Accession Number:

ADA499477

Title:

An Investigation of Knowledge Transfer and Retention in a Government Procurement Office

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND MANAGEMENT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

137.0

Abstract:

There is no measure for the loss of corporate memory. Organizations build a reservoir of knowledge in its employees, and this knowledge becomes a critical ingredient in an organizations ability to carry out its mission. Knowledgeable people are extremely valuable, and once they leave, their organizational knowledge leaves with them. This study introduces specific knowledge attributes that significantly impact tacit and explicit knowledge transfer and retention. The loss of corporate knowledge can arise within U.S. military organizations when civilian and military personnel are replaced with contractors to achieve the corporate mission of defense. Whether contractors work through contract completion or expiration, they work for a limited time, and when they leave that organization, their acquired corporate knowledge often leaves with them. This thesis will examine a government procurement program office to see if replacing experienced government employees with outsourced personnel affects corporate knowledge retention. The Air Forces Space and Missile Systems Center SMC will be examined to investigate its knowledge-sharing practices as its workforce has shifted toward a contractor-heavy work force. In addition, the study will assess how this shift may impact SMCs ability to execute the mission of conducting effective acquisition procurement over time. The following research questions are posed Is SMC at risk for losing corporate knowledge by hiring contractors Are SMCs knowledge retention methods useful for its employees and What forms of knowledge transfer do contractors support The study concludes that a loss of corporate knowledge can occur within U.S. Government procurement program offices when government personnel are replaced with contractors. When the organization does not have a useful knowledge management system, outsourced employees develop a lack of trust in the system, and a lack of transferred knowledge can be expected.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Information Science
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE