Date of Conferral

1-1-2010

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Lilburn Hoehn

Abstract

The British Columbia government's Ministry of Health Services will experience significant loss of operational knowledge from an aging managerial workforce, increased staff turnover, and difficulties in recruitment. The purpose of this study is to provide the ministry's Strategic Human Resources Planning branch staff with a map and description of knowledge transfer practices used by approximately 40 managers within the ministry's Health Sector Information Management/Information Technology division and its Vital Statistics Agency. The study is a mixed-methods case study of knowledge retention and transfer practices founded on a knowledge management and social network theoretical foundation. To understand the ministry's complex nature of knowledge transfer, research questions examined the characteristics of an effective knowledge sharing network, associated knowledge sharing similarities and dissimilarities, and perceived knowledge sharing enablers and inhibiters. Social network and thematic analysis were used to collect, map, and analyze perceived informal knowledge transfer practices. Findings indicated that face-to-face communication, visual and verbal cues, and individuals who had a few powerful neighboring connections were influential knowledge resources. The social implications from these findings will act as a catalyst to shift prevalent cultural knowledge management practices thereby positively affecting workload and resource management. Employees will more clearly understand their knowledge management roles and how their actions affect service delivery to citizens. Acting as a knowledge transfer model, the ministry could positively influence the government's Public Service Agency, other ministries, health authorities, and private sector organizations to adopt effective knowledge transfer practices to improve managerial and managerial/staff communication and trust.