Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Howard Schechter

Abstract

The potential knowledge loss from Baby Boomer generation employee retirements can negatively affect information systems organizations. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenology study was to explore the lived experiences of the leaders and managers of information systems organizations as they tried to maintain operational continuity after Baby Boomer worker retirements. The impact of this issue was the operational continuity after the Baby Boomer worker retirement. The social impact of this issue was the knowledge loss events that might result in business loss or even bankruptcy. McElroy's knowledge life cycle model was the conceptual framework for this study that included knowledge production and knowledge integration processes within a feedback loop. The lived experiences of 20 knowledgeable participants who had experienced institutional knowledge loss from retired Baby Boomer generation employees were captured through purposeful sampling. Data were collected through individual interviews using either face-to-face or a web conferencing tool such as Skype and analyzed through a modified Van Kaam. Five themes were identified: business climate, delivery practices, work processes, camaraderie, and management response. Significant attributes that added to the body of knowledge were workplace navigation, alternate focus, and outsourcing management. The results of the study may enable organizations to be better able to understand and manage the Baby Boomer knowledge loss effects and subsequently create systems to help maintain their competitive edge and avoid knowledge loss that might result in business loss or even bankruptcy.