Issuu on Google+

An Exploratory Study of Inter-generational Knowledge Transfer within the Project Management Profession A doctoral dissertation by

Dr Gabriella Colombo

Submitted to the faculty of SKEMA Business School as partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in "Strategy, Program and Project Management"

ISBN: 978-1-909507-42-5 CopyrightŠ Gabriella Colombo Licence to publish granted to Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited, 2013 For more information see www.academic-conferences.org


AN EXPLORATORY STUDY OF INTER-GENERATIONAL KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER WITHIN THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROFESSION

Gabriella COLOMBO

Submitted to the faculty of SKEMA Business School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in “Strategy, Program and Project Management”

June 2012


Certificate of Authorship/Originality I certify that the work in this thesis has not previously been submitted for a degree nor has it been submitted as part of requirements for a degree except as fully acknowledged within the text.

I also certify that the thesis has been written by me. Any help that I have received in my research work and the preparation of the thesis itself has been acknowledged. In addition, I certify that all information sources and literature used are indicated in the thesis.

Signature of Student

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

i


Acknowledgments I sincerely thank my Thesis Supervisors Professor Charles DESPRES, Professor and Researcher at SKEMA Business School, for his support and guidance during this research, reviewing my progress, giving sound advices and encouraging me during this period. Thanks to professors and colleagues at SKEMA who have shared their knowledge and helped me in refining my thoughts. I thank all members of the PMI France-Sud Chapter, who have supported my efforts and more specifically: Jean-Claude Dravet, Honorary President, JeanMichel Groleau, President. Thank You Darielle for your constant presence and encouragement. I cherish our friendship. Thank You JM for your protecting and caring support. Finally, I wish to thank my parents and my children, Pierre and François, for all their love, support, patience and understanding.

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

ii


Table of Contents Certificate of Authorship/Originality........................................................................ i Acknowledgments ................................................................................................... ii Table of Contents ................................................................................................... iii List of illustrations and tables................................................................................. vi 1. CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION.............................................................................. 1 1.1 Background of the Study ............................................................................... 2 1.1.1 Workforce demographics........................................................................ 2 1.1.2 Knowledge Management, Capitalization and Transfer .......................... 5 1.2 Purpose of the Study ..................................................................................... 8 1.3 Theoretical Framework................................................................................ 10 1.4 Organization of the Study ............................................................................ 14 2. CHAPTER 2 – LITERATURE REVIEW .................................................................... 16 2.1 Generational Cohorts .................................................................................. 16 2.1.1 Introduction .......................................................................................... 16 2.1.2 Generations and cohorts ...................................................................... 17 2.1.3 Generational Cohorts in the workplace ................................................ 19 2.1.4 Limitations and controversy ................................................................. 25 2.1.5 Organizational implications .................................................................. 29 2.1.6 Learning Styles and Cognitive Styles ..................................................... 30 2.2 Knowledge Management, Capitalization, Transfer ..................................... 40 2.2.1 Introduction .......................................................................................... 40 2.2.2 Knowledge............................................................................................. 41 2.2.3 Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom .............................................. 42 2.2.4 Characteristics of Knowledge................................................................ 45 2.3 Tacit Dimension of Knowledge .................................................................... 49 2.3.1 Knowledge Creation Model .................................................................. 55 2.4 Knowledge Management............................................................................. 58

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

iii


2.4.1 Knowledge Management Systems........................................................ 61 2.4.2 Knowledge Capitalization...................................................................... 66 2.5 Knowledge Transfer ..................................................................................... 71 2.5.1 Factors influencing the Transfer of Tacit Knowledge ........................... 76 2.5.2 Motivation for Transferring Knowledge ............................................... 79 2.5.3 Methods and tools for transferring Tacit Knowledge ........................... 81 2.6 Conclusion of Literature Review .................................................................. 85 3. CHAPTER 3– METHODOLOGY ............................................................................ 88 3.1 Choice of the methodology ......................................................................... 88 3.2 Research Questions ..................................................................................... 90 3.3 Research Design ........................................................................................... 94 3.3.1 Population for the Study ....................................................................... 95 3.3.2 Ethical Considerations........................................................................... 95 3.3.3 Sampling techniques ............................................................................. 96 3.3.4 Interview Protocol and questions ......................................................... 98 3.3.5 Mailed Questionnaire ........................................................................... 99 3.4 Scope of the Study ..................................................................................... 101 3.5 Assumptions .............................................................................................. 101 4. CHAPTER 4 – DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS ............................................ 102 4.1 Qualitative Data Collection ........................................................................ 102 4.2 Qualitative Data Analysis ........................................................................... 103 4.3 Conclusions of the Qualitative Analysis ..................................................... 118 4.4 Quantitative Data Collection ..................................................................... 121 4.5 Quantitative Data Analysis ........................................................................ 121 4.6 Conclusions of the Quantitative Analysis .................................................. 171 4.7 Conclusions of the Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis ........................ 173 5. CHAPTER 5 – DISCUSSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION.......... 177 5.1 Discussion .................................................................................................. 178 5.2 Limitations of the Study ............................................................................. 188

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

iv


5.3 Implications for practice ............................................................................ 189 5.3 Implications for knowledge and theory..................................................... 190 5.4 Recommendations for Future Research .................................................... 192 5.5 Conclusions ................................................................................................ 193 REFERENCES ........................................................................................................ 194 APPENDIX ............................................................................................................ 204 APPENDIX A – Letter requesting Authorization to pursue study ................... 205 APPENDIX B – SEMI-DIRECTED INTERVIEWS .................................................. 209 APPENDIX C – SURVEY ..................................................................................... 221 APPENDIX D – ANALYSIS OF DATA ................................................................... 229

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

v


List of illustrations and tables Table 1 - Generational Cohorts ............................................................................. 24 Table 2 – Generational attributes and differences (adapted from De Meuse & Mlodzik, 2010) ....................................................................................................... 28 Table 3 - Knowledge Characteristics ..................................................................... 49 Table 4 - Questionnaire demographics ............................................................... 131

Figure 1 - Onion Model adapted from Curry (1983) and Riding (1997) - SadlerSmith (1999) .......................................................................................................... 32 Figure 2 - Cognitive Styles Model - Cools and Van der Boeck (2007) ................... 34 Figure 3 - Learning Styles Inventory Model - Kolb (2005) ..................................... 36 Figure 4 - Learning Styles Questionnaire Model - Honey and Mumford (1986)... 38 Figure 5 - DIKW model - Bellinger, Castro and Mills (2000) .................................. 43 Figure 6 - SECI Model - Nonaka & Takeuchi (1995)............................................... 55 Figure 7 - "BA" Model - Nonaka & Konno (1998) .................................................. 56 Figure 8 - SECI & BA & ICT - Tiwana (2001) ........................................................... 62 Figure 9 - The SECI Model of Knowledge Creation and Utilization - Nonaka and Reinmoller (2000) .................................................................................................. 63 Figure 10 - Knowledge Capitalization cycle - Grundstein (1992) .......................... 69 Figure 11 - Communication model – based on Shannon and Weaver (1957) ...... 73 Figure 12 - 4 Knowledge Transfer phases - Szulanski (1999) ................................ 73 Figure 13 - KT System - Sveiby (2001) ................................................................... 74 Figure 14 - KT as Translation process - Holden and Von Kortzfleisc (2004) .......... 76

