The “age wave,” or aging of the population and concurrent increase in retirees, is creating a loss of knowledge unlike that experienced in the American work force to date. Since many Baby Boomers are loyal employees who have worked for the same employer for several decades, the knowledge, both tacit and explicit, contained within this single generation is vast and integral to the continued success of many organizations and industries. While Knowledge Management (KM) has become a priority for many organizations, several studies have shown that current KM methods and technologies have not proven effective as a means of transferring knowledge between workers. Ethnography offers some advantages as a technique to capture, record, and transfer tacit and explicit knowledge. This paper uses two case studies to examine how ethnography and a co-creative method can be utilized to assist with knowledge management and succession planning.
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