Companies are seeing valuable knowledge leave the organization as older workers eventually retire taking with them all their knowledge gained, however few companies have begun to focus on knowledge transfer from older to younger workers. Due to the economic downturn, many Baby Boomers are remaining in the workforce longer than planned. Therefore, the time is critical for organizations to act now. The purpose of this study was to understand what theme parks can do to leverage the knowledge base of its retirement workforce before they leave the company, which factors prevent or influence this knowledge transfer and the role of Human Resources in enabling a knowledge sharing organization. A series of face-to-face interviews with individuals who have retired from the theme park industry and human resources professionals in theme parks were conducted. Several themes surfaced as a result of this study and very little differences were found amongst the participant groups, whether they were a retiree or from HR. The results of the data revealed that there are none to minimal efforts in place in theme parks to leverage the knowledge base of the retirement workforce. The results also showed that there is a strong desire by those retiring to share their knowledge with the company and in most cases, there is an expectation that this transfer of knowledge take place. However, the lack of interest and engagement by the manager often results in a disappointed retiree and the perception of not being valued. The study also revealed that HR could play a key role in enabling a knowledge sharing organization. However, for knowledge transfer to take place, HR must first change the culture and prepare the organization to embrace the retirement process and accept it as a critical and important phase in an employee's career. The results showed that HR could have a key role not just in the transfer of knowledge, but also in the entire retirement process as a whole.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Knowledge management; Older people -- Retirement; Employees -- Training of; Amusement parks -- Management
Date of Award
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Castro, Carim, "Knowledge management and the retirement workforce in theme parks" (2013). Theses and Dissertations. 329.