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

vi


1. CHAPTER 1 – INTRODUCTION Within the past decades Knowledge Management (KM) practices have changed and evolved in organizations. Since the early 90s companies have realized that knowledge represents a major factor of competitive advantage and sustainability in the market place. In order to compete in a fast changing economic environment, companies had to rethink how to do business, to focus on their core competencies, and on attracting and retaining knowledge, considered as a new form of organizational capital. KM has become a discipline in itself, heavily supported by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). KM policies and practices have been implemented through Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) aiming at capturing, stocking, retrieving and disseminating information within the organizations. In the past few years, a new concept of KM has emerged due to the expansion of the internet and what is now termed Web 2.0 technologies: a more human-centered approach is increasingly implemented, based on human interactions and collaboration, interpersonal and virtual relationship, social and professional networking. Organizational models, working practices, management skills and behaviors, are being transformed and rethought, with changes corresponding to the arrival of a new generation of employees (Generation Y, or Millennials) who have different working habits, who are eager to find and share knowledge anytime and anywhere, often in step with their ease in using new technologies. On the other hand, this demographic shift also affects organizational models: as a consequence of global population ageing, organizations are now faced with the challenge of capitalizing on the know-how and experience of older workers who are retiring massively within the next few years. Because knowledge is created by individuals, within a specific context, and needs space and time to be developed and shared, it becomes difficult for organizations to facilitate the collaboration and knowledge flow that leads to

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 1 of 300


enhanced capitalization on experiential knowledge, given their existing structures, processes and routines. Taking into account the tacit dimension of knowledge, often defined as knowhow (and in French, a combination of “savoir-faire” and “savoir-être”), this exploratory study focuses on tacit knowledge transfer between the three most represented generational cohorts in today’s workplace. In order for this transfer to happen, we explore factors which might influence individual’s attitude to transferring their know-how: enabling and inhibiting factors, motivators and the preferred methods for Knowledge Transfer (KT) between generations. By identifying and analyzing those factors, and their relationship to generational cohorts, we will be able to clarify how tacit knowledge transfer between diverse generational cohorts can be facilitated.

1.1 Background of the Study The background of the study section includes a review of the workforce demographics, and different generational cohorts in the workplace. This section also explores the main items related to Knowledge Management (KM), Knowledge Capitalization (KC) and Knowledge Transfer (KT), underlying the importance of tacit knowledge and its transfer.

1.1.1 Workforce demographics The world is ageing at unprecedented pace in the Western and industrialized countries. Combined with high levels of birth rates in developing countries, this indicates a huge demographic shift in the world population. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division states that, “Population ageing is enduring. Since 1950, the proportion of older persons has been rising steadily, passing from 8% in 1950 to 11% in 2009, and is expected to reach 22% in 2050. As long as old-age mortality continues to decline and fertility remains low, the proportion of older persons will continue to increase.”(DESA -

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 2 of 300


United Nations, 2009 p.viii). Still, according to the United Nations “Europe is currently the world’s major area with the highest proportions of older persons and is projected to remain so, for at least the next 50 years. About 37% of the European population is projected to be 60 or over in 2050, up from 20% in 2000”. (DESA - United Nations, 2009 p.12). All EU27 nations have started to address this demographic challenge, which will have a strong impact on the social and economic landscape of Europe. Through a series of initiatives stated and reviewed by the Lisbon Strategy (2000 – 2010), Europe needs to strengthen its international competitiveness, by raising education, supporting innovation, increasing sustainability, supporting intergenerational cooperation (Stiftung & Monte, 2008). Within organizations, generational diversity has become a key issue to face. There are four generational cohorts currently working together at different hierarchical levels in organizations: “…at no previous time in our history have so many and such different generations with such diversity been asked to work together […] side by side […] - there have been multiple generations employed in the same organization before. But, by and large, they were sequestered from each other by organizational stratification and the structural topography of a manufacturing-oriented economy” (Zemke, Raines, & Filipczak, 1999, p.10). The most popular classification of today’s generational cohorts in the workplace is as follows: Veterans (people born before 1945), Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964), Generation X (called Xers, people born between 1965 and 1979) and Generation Y (also called Nexters, or Millennials, born after 1980). This classification is used, with some differences in naming conventions, but as generally accepted definitions, in popular books such as: Generations at Work: Managing the Clash of Veterans, Boomers, Xers and Nexters in Your Workplace (Zemke et al., 1999), When Generations Collide: Who They Are. Why They Clash. How to Solve the Generational Puzzle at Work (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002), The

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 3 of 300


M-Factor: how the Millennial Generation is rocking the workplace (Lancaster & Stillman, 2010). In the workplace, a feature of this generational diversity is that each cohort has different values, characteristics and skills based on life experiences, education and professional environments, and their diverse work attitudes, expectations and motivations often lead to deep misunderstandings and conflicts across generations in the workplace (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002). Managing this “melange of ages, faces, values, and views is an increasingly difficult duty” (Zemke et al., 1999, p.25). As a consequence of demographic changes, and besides managing the workforce generational diversities, organizations are now faced with Baby Boomers gradually retiring within the next few years. Because of low birth rates in industrialized countries, a lower number of younger people will enter the labor force leaving a void of jobs, skills, and competencies. The main issues identified have been a loss of productivity, a brain drain and a talent gap (Arnone, 2006), defining brain drain as a consequence of large scale retirements of Baby Boomers, and talent gap as the shortage of younger workers with the appropriate skills to replace the retirees (Arnone, 2006). According to Stam (2009) those issues are linked to the ability of organizations to make knowledge productive (Stam, 2009). In this context, capitalizing on knowledge also relates to the ability to facilitate knowledge transfer between diverse generations. Baby Boomers have often accumulated “knowledge, skills and wisdom, that has either not been captured within the organization's collective memory system or which has not been personally transferred to other individuals in the organization […] Yet many organizations do not act with the same sense of urgency when the lack of a knowledge Transfer process results in a continuous loss of unrecoverable knowledge” (Calo, 2008, p.405).

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 4 of 300


1.1.2 Knowledge Management, Capitalization and Transfer Knowledge Management (KM) practices have, since the 1990s, tried to address the issues linked “to learn, acquire, create, develop, share, use, and apply knowledge in support of the firm’s customer value proposition, competitive logic, and integrated activity system” (Rastogi, 2002, p.232). In order to achieve this, very sophisticated and elaborated KM Systems have been introduced, based often on new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Heavily reliant on ICT, Knowledge Capitalization (KC) has been defined as a process to, “locate and make visible the enterprise knowledge, be able to keep it, access it and actualize it, know-how to diffuse it and better use it, put it in synergy and valorize it” (Grundstein, 1995, cited in Dieng et al. 1998, p.9). KC processes have been widely used in the past twenty years in knowledgeintensive firms and project-based environments. Grundstein’s model has been the basis for several methodologies and tools developed in order to formalize and capture implicit knowledge, and make it available to other parts of the organization. The main purpose of KC processes have been to convert individuals’ know-how and experiential knowledge into explicit knowledge which could be stored, shared and re-used for the benefit of the organization. For the purpose of this study, we will not look at the KC process as defined above, but mostly at its underpinning concepts which consider that (a) knowledge is connected to individuals and to activities that use that knowledge, (b) knowledge capitalization connects knowledge to action (c) capitalize on knowledge results in applying the knowledge created and acquired by the individuals though the interactions with a group (Grundstein, 2004). On a broader perspective, as Giddens (1984) posited in his Structuration Theory, individuals capitalize on their knowledge on their daily tasks: whatever action is taken, the decision to act so is based on personal experience, hence on individual’s knowledge, or the capital of knowledge that individuals have stocked throughout their life experiences. In order to make the “good decision” we capitalize on our knowledge within a specific situation and specific space and

