transfer within Multigenerational Work Environments: Building a Strategic Framework for Engagement and Exchange

By Roxanne Helm Stevens, Sondra Clark and Joshua Millage.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Recently, knowledge management has been touted as a component of strategic advantage within organizations. Indeed, Davenport and Prusak (1998) claim knowledge, vital to an organization because of the actions and consequences to which it leads, is a fundamental key to maintaining and gaining competitive advantage. However, the exact definition of what knowledge management (KM) is has been ambiguous. The use of knowledge management across various fields has given the subject several different interpretations and meanings. Additionally, there are also uncertainties amongst organizations as to how to implement knowledge management strategies.
Knowledge transfer, a central theme of knowledge management, is evolving through concepts and contributions; its importance is significant at a time when dynamic generational shifts are occurring in the workplace. With four generations actively working, strategic attempts at managing knowledge must be a priority for companies.
However, knowledge transfer strategies can be blurry and complicated. Even though during the past two decades a substantial body of research on knowledge management has been put forth; unfortunately, there are few resources in the area of knowledge transfer and, more specifically, knowledge transfer within multi-generational contexts.
Within this paper, the authors examines workforce demographics along with generational attributes and provide a framework towards understanding generational perspectives and barriers to cross-generational communication. Finally, the authors proposes a multi-level knowledge transfer model, the Awareness, Comprehension and Compromise Model, to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between diverse generations.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Knowledge Transfer, Multi-generational Diversity, Workplace Diversity

Global Studies Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.143-156. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 775.875KB).

Dr. Roxanne Helm Stevens

Chair, Master of Human Resources and Organizational Development, School of Business and Management, Azusa Pacific University, azusa, CA, USA

Roxanne Helm-Stevens joined Azusa Pacific University in 2000 as an Instructor in the School of Business and Management for both the Undergraduate and Graduate Programs. Through her dedication to excellence, she has acquired a reputation as a gifted instructor. Her university course evaluations are some of the best in the School of Business and Management and in the top five percent of the university. Her students laud her creative and inspirational approach to teaching. She is quite adept at infusing interactive teaching into a variety of pedagoligical formats—small group, lecture, cooperative learning, large undergraduate classes, etc. According to her students, she excels as an instructor. Consequently, her classes are very popular. Her commitment to excellence combined with her teaching effectiveness, has lead to increased responsibilities within the department. She serves on the Teaching Best Practices and Assessment committee. And, most recently, she has played a significant role for the School of Business and Management by taking the lead on several course development projects. Roxanne Helm completed her Master of Business Administration degree with concentrations in Leadership and Human and Organizational Development at Azusa Pacific University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in Strategic Management from Alliant International University. Active in her field, Roxanne has received certifications from the International Society for Process Improvement (2003) and also the American Society for Training and Development (2000).

Sondra Clark

Azusa Pacific University, CA, USA

Joshua Millage

Azusa Pacific University, CA, USA


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