University of Twente Student Theses


Kennis houvast! Een verkenning naar een methodiek die cruciale, impliciete kennis van een ervaren medewerker achterhaalt en organisaties handvatten biedt om deze kennis te behouden

Nimeijer, Annet (2012) Kennis houvast! Een verkenning naar een methodiek die cruciale, impliciete kennis van een ervaren medewerker achterhaalt en organisaties handvatten biedt om deze kennis te behouden.

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Abstract:The coming years, metallurgy employers are facing the departure of employees by an increasing number of pensions. These leaving employees have built very extensive experience-, business- and sector knowledge by long services. The departure of these experts means the loss of crucial, tacit knowledge for the company. The goal of knowledge management is to protect existing knowledge within an organisation. Mainly the crucial, tacit knowledge of an organisation is important to protect, since these valuable knowledge is more likely to be lost and to impair the business continuity. The protection of the knowledge of the employees can take place in a systematic way by using a method. A method makes it possible for companies to independently safeguard knowledge of employees and organise knowledge management consequently. However, owners of metallurgy companies lack capacity and time to organise knowledge management. This gives a motive to carry out an exploration research to a method which provides the first step in drafting knowledge management. The central question in this graduate research is: „Where should the design of a method, which retrieves and retains crucial, tacit knowledge of an experienced employee in the metallurgy, meet?‟ To reach a conclusion, first a literature survey was conducted and then, two analyses are carried out. The theoretical framework made clear that an employee can have crucial, implicit knowledge on the areas of „primary processes‟, „supportive processes‟, „market and customers‟ and the „outer world‟. To retrieve knowledge in these areas, it has to be externalised (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). This means that the implicit knowledge of the employee must be made explicit, for example by using a semi-structured interview. The literature also showed that knowledge can be retained by managing knowledge or by facilitating knowledge. Managing knowledge means the use of interventions to transfer knowledge directly, for example by a class, e-learning or mentoring. Facilitating knowledge means structurally organizing the transfer of knowledge by, for example, facilitating trust, collaboration, communication and rewards. The analysis of the work field revealed the context of the metallurgy. At this moment, a couple of factors emerged, namely innovation needs, automation, little intakes and the difficult economic period. This context influences our target, consisting of little companies who are task-oriented, have little turnover and often do not have a personnel advisor. The average employee is a man, at around 40 years old, and has an average education level of VET level 3. As to retrieving and retaining knowledge, the wishes of our target and the analysis of solutions will be used to deduce an approach for the method. The research showed that the method should start with an orientated conversation with the owner of the company to find out who has crucial, implicit knowledge and on what knowledge areas. Subsequently, the knowledge of the employee will be retrieved by using the semi-structured interview and will be displayed in a knowledge map. Different ways to ask questions have drawn attention. In addition, the respondents indicated that mainly how-questions are the most suitable to retrieve knowledge. Finally, this knowledge can be best transferred through one-to-one knowledge transfer (for example mentoring) or knowledge transfer on group level (for example class). Regarding facilitation knowledge, the research made clear this subject needs more attention in the companies. For example by investing in the improvement of communication skills, the interaction around work can be improved and thus knowledge transfer can be stimulated.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Nehem KMC
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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