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 5 of 300


time boundaries. We are able to recall (consciously or unconsciously) what we have learned, and put it into actions. Giddens specifies that routines (or habits) help us to reproduce patterns of behavior within a specific context (space-time distanciation) before becoming subconscious knowledge (what we know without knowing it) (Giddens, 1984). This subconscious knowledge compares to what has been defined as “tacit knowledge”: personal, context-specific, hard to formalize and communicate (Polanyi, 1966). By its nature tacit knowledge is then difficult identify and to share: “an individual’s tacit knowledge appears through talents, abilities, skills, professional knack, insight, wisdom, and shared behaviors (traditions, communities of practice, collusion)” (Grundstein, 2004, p.6). According to the Structuration Theory, mentioned above, we do capitalize on tacit knowledge, but on an organizational perspective, in order to balance processes and serendipity (Liebowitz, 2009), the question often debated is how is tacit knowledge transferred and the question we want to explore is how to facilitate this tacit knowledge transfer. Based on the work of the Japanese authors Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995), knowledge is created and expanded through social interaction. Through a dynamic model of conversions, the SECI Model (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995), knowledge is created, shared and capitalized throughout our daily tasks, actions and interactions. In the SECI Model, the Socialization phase is where individual’s tacit knowledge is shared with others through observations, imitation and practice; the Externalization is where tacit knowledge is articulated through metaphors, stories and models, to become explicit; during the Combination phase, explicit knowledge is shared in conversations, meetings, and documents, to create new explicit knowledge; and in the Internalization phase the explicit knowledge is internalized into individuals’ tacit knowledge. Every step of this model happens in specific spaces or context, “BA” in Japanese, which facilitate the processes where knowledge can be created, transferred, and capitalized.

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 6 of 300


In line with Nonaka’s “BA”, in a traditional perspective, we can find that tacit knowledge is transferred and new knowledge created within face-to-face interactions, learning-by-doing activities, or learning-by-experience (Turner, Keegan, & Crawford, 2000). In the context of new technologies and the emergence of Web 2.0, we can also consider Social Networks, Wikis and Blogs as “collaborative spaces” to facilitate knowledge transfer and creation (I Boughzala & Dudezert, 2012). In the context of generational diversity, we want to clarify if common patterns arise from diverse generational cohorts and how those preferred collaborative spaces can enhance intergenerational tacit knowledge transfer.

In 2001, Peter Drucker wrote about the new economy in the 21st Century: “The next society will be a knowledge society. Knowledge will be its key resource, and knowledge workers will be the dominant group in its workforce […] Given the ease and speed at which information travels, every institution in the knowledge society […] has to be globally competitive […]the dominant factor in the next society will be something to which most people are only just beginning to pay attention: the rapid growth in the older population and the rapid shrinking of the younger generation” (Drucker, 2001, p.2) This encapsulates in only few words the objective of the present study. Since employees’ knowledge is now clearly a key element in sustainable competitive advantage, the shift in workforce demographics occasioned by the massive retirement of older workers coupled to the arrival of smaller and different generational cohorts, underscores the importance of optimizing knowledge dynamics between generational cohorts.

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 7 of 300


1.2 Purpose of the Study This is an exploratory study that focuses on how tacit knowledge is transferred between generational cohorts, taking into account individual preferences in terms of methods, motivators, enablers and inhibitors in a transfer event. In order to better understand these phenomena, the study also takes into account individual perceptions of learning and cognitive styles. This topic is of significant interest in the practitioner and academic domains, stemming from (a) the increasing emphasis placed on knowledge phenomena in the workplace over the last 30 years, (b) the massive departures of older workers (Baby-Boomers), often highly qualified employees from their workplaces currently underway (and projected to intensify for the near-term future) in Western employment contexts, (c) the recent discussions and issues raised by the professional press and a few academic studies on the arrival of younger professionals (Millennials) in the workplace.

While the academic and practitioner literatures have treated this and related issues for some time, there are the existing literature significant gaps that this research project will be addressing. It is also expected that a more rigorous set of practices will be developed through the study that should be of considerable benefit to practicing managers.

This study is carried out within the specific setting of a professional community, that of Project Management professionals in France, which transcends organizational boundaries. Project Management professionals have specific characteristics which have been identified in several studies (Crawford, 2000; MĂźller & Turner, 2010; Turner, Grude, & Thurloway, 2002; Turner, MĂźller, & Dulewicz, 2009). Such works generally attribute certain characteristics to Project Management

professionals,

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

including

conscientiousness,

intuitiveness,

Page 8 of 300


motivation, self-awareness and critical analysis characteristics thought to influence a project’s success.

The objective of this study is to identify a framework for tacit knowledge transfer between generational cohorts. We will explore differences and similarities between generational cohorts in terms of perceived cognitive styles, learning styles, and preferred knowledge transfer methods. This will clarify if Web 2.0 tools and/or other methods may be best suited for different cohorts, and how optimal knowledge transfer occurs. We will also explore which common patterns emerge between generational cohorts in terms of motivators, enablers and inhibitors for tacit knowledge transfer. This implicates the practical issue of how organizations may enhance practices for supporting knowledge flow, from which derives the main question of this study: “How can tacit knowledge transfer between generational cohorts be facilitated”? This raises a series of important questions, about how knowledge is transferred and created between the different generations of workers; what factors influence the knowledge transfer process, and to what extent are these factors similar or different across generational cohorts, and finally how the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies may enhance the knowledge transfer dynamics amongst professionals. We will discuss more in details the research questions, in Chapter 3 – Methodology.

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 9 of 300


1.3 Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework of this exploratory study emerges from the interconnection and interdependence of: •

Piaget’s Constructivisme – “La naissance de l'intelligence chez l'enfant” (1936)

Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory – “ Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development” (1984)

Giddens’ Structuration Theory – “The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration” (1984)

Nonaka’s dynamic theory for knowledge creation – “The Knowledge Creating Company” (1995) co-authored with Takeuchi.

1.3.1 Piaget’s Constructivism Piaget was defined as the pioneer of the constructivist theory of knowing (Von Glasesfeld, 1982). At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Swiss psychologist, biologist and philosopher Jean Piaget (1897-1980) started his reflections on what became Constructivist theory. Piaget channeled his work and research toward theories on how children learn at different stages of life. But more importantly to this study, he developed a theory of the human cognitive development, focusing on the central role played by the learner versus the teacher. He proposed that human beings are not to be “given” knowledge for them to understand and use, but that people construct their own knowledge by capitalizing on their experiences. From experiences individuals create mental models, or schemas, or simply put their own representation of the world and reality. Piaget’s cognitive constructivism asserts that individuals learn by actively creating new knowledge and by engaging personally into this activity. Piaget states: “The intellectual activity begins with the confusion of experience and consciousness of the self,

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 10 of 300


because of the chaotic lack of differentiation of accommodation and assimilation” (Von Glasesfeld, 1982, p.7), two processes which help the categorization and modification of mental models. The constructivist approach underpins the overall praxis of this research, considering that individuals create their own world view, and there is no unique reality, but multiple interpretations of the same reality.

