Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Business survival requires that decision makers understand the critical knowledge resources that support the business' core competencies, while also facing the challenges of current labor trends. The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of the management staff at a west Tennessee manufacturing facility about industrial technician skill losses. This phenomenological design included semistructured interviews of 20 managers, supervisors, and engineers and was an exploration of the potential losses from skilled worker attrition. The foundations of labor theory; knowledge management; and accounting measurements of intangible assets in advanced technology, communications, and economic systems provided the key elements of the conceptual framework. Interview data were sorted and grouped into 6 principle themes: attrition/succession planning, skills technology support, training requirements, economic benefits, support to lean operations, and skills alternative sources. These findings may enhance positive social change by informing manufacturing business leaders on the benefits of active learning organizations, collaboration with administrators of technical educational programs for improved training, replacement technologies, and utilization of the global economy for replacement workers. For skilled technical employees, the social impact of this study might ensure another generation of craft workers to help promote the prosperity of American industries and provide competitive paying worker jobs to the supportive employers, communities, and institutions.