Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to aim to characterise the knowledge management process of the ageing human capital, within the sectors of aeronautics and bio‐technologies in Canada. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology consists of: cross‐search of literature towards the elaboration of a theoretical map; and collection of data involving semi‐directed interviews followed by a thematic and statistical analysis of the textual data. Findings – Management's knowledge of social and relational knowledge, especially those of ageing workers, appears to be scarce, thus resulting in ageing workers being perceived as surpassed by technological and scientific progress. This conception deprives the company of an important source of knowledge capitalisation. A model relevant to the evaluation of company practices related to inter‐generational aspects of knowledge management should include six basic dimensions, namely: management philosophy (a managerial style favouring projections and proximities), strategic analysis (knowledge, memory and learning strategy), organisational analysis (information management system and knowledge creation process), operational analysis (places of socialisation), competencies (relational and communicational know‐how, individual memory and capacity of judgement), and the role of ageing personnel (activation of organisational and human resource networks). Research limitations/implications – Further validation is required across an enlarged population, with the aim of operationalising the observed concepts within a practical evaluation guide of company practices related to inter‐generational aspects of knowledge management. Originality/value – By centering the analysis on highly qualified ageing individuals, the authors discerned a phenomenon showing that even within highly technological contexts knowledge management is far from systematically integrating those recognised a priori as carriers of knowledge.
Journal of Knowledge Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 4, 2008
Keywords: Knowledge creation; Knowledge transfer; Older workers; Biotechnology; Aerospace industry
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