1.3.2 Kolb’s Experiential Learning Based on Piaget’s school of thought, Kolb’s Theory of Experiential Learning (Kolb, 1984) gives a different perspective (compared to traditional theories on learning) underlying the relationship between learning, work, other life activities and knowledge creation. Learning is defined by Kolb as “holistic integrative perspective that combines experience, perception, cognition and behavior” (Kolb, 1984, p.21); knowledge creation is a recurring process as ideas and knowledge are not fixed and immutable elements of thought but are formed and re-formed through experience. Kolb states that “learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience” (Kolb 1984). Learning is then seen as a process and not as an outcome, as failing to adapt knowledge through experience might result in non-learning. This theory and the resulting Learning Styles Inventory are further explored in Chapter 2 – Literature Review.

1.3.3 Giddens’ Structuration In his Structuration Theory, Giddens reviews the existing social theories by incorporating the time-space elements and their relationships within the social systems, stating that all social action and interactions between the knowledgeable human agents are recursive, that is to say, continually created

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 11 of 300


and recreated within a span of time and space (Giddens, 1984). Agents constantly monitor the conduct of day-to-day continuity of social life through “routinization”, acting through habits or routines, which are vital to the psychological mechanisms as they are the bases for trust and security. As routines are the focus of the structuration theory, Giddens explains that routines come into action from the recall of previous experiences, what generally is called memory; he refers to Heidegger’s definition of memory being an act of presencing (as present cannot be said or written without its fading into the past, so there is not present but presencing), and he clarifies that whichever action is based on knowledge previously acquired, defined as tacit knowledge, but that he calls practical consciousness. Practical consciousness is the “recall to which the agent has access in the “durée” of action without being able to express what he knows” (Giddens, 1984, p.41), while discursive consciousness is the psychological mechanism of recall which is verbally expressed by the actor; he also give his definition of the unconscious being a mode of recall to which the agent does not have access, mostly due to some barriers that inhibits it (with some differentiation from Freudian model). This theory is particularly relevant to this study as it sets the basis of how tacit knowledge can be defined; the role of the practical consciousness linked to what we don’t know to know, and the key role of experience and routines in enabling human knowledgeable agents to act, so to make decisions and to have an impact on the reflexivity of the flow of social life.

1.3.4 Nonaka’s Knowledge creation As knowledge is created through social interaction and shared within social activities, an immediate link emerges with Nonaka’s theory of dynamic organizational learning. In 1994, Nonaka based his theory on the organizational knowledge creation theory, which stated that the distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge represents the epistemological dimension of organizational

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 12 of 300


knowledge creation, while the social interaction between individuals, who share and develop knowledge, is the ontological dimension of knowledge creation. Organizations amplify and crystallize the knowledge created by individuals as part of the knowledge network of the organization (Nonaka, 1994). In his theory, Nonaka adds the concept of a dynamic knowledge creation model, where tacit knowledge held by individuals is mobilized into a “spiral of knowledge” creation through socialization, combination, externalization and internalization. Nonaka explains that: “joint creation of knowledge by individuals and organizations, is at the same time a basic theory for building a truly “humanistic” knowledge society beyond the limitations of mere “economic rationality”” (Nonaka, 1994, p.34). This theory highlights the key role played by the process of knowledge transfer, and through the definition of “spaces” for collaboration and sharing (“BA” in Japanese) set the basis for the exploration of this study about the preferred methods for knowledge transfer between generational cohorts.

Based on those theories, this research focuses on the concepts and processes linked to the transfer of tacit knowledge as an essential element of organizational development; this can occur by: (a) recognizing the existence and the value of tacit knowledge; (b) acknowledging that tacit knowledge is an intangible asset and that most of the time people do not know that they possess it and that knowledge might be different according to individuals as it is their on construction of the reality (c) acknowledging that tacit knowledge is firstly created by individuals and without individuals and their interactions knowledge is not created nor transferred (d) understanding that experience is the source of knowledge creation and learning, but learning is not an output but a process.

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 13 of 300


1.4 Organization of the Study In Chapter 1 we have introduced the background of this exploratory study, and the major subjects and theories that are at the heart of this research: • • •

Workplace demographics Knowledge management, capitalization and transfer Theoretical framework

And we have highlighted the purpose and the objective of this exploratory study. Chapter 2 includes a thorough review of the literature about the main subjects included in this study, that is: •

Generational cohorts: the definitions of generation, cohorts and generational cohorts, the different generational cohorts in the workplace, their main differences and the findings from practitioner press as well as academic literature. In order to give a different dimension on the differences between generational cohorts, this study takes into account individuals’ perception of their cognitive and learning styles to evaluate which impact those styles might have on generational cohorts and their knowledge transfer processes.

Knowledge Management and Capitalization: although this is a vast subject to discuss, the main points have been reported, on the definition and characteristics of knowledge, knowledge management and knowledge capitalization process.

Tacit knowledge: one of the dimensions of knowledge is “tacit”, we review here the definitions and dimensions of tacit knowledge and its importance in the workplace

Knowledge Transfer: as a key topic for this research, knowledge transfer process, its attributes, the motivators and inhibitors are considered in this section

Chapter 3 reviews the methodology chosen for this study, that of mixedmethods, the reason behind the choices, the structure of the research and the

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 14 of 300


different phases of the research, qualitative phase first, then the quantitative phase. Chapter 4 gives details about the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. Being a sequential multistrand research, firstly research questions are defined, and propositions for the qualitative phase are defined; through face-toface interviews, data is collected and analyzed, the results have been used to propose hypotheses for the quantitative part of the study, and the definition of the questions for a mailed questionnaire. Findings of both phases and general results are discussed in this chapter. Chapter 5 reveals the conclusions of this research, answering the research questions to attain the research objective. Also recommendations for the practitioners’ practices and for academic future studies are discussed in this final Chapter.

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 15 of 300


2. CHAPTER 2 – LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Generational Cohorts 2.1.1 Introduction As the world is ageing, the landscape of the workplace is changing too. Today companies employ up to 4 different generations in the workplace, going from the people born after the World War II up to the youngest generation of people born in the 1980’s. Today’s workforce is diverse in terms of religion, race, nationalities, but although organizations have put in place within the past 15 years strong diversity policies, to deal with exclusion and racism in the workplace, a new dimension of diversity is emerging, that of generational diversity. In order to better understand which the challenges are for organizations and Human Resources Management (HRM), we need to clarify terms and definitions of generations and cohorts and define which terms will be most appropriate for this study. It is not easy to give a definitive and comprehensive description of generations as this brings together work and theories from different disciplines, demographers, sociologists, marketing studies, which all attribute different names, dates and psycho-sociological traits to those groups of individuals. Also HRM practices need to face the issue of the ageing population and consequently the ageing workforce. Population ageing is profound, having major consequences and implications for all facets of human life. In the economic area, population ageing will have an impact on economic growth, savings, investment, consumption, labor markets, pensions, taxation and intergenerational transfers. In the social sphere, population ageing influences family composition and living arrangements, housing demand, migration trends, epidemiology and the need for healthcare services. In the political arena, population ageing may shape voting patterns and political representation (DESA - United Nations, 2009).

