Organizational memory and empowerment

Dunham, Annette H. and Burt, Christopher D. B. 2011, Organizational memory and empowerment, Journal of knowledge management, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 851-868, doi: 10.1108/13673271111174366.

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Title Organizational memory and empowerment
Author(s) Dunham, Annette H.
Burt, Christopher D. B.
Journal name Journal of knowledge management
Volume number 15
Issue number 5
Start page 851
End page 868
Total pages 18
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Place of publication Bingley, England
Publication date 2011
ISSN 1367-3270
Keyword(s) ageing workforce
knowledge management
knowledge transfer
older workers
organizational memory
Summary Purpose – The aim of this paper is to test a model of the relationship between organizational memory and empowerment. The model posited that organizational memory would be related to requests to share knowledge, psychological empowerment in the workplace (meaning, competence, self-determination and impact), and organization-based self-esteem. Design/methodology/approach – The model was tested with 134 employees representing six companies using hierarchical regression analysis. Findings – Significant relationships were found between organizational memory and requests to share knowledge, empowerment, and organization-based self-esteem. Findings indicated that a positive stereotype may exist towards older workers and the frequency they are requested to share knowledge, and that a halo-type effect may operate, where knowledge of an organization's history is generalized to other knowledge domains. Research limitations/implications – Causal implications cannot be made as this was correlational research. Some of the research measures while achieving acceptable to good reliability were in an early development stage. The study utilized a convenience sample that may limit how the results can be generalized. Practical implications – The paper indicates that organizations can emphasize positive outcomes for those who are knowledge repositories and mentors. It is also important to consider possible “positive stereotypes” which may be operating when organizational members evaluate older workers as knowledge repositories and mentors. Originality/value – The paper addresses the assumptions in the human resources literature concerning the role of older workers as repositories of organizational memory and suitable mentors. The study introduces the “requests to share knowledge scale”.
Language eng
DOI 10.1108/13673271111174366
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 C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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