Date of Award

Spring 7-3-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Amy Javernick-Will

Second Advisor

Paul Chinowsky

Third Advisor

Matthew Hallowell

Abstract

Today four generations of employees work together in workplaces. These diverse demographics can hinder knowledge flow across the organization because each generation has their own values and workplace expectations. Moreover, there is an additional issue of aging workforces which add more complexity to workplaces. Organizations realize they must effectively capture and disseminate knowledge and experience from this near-retirement cohort to incoming employees, and provide the opportunity for both older and younger employees to learn from each other. This is even a greater challenge in project-based construction and engineering industry. To address these needs, this research focused on (1) determining whether generational attributes of employees affect knowledge exchange patterns; (2) identifying the frequent knowledge sharing (KS) methods used and (3) preferred to use by each generation within communities of practice (CoPs) active in construction and engineering companies. Findings help managers to facilitate knowledge flow within CoPs across construction companies.

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