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 16 of 300


The EU27 population is projected to become older with the median age projected to rise from 40.4 years in 2008 to 47.9 years in 2060. The share of people aged 65 years or over in the total population is projected to increase from 17.1% to 30.0% and the number is projected to rise from 84.6 million in 2008 to 151.5 million in 2060. Similarly, the number of people aged 80 years or over is projected to almost triple from 21.8 million in 2008 to 61.4 million in 2060. The population is projected to become older in all European Union Member States due to the combined effect of the existing structure of the population, persistently low fertility and continuously increasing number of survivors to higher ages (Giannakouris, 2010).

2.1.2 Generations and cohorts From a sociological stand point there are different definitions of generations. Mentré (1922) in his book “Générations sociales” specifies the existence of four different definitions of generations: genealogical, demographic, social and historic. The first on, genealogical generation, defines a group of people linked by family or kinship ties; the definition of demographic generation is simply based on the year of birth, and includes people born in the same year, but not assuming any commonality amongst them; on the other hand, the historic generation defines people that have shared some specific social or cultural events, hence share the same values and culture (an example of this can be “generation 1914” young adults of the First World War or the French defined “génération 68”); the social generation definition links the latter two definitions, indicating a group of people born in the same span of years and who have shared common external events hence common values. It is also worth mentioning when the external events actually start impacting the individuals within a generation: there is a period in youth (often just a few months) just before the stabilization of adult life defined as “transitional socialization”, where individuals start to construct their life courses, and this is dependent on the environment, education, family, and external social events which impact their development;

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 17 of 300


this individual development coupled with a cultural, historical or spiritual dimension, has a “socialization effect” on individuals within the social groups (Mannheim, 1952). Within other definitions of generations and cohorts, we can list some of them, found in literature from sociology, marketing and health management: • Ryder (1965) describes a generational cohort as a group of human beings born over a relatively short and contiguous period that is deeply influenced and bound together by the events of their formative years (Ryder, 1965). • Smola and Sutton called a cohort a generational group of individuals who share historical or social life experiences, the effects of which are relatively stable over the course of their lives (Smola & Sutton, 2002) • Schewe, Meredith and Noble noted that “generations are different from cohorts [. . .] each generation is defined by its year of birth and it is 20 to 25 years in length, roughly the time it takes to grow up and have children [ . . .] Unlike generations, cohorts are formed by external events occurring during formative years and can be of any length” (Schewe, Meredith, & Noble, 2000 p.48) • Meredith and Schewe, define birth cohort as a group of people born during a given time period who share the same historic environment and many of the same life experiences, including tastes and preferences (Meredith & Schewe, 2009) • Zemke, Raines and Filipczak clarify in a very simple manner that “members of a cohort who come of age in lean times or war years think and act differently than those born and raised to their majority in peace and plenty” (Zemke et al., 1999 p.14) Because of the specificity of this research being based in France, it needs to be mentioned that definitions of cohorts and generations are not equal, depending on the geographical area academics and practitioners evolve. As an example, as the French sociologist Louis Chauvel points out:

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 18 of 300


The use of “generations” in European social science is more permissive than in the American academic context: for American sociologists, “generation” refers to the sociology of kinship and to family issues, while “cohort” (or “birth cohort”) refers to people born in the same year (Ryder, 1965) …. The European tradition is different: we define (Mentré, 1922; Mannheim, 1929) “social generation” as specific groups of cohorts exposed to a common pattern of social change and/or sharing collective identity features such as ethnicity, gender, or class (Chauvel, 2006 p.2)

Nevertheless, for this study we will use the term of generational cohorts, as defined by Ryder, which seems more comprehensive and has been used widely in recent literature on generational differences and generational diversity issues, even in the French popular and practitioners’ press. From a terminological stand point, “cohort” originally comes from a division of Roman Legions (soldiers) in ancient times, but it has been recently used to refer to groups of individuals who share some characteristics. A generational cohort can be differentiated by their intrinsic attitudes, preferences, values (Smola & Sutton, 2002). A generational cohort span of time is different, shorter or longer, than a generation. As generational cohorts are strongly influenced by events which occurred in their forming years, all major economic or political changes, wars, technological innovations, and social changes have affected their constructs as adults, their values and preferences (in family life, professional choices and careers, religion etc.).

2.1.3 Generational Cohorts in the workplace The formalization of generational cohorts is still unclear and debatable amongst professionals and the precise age ranges and names for each generation can vary. Generally speaking, there is consensus and common understanding of four generational cohorts in today’s workplace:

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 19 of 300


1. Silent Generation (Veterans) - individuals born 1925-1945 (Hicks & Hicks, 1999; Strauss & Howe, 1991) 2. Baby Boom Generation (Boomers) - people born 1946-1964 (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002) 3. Generation X (Xers) - individuals born 1965-1980 (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002) 4. Generation Y (Millennials) - people born 1981-1999 (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002).

Specific characteristics are often assigned to each generational cohort by the popular press, but there is little empirical evidence supporting the existence of such specificities. We will discuss later in this section the academic work which proved differences and those which did not. Here after are described the generational cohorts as found in professionals press.

Veterans were born prior to World War II. Veterans’ memories and influences are those linked to the wars; some people still remember the economic difficulties in 1929, but most of them have participated in the war or lived that dramatic period. Their values are based on those external events: fundamentally they respect authority, have strong beliefs in religion, and accept sacrifice as an integral factor of their lives, even if they might not get immediate benefits for their efforts. They value effort, discipline, courage, commitment and loyalty: those are the values that they acquired and built while working in the post-war period, with the hope and belief to build a better world for their children. Being loyal to their organization, they look for stability and a linear career, behaving as good soldiers for their organizations, while carrying traditions, wisdom and practical knowledge (Zemke et al., 1999).

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 20 of 300


We needed to mention Veterans in this review, as some Veterans are still part of the economic and working landscape, but most are already retired, although for this exploratory study, we will focus on the following generational cohorts: Boomers, Xers, and Millennials.

Boomers – They lived the exciting period of economic prosperity after the war, a period of very high birthrates, and this is the largest generational cohort in terms of numerical presence. Boomers are defined as being optimistic, idealistic, and competitive (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002). Confident in their ability to change the world, they raised organized opposition movements focusing on Civil Rights and Women’s Rights. Boomers are looking for a participative workplace, valuing the human interactions and bringing the heart to the office (Zemke et al., 1999). On an organizational perspective, boomers are engaged, and work has a very important place in their lives, they are attached to recognition, and their social status. They are described as careerists, looking for good reputation, and in some ways, like Veterans, they prefer a linear career within the same organization.

