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Mentoring and the transfer of organizational memory within the context of an aging workforce : cultural implications for competitive advantage

Dunham, Annette H. and Burt, Christopher D. B. 2010, Mentoring and the transfer of organizational memory within the context of an aging workforce : cultural implications for competitive advantage. In Harorimana, Deogratias (ed), Cultural implications of knowledge sharing, management and transfer : identifying competitive advantage, Information Science Reference, Hershey, Pa., pp.252-275, doi: 10.4018/978-1-60566-790-4.ch012.

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Title Mentoring and the transfer of organizational memory within the context of an aging workforce : cultural implications for competitive advantage
Author(s) Dunham, Annette H.
Burt, Christopher D. B.
Title of book Cultural implications of knowledge sharing, management and transfer : identifying competitive advantage
Editor(s) Harorimana, Deogratias
Publication date 2010
Chapter number 12
Total chapters 16
Start page 252
End page 275
Total pages 24
Publisher Information Science Reference
Place of Publication Hershey, Pa.
Summary Organizational memory, the knowledge gained from organizational experience, has significant potential for competitive advantage. Many authors in the knowledge management and human resource management literatures consider mentoring to be a particularly effective method of transferring organizational memory. In addition, older workers are often considered ideal mentors in organizations because of their experience and alleged willingness to pass on their knowledge to less experienced employees. There is an associated assumption that these workers also anticipate and experience positive outcomes when mentoring others. This chapter considers whether these assumptions hold up in the workplaces of the 21st century, particularly within Western countries. Individualistic cultural norms and some discriminatory practices towards older workers, along with a changing career contract that no longer guarantees employment in one organization for life, may discourage knowledge sharing in organizations. This chapter discusses the constraints and motivations that may operate when older experienced workers consider mentoring others. It considers relevant global and organizational cultural characteristics that may influence mentoring to transfer knowledge, and accordingly suggests strategies for those eager to capitalise on the knowledge experienced employees possess.
ISBN 1605667919
9781605667911
Language eng
DOI 10.4018/978-1-60566-790-4.ch012
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category B1.1 Book chapter
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30052380

Document type: Book Chapter
Collection: School of Psychology
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