Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Managers of organizations face increasing rates of retiring Baby Boomers as that generation begins to leave the workforce. Some managers of organizations have no formalized knowledge transfer strategies in place to reduce the lost productivity and negative financial effects of these retiring employees. The purpose of this single-site case study was to explore the knowledge transfer preferences of expert scientific support employees nearing retirement at a United States national laboratory in northern California. Understanding the preferences of employees nearing retirement may allow managers to affect the business practice of promoting organizational learning by implementing strategies that catalyze knowledge transfer from expert employees. Systems theory, expectancy theory, knowledge management theory, and organizational learning theory concepts provided the framework. Semistructured interviews with 24 expert scientific support employees provided data, which were subsequently coded and analyzed using the pawing technique. The analysis of themes revealed mentoring to be the preferred method of knowledge transfer, the barriers to knowledge transfer and multiple types of knowledge transfer, and the impact of lack of knowledge transfer on productivity. Public research organization managers implementing effective knowledge transfer programs may increase the potential for scientific discoveries affecting social change through increased prosperity of citizens who could benefit from the derivative advances in energy research.