Generation X (Xers) - Although they follow the optimistic period of Boomers, Xers reached adulthood in a very different social context. They are considered as a small but influential population, often defined as the most misunderstood of the generations in the workplace (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002). This generational cohort is influenced by the difficult times due to the several subsequent economic crises and recessions, which were characterized by governmental austerity policies. Xers lived the first years of huge social changes, first within their own families, as divorce started to increase and consequently singleparents households and mothers working most of the times outside; socially they have seen the emergence of global health problems like AIDS, the first awareness about environmental deterioration; because of the difficult economic times, they preferred to think that they had to count on their own resources

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 21 of 300


instead on governmental support, they preferred to spend more time in formal education instead of accepting lower salaries, so they developed a resourceful, independent survivor mentality. They were in conflict with previous generations, in terms of accepting authority, hierarchical structures, and vertical communication: as a consequence, older generations were reluctant to provide understanding and new opportunities to Xers because of their perceived negative values and their different ways to approach life and working environment. Thanks to the technological changes, Xers got a chance of raising their position in the workplace as they are more technology oriented than previous generations, as they are acquainted with personal computers, cellular phones, pagers, cable TV, video games, and microwaves. In the workplace, Xers need feedback and flexibility and do not like close supervision; they are clear about work-life balance and they work to live and not live to work (Zemke et al., 1999).

Generation Y (Millennials) - They have only recently started moving into the job market, and it might be too early to understand what their working values and attitudes are in the workplace and to predict how they will evolve. But as from now, Millennials are creating struggles and difficulties within the existing organizational structures and creating the need for the adaptation of the workplace in order to accept their age, values and social diversity (Lancaster & Stillman, 2010). Millennials are highly dependent on Information and Communication technologies, and they live with and within change. Like Xers, they are self-sufficient and self-reliant, however, unlike Xers, they receive more parental attention (Meredith & Schewe, 2009). Millennials work in networks and are at ease with virtual and instant communication. They have been also called the generation “Why?� as they value strongly the sense of meaningful actions, so they often cannot perform unless they have a clear understanding of why they do certain things. They are pragmatic, smart, and need constant challenges to feel that they are learning, growing and improving themselves; they want

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 22 of 300


freedom but like supervision and constructive feedback. As Zemke (1999) points out, they are not loyal to an organization probably due to the large spectrum of opportunities they have through the internet and informal communication (Zemke et al., 1999). A summary of those different characteristics, within different generational cohorts, are exposed in Table 1 – Generational Cohorts.

As mentioned before, those categorizations need to be taken as generalities and are mostly found in the media and practitioner literature: values and characteristics are just general believes, not applicable to the whole population, nor to all geographies. Nevertheless, they represent a good starting point for working in the area of generational diversity (LagacĂŠ, Boissonneault, & Armstrong, 2010).

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 23 of 300


Names

Years

Characteristics

Authors

Veterans

1929 - 1945; a 16year period.

Traditional workers lived through the Great Depression and World War II.

(1922 – 1945)

They appreciate loyalty and discipline, and accept authority and hierarchy

Hicks & Hicks, 1999; Lancaster & Stillman, 2005; Martin & Tulgan, 2002; Meredith, Schewe, Hiam, & Karlovich, 2002; Smith & Clurman, 1997; Strauss & Howe, 1991; Zemke et al., 2000 - Hill, 2004; Zemke et al., 1999.

1946 - 1964; an 18-year period.

Baby Boomers lived through the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and joined the workforce in time for great success.

Silent, Mature, GI, Senior, and Builder generations Baby-Boomers, Boomers

This was between the mid-1960s and the end of the 1970s. They are workaholics. Baby Boomers value participation in the workplace and honest feedback Xers Gen X, Thirteenth generation, Baby Busters, Post-Boomers

Gen Y Nexters, Millennials, , Internet generation, and N generation

Hicks & Hicks, 1999; Lancaster & Stillman, 2005; Martin & Tulgan, 2002; Meredith et al., 2002; Smith & Clurman,1997; Strauss & Howe, 1991; Zemke et al., 2000

1965 - 1979; a 14year period.

Generation X grew up during the post-Watergate era and the energy crisis. They value balance in their lives and work to live, not live to work. They need feedback and demand flexibility, they request a more informal environment, and break down hierarchical structures in favor of a more horizontal and flexible structure.

Hicks & Hicks, 1999; Lancaster & Stillman, 2005; Martin & Tulgan, 2002; Meredith et al., 2002; Smith & Clurman, 1997; Strauss & Howe, 1991; Zemke et al., 2000.

1980 – 1999; a 19 years period

Generation Y is the youngest generational cohort in the workplace. They grew up and lived through the information age. They value diversity. They grew up optimistic and will work and learn

Hicks & Hicks, 1999; Lancaster & Stillman, 2005; Martin & Tulgan, 2002; Meredith et al., 2002; Smith & Clurman, 1997; Strauss & Howe, 1991; Zemke et al., 2000

Table 1 - Generational Cohorts

Gabriella Colombo – 2012

Page 24 of 300


2.1.4 Limitations and controversy As we have explained earlier, the concepts around generational cohorts are linked to the time span of their socialization period and the external events corresponding to those specific periods, so it is honest to claim that generational cohorts, although generalized based on the Americans’ events and population, have to be different according to the country and social events. An explanatory example of this comes from Schewe and Meredith (2004), who discussed the differences in cohorts in the USA, Brazil and Russia. Schewe and Meredith suggested that some events that have significance in the USA were less significant in other counties. For the USA, they suggested seven cohorts: • • • • • • •

Depression (born 1912–21); World War II (1922–27); a post-war cohort (1928–45); leading-edge Baby Boomers (1946–55); trailing-edge Baby Boomers (1956–65); Generation X (1966–76); N Generation (1977 to the present day).

In Brazil, these cohorts are different, mainly because of their different experiences of World War II and political events in the country, and are hypothesized to be: • • • • • •

the Vargas era (coming of age in 1930–45); post war (1946–54); optimism (1955– 67); the iron years (1968–79); the lost decade (1980– 91); ‘be on your own’ (1992 to the present day).

In Russia, Schewe and Meredith propose the six generational cohorts of: • • • • •

the collectivism cohort (coming of age in 1929–40); the great patriotic war (1941–53); the thaw cohort (1954–69); the Stagnation cohort (1970– 85); the Perestroika cohort (1986–91);

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 25 of 300


the post-Soviet cohort (1992 to the present day).

Schewe (Schewe et al., 2000) does not provide empirical evidence for the existence of these generational cohorts, nevertheless, it is interesting to see how concepts of generational cohorts can be different within different context based on the social, economic and political events experienced. Specific to France, different categorizations have been made, mostly within the sociology and demographic arena, but no specific empirical study on the impact of generational differences in the workplace have been carried out: Chauvel (1998) without specifying a “label” as it is done in American literature, takes a sociological generational view point, defining first the cohorts based on the birth years then the important events linked to those periods and he defines: • • •

Generation born from 1920 to 1935 Generation born from 1936 to 1950 Generation born from 1950 to 1965

and those cohorts have been labeled as, amongst others, the generation “les trente glorieuses” (glorious 30 years after the war), generation “68” (1968 being year where youth and police clashes happened in the street). Préel (2000) divided the 20th century into decades. He demonstrated how specific events of each decade, sometimes referred to as defining moments, have identified the youth of each generation, and identified typical features such as values and attitudes: • • • • • • •

Generation du krach (1915–1925) Generation la liberation (1925–1935) Generation l’algerie (1935–1945) Generation mai 1968 (1945–1955) Generation la crise (1955–1965) Generation gorby (1965–1975) Generation internet (1975–1985)

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 26 of 300


Excousseau (2000) gave still a different categorization: • • • •

Generation Heritage - born before 1941 Generation Naturel - born between 1942 and 1967 Generation Reseaux - born between 1968 and 1976 Generation Mosaique - born after 1976

(cited in Evans-Kasala, 2009).

