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Title: Employees' responsibilities in a knowledge retention strategy: a Ugandan case study
Authors: Baguma, Sylvester D.
Ragsdell, Gillian
Murray, Ian
Keywords: Tacit knowledge
Knowledge retention
Retention strategy
Employee responsibilities
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited © the authors
Citation: BAGUMA, S.D., RAGSDELL, G. and MURRAY, I., 2014. Employees' responsibilities in a knowledge retention strategy: a Ugandan case study. IN: Rooney, J. and Murthy, V. (eds.) Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning (ICICKM 2014), Sydney, Australia, 6-7- November, pp. 485 - 492.
Abstract: When people join organisations, they come with their experiences, skills and expertise and they gain further knowledge as they execute their duties. Employees may write reports, research papers, and books; others may capture their expertise in expert systems. However, whatever is captured in these forms is modest compared to employees’ total knowledge. When they leave their employment, they carry with them most of their knowledge, resulting in loss of organisational intellectual asset and erosion of organisational memory thus negatively impacting on learning and innovation. Tacit knowledge is more vulnerable than explicit knowledge to being lost. An exploratory study was conducted in the Ugandan National Agricultural Research organisation (NARO) to identify strategies that can be implemented to minimise loss of tacit knowledge. One of the research questions this study addressed was ‘how can individual employees help NARO to minimise knowledge loss?’ This paper presents results from thirty six focus groups and highlights mandatory retirement, resignation, termination of contract, death, and absconding as the major reasons for tacit knowledge being lost from the organisation; it also identifies eight responsibilities for individual employees in minimising knowledge loss from the organisation. These responsibilities are: develop a spirit and attitude to sharing knowledge; capture and document processes, experiences and results; mentoring others and willingness to learn; being result-oriented and having passion for the job; be an effective team player; seek opportunities to acquire and improve knowledge; being open, transparent and trusted; and applying acquired knowledge. Whereas the authors acknowledge that management is responsible for ensuring that individual employees exercise their responsibilities in helping the organisation to minimise knowledge loss, it is not a focus of this paper to present and discuss such management responsibilities. Undertaking the responsibilities effectively requires an enabling organisational environment. Such an environment is likely to encourage employees to engage themselves in a positive behaviour of knowledge sharing so that even when an employee who is knowledgeable in a particular aspect leaves the organisation there will be some other employees with such expertise if it is shared within organisational teams or employee groups.
Description: This paper was presented at 11th International Conference on Intellectual Capital Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning. The Electronic version of the Conference Proceedings is available to download from DROPBOX. (http://tinyurl.com/ICICKM2014) Select Download and then Di‐ rect Download to access the Pdf file.
Version: Published
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/17548
ISBN: 978‐1‐910309‐71‐1
ISSN: 2048-9803
Appears in Collections:Conference Papers and Presentations (Business)
Conference Papers and Presentations (Computer Science)

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