Media and practitioner press underlines the critical role of HRM in dealing with generational diversity and in adjusting HRM practices to fit and help the organizations to deal with generational conflicts. Most of the practitioners’ literature focuses on differences in attitudes towards work, life-work balance, team work, but those issues seem to be refuted by scientific literature. In his article, Giancola (2006) confirmed that there are several view points and misalignments amongst authors on the definition of each generation, the number of generations present in the workforce, or the applicability of generational differences. He concluded that the findings “lend credence to the notion that the generational approach may be more popular culture than social science” (Giancola, 2006, p.33). De Meuse and Mlodzik carried out a research, looking into the popular literature describing differences across the four generations, and then examined academic studies on the same subject. They found that most of the research studies found little or no support for generational differences: out of 26 peer-reviewed studies only eight reported some support for generational differences; 18 did not (De Meuse & Mlodzik, 2010). The result of their research underlines which differences are supported in scientific literature and are shown in the table below:

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 27 of 300


Attributes

Differences

Authors

Career Management

*Gen Ys and Xers change careers more frequently and pursue more education

Dries, Pepermans, & De Kerpel (2008

*Boomers maintain less work/life balance than younger generations, and may retire later Organizational Loyalty

*Gen Ys show loyalty as long as they are accomplishing their goals

D’Amato & Herzfeldt (2008) Davis, Pawlowski, & Houston (2006)

*Xers are more committed to the right leader than to an organization *Boomers are loyal at the expense of self and family Motivation

*Gen Ys seek immediate gratification

Twenge & Campbell (2008)

* Xers work for self-promotion * Boomers are workaholics and expect to be rewarded * Matures are dutiful and selfsacrificing Work Values and Attitudes

*Gen Ys value selfdevelopment *Xers value flexible work arrangements and long-term marketability

Cennamo & Gardner (2008) Lyons, Higgins, & Duxbury (2007) Smola & Sutton (2002) Yu & Miller (2003)

*Boomers and Matures value contributing to the greater good of the organization Table 2 – Generational attributes and differences (adapted from De Meuse & Mlodzik, 2010)

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 28 of 300


2.1.5 Organizational implications Besides the controversies between popular and scientific literature, differences in the workplace are a reality that, although there is little scientific evidence, cannot be denied, considering the difficulties that organizations experience in having to recruit and keep talented Millennials, deal with workplace conflicts due to generational misunderstandings and work-values differences, and in having four generational cohorts at work. HRM practitioners focus on what they see in the workplace and emphasize great differences existing amongst them. Organizations are now challenged to find common ways of motivating employees to achieve organizational goals and objectives, in order to attain and maintain competitive advantage. As people seem to have different expectations, work habits, leadership styles, the focus for HRM is to provide a supportive work environment, and enhance communication and collaboration amongst and within generations. A harmonized collaboration would facilitate, besides others, the transfer of knowledge from older generational cohorts to the youngest ones, raising the chances of success for organizations facing the retirement of Boomers.

Considering the proved differences in Career Management, Organizational Loyalty, Motivation and Work Values, this study wants to explore the potential differences or similarities in the way generational cohorts prefer to organizing and processing information and experience (Cognitive Style) and their preferred way of acquiring new knowledge (Learning Styles). This would be of interest in (a) clarifying any potential differences between generation cohorts, (b) facilitate the knowledge transfer process between generational cohorts.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 29 of 300


2.1.6 Learning Styles and Cognitive Styles Learning theories have mostly been considered the span of psychologist, cognitive anthropologists, ethno methodologists and activity theorists, and they all tried to answer the fundamental question “How do people learn and assimilate what they have learned?”. A quick overview of the cognitive theories can be resumed as follows. The Russian scientist Pavlov (1849-1936) was at the generation of the behaviorist theory, the basis of which was the observation of animals reflexes to external stimuli and consequently of how human beings can be trained to respond to specific stimuli. He then proposed a theory of learning based on human conditioning. One of Pavlov’s students (Watson, 1878-1958) added to this theory the environmental variable, proving that human reaction is dependent on the external conditioning, while Skinner (1904-1990) included the notion of “reinforcement” of behaviors, by elaborating three basic principles: learning through action (practice is part of the learning strategy), learning through experience (putting into practice what has been learned), learning through testing and errors. The Swiss psychologist, biologist and philosopher Jean Piaget (1897-19980) started his reflections on what became the Constructivist theory. Piaget through his work and research developed about the human cognitive development, focusing the central role played by the learner versus the teacher. As explained in the previous chapter, Piaget suggests that human beings are not to be “given” knowledge, but that people construct their own knowledge by capitalizing on their experiences. The social constructivism of the Russian philosopher Vygostky (1896-1934) underlines the role of culture and social environment in the knowledge creation. According to Vygostky knowledge can be subjective (owned by the individual) or objective (owned by the group), and knowledge is created by a process which

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 30 of 300


moves from the social environment to the individual: it is the environment in which the individual stands that determines the knowledge he acquires. More specifically on Cognitive Styles and Learning styles, much debate has been generated amongst academics. Sadler-Smith and Riding (1999) mentioned the particularly interesting paper from Curry (1983) who proposes a model of layers, defined as an “onion” to better define what influences the learning experience. The outmost layer of the onion, the one which is visible and tangible, is defined as “Instructional Preferences” by Curry and later named by Sadler-Smith “Learning Preferences”: they represent the way we interact with the outer world, and it is the individual’s choice of a learning technique (Sadler-Smith, 1999). Based on the definitions of Reichmann and Grasha (1974), Sadler-Smith identifies three major learning preference groups: 1. “dependence: preference for teacher-directed, highly structured programs with explicit assignments set and assessed by the teacher 2. collaboration:

discussion-orientation

and

favoring

group

projects,

collaborative assignments and social interaction 3. independence: preference for exercising an influence on the content and structure of learning programs within which the teacher or instructor is a resource” (Sadler-Smith & Riding, 1999 p.27). The second layer is the “Information Processing style”, named “Learning Strategies” by Sadler-Smith (1999), that Curry defines as “the individual’s intellectual approach to assimilating information following the information processing model” (Curry, 1983 p.4). Curry cites, amongst others, Kolb for his research on Information processing styles: Kolb’s theories evolved into the wellknown Experiential Learning Theory, and the Learning Styles Indicator tool, that will be discussed more in detail later in this chapter. The most inner layer of “the hypothetical learning style onion” is the Cognitive Personality Style, which is the “individual’s approach to adapting and assimilating information […] is an underlying and relatively permanent personality dimension” (Curry, 1983 p.4).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 31 of 300


Figure 1 - Onion Model adapted from Curry (1983) and Riding (1997) - Sadler-Smith (1999)

A theoretical elaboration of Curry’s Cognitive personality style, has been developed by Riding (1997) who proposed a cognitive control model “consisting of primary sources (knowledge, personality, gender and cognitive history), cognitive control (the wholist-analytical and verbal-imagery dimensions of cognitive style) and cognitive input (perception) and output (learning strategies)” (Sadler-Smith, 1999, p.27) .

2.1.6.1 Cognitive Styles In 1976 Mintzberg (1976) proposed his view on the way people think, by defining the theory of the two brain hemispheres. He indicated that people’s brain is

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 32 of 300


divided into a left part where logical thinking processes occur, in rational, systematic, analytic and linear way, and a right brain where simultaneous thinking happens and operates in a more holistic, intuitive, creative and relational way. Mintzberg indicated that to be successful, an organization needs to have a mix of both, analytic (“left-brained”) thinkers and creative (“rightbrained”) thinkers. Those definitions have been largely used in the practitioners’ world. Cognitive styles have gained higher visibility and usage over the past years, and although they used to be focused on analytical and intuitive thinking, they have been proven to be a complex variable with multiple dimensions (Riding & SadlerSmith, 1997). In today’s literature, cognitive styles are defined as the way in which people perceive stimuli and how they use this information for guiding their behavior (Hayes & Allinson, 1998). Defined first by Allport (1961), then used for deeper studies by Riding (1968), research has shown that cognitive style differences

influence

learning,

problem

solving,

decision

making,

communication, interpersonal functioning, and creativity in important ways (Hayes and Allinson, 1994; Kirton, 2003; Sadler-Smith, 1998). Cools and Van den Broeck (2007) developed a multidimensional cognitive style instrument – the Cognitive Style Indicator (CoSI) – utilized in the managerial and professional groups (Cools & Van den Broeck, 2007). To support this tool, they defined a three-dimension Cognitive Styles model, and labeled the cognitive styles as: (a) knowing style, (b) planning style, and (c) creating style: “People with a knowing style look for facts and data. They want to know exactly the way things are and tend to retain many facts and details. They like complex problems if they can find a clear and rational solution. People with a planning style are characterized by a need for structure. Planners like to organize and control and prefer a well-structured work environment. They attach importance to preparation and planning to reach their objectives.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 33 of 300


People with a creating style tend to be creative and like experimentation. They see problems as opportunities and challenges, and they like uncertainty and freedom�.(Cools & Van den Broeck, 2007 p.363)

Figure 2 - Cognitive Styles Model - Cools and Van der Broeck (2007)

To confirm this Model, Cools and Van Den Broeck (2008) run a qualitative research to link cognitive styles with managerial behaviors, concluding that people with different cognitive styles do show different decision-making behavior, approach conflict and feedback situations in different ways, like different kind of tasks in their jobs and finally confirm that cognitive styles influence how people relate to others (Cools & van Den Broeck, 2008).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 34 of 300


2.1.6.2 Learning Styles Based on Piaget’s school of thoughts, Kolb’s Theory on Experiential Learning (Kolb, 1984) gives a different perspective (compared to traditional theories on learning) underlying the relationship between learning, work, other life activities and knowledge creation. Learning is defined by Kolb as “holistic integrative perspective that combines experience, perception, cognition and behavior [...] knowledge creation is a recurring process as ideas and knowledge are not fixed and immutable elements of thought but are formed and re-formed through experience” (Kolb & Kolb, 2005 p.2). With his Learning Styles Inventory (Kolb, 1984), Kolb defines a learning style as a student's consistent way of responding to and using stimuli in the context of learning. Learning styles are also defined as a combination of factors (cognitive, affective and psychological) which give indications of how learners approach the learning experience. Learning styles are not really concerned with what learners learn, but rather how they prefer to learn. Kolb suggest that individuals prefer to receive of take information by “doing” or “reflecting”; once information is received, people prefer to process it by “experiencing” or “thinking”. Based on this distinction, he explains that individuals experience learning through these abilities (ideally at least two of them): •

Concrete experience (CE): being actively involved in a learning situation;

Reflective observation (RO): watching others and developing observations based on their own experience;

Abstract Conceptualization (AC): creating theories to explain and understand observations;

Active experimentation (AE): using theories to solve problems and make decisions (Kolb & Kolb, 2005).

Through the Learning Styles Inventory, considered as a statistically reliable and valid (Kayes & Christopher, 2012) twelve-item assessment tool, 4 different

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 35 of 300


Learning Styles have been defined - Diverging, Converging, Assimilating, Accommodating - and they are linked to personality traits, but also to life experience, work experience and the life environment.

Figure 3 - Learning Styles Inventory Model - Kolb (2005)

Kolb defined the different learning styles as: •

Divergers: Individuals with this style have concrete experience (CE) and reflective observation (RO) as dominant learning abilities. They are best at viewing concrete situations from many different points of view but preferring observation over action.

Assimilators:

those with the ability to combine elements of reflective

observation (RO) ad abstract conceptualization (AC): those learners are best at understanding a wide range of information and putting it into concise, logical form. They tend to focus more on ideas, concepts and logic than personal needs. •

Convergers: those with the ability to combine elements of abstract conceptualization (AC) and active experimentation (AE). Prefer practical uses for ideas and theories and tend to be leaders that work well in pressure

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 36 of 300


situations. They tend to deal with technical tasks rather that social or interpersonal issue. •

Accomodators: Those with the ability to combine elements of active experimentation (AR) and concrete experience (CE). Learn best when dealing with hands-on situations or tasks. They envoy carrying out plans, involving themselves in new experiences and tend to act on “gut” feelings rather than logical analysis. (Kolb & Kolb, 2005a).

Although largely used by academics and practitioners Kolb’s LSI has received some critiques about its validity (Allinson & Hayes, 1988), so Honey and Mumford in 1986 created a potential alternative to LSI. This new tool was called Learning Styles Questionnaire and it is considered to be more reliable “on account of the distribution of its scores, its temporal stability and its construct and face validity […] although its predictive validity, remains in doubt”(Allinson & Hayes, 1988, p.269). It is also considered to be best suited for management and business environment, as they focused on learning styles which are more meaningful to the managerial population. Honey and Mumford’s approach, although very similar to Kolb’s model, concentrated on observable behavior rather than the psychological basis for that behavior (Allinson & Hayes, 1988). They modified the names and descriptions of Learning Styles as: •

Reflector (LSI Diverger) - Prefers to learn from activities that allow them to watch, think, and review (time to think things over) what has happened. Likes to use journals and brainstorming. Lectures are helpful if they provide expert explanations and analysis.

Theorist (LSI Assimilator) - Prefer to think problems through in a step-by-step manner. Likes lectures, analogies, systems, case studies, models, and readings. Talking with experts is normally not helpful.

Pragmatist (LSI Converger) - Prefers to apply new learning to actual practice to see if they work. Likes laboratories, field work, and observations. Likes

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 37 of 300


feedback, coaching, and obvious links between the task-on-hand and a problem. •

Activist (LSI Accomodator) - Prefers the challenges of new experiences, involvement with others, assimilation and role-playing. Likes anything new, problem solving, and small group discussions. (Honey & Mumford, 1986)

Figure 4 - Learning Styles Questionnaire Model - Honey and Mumford (1986)

Their model slightly differs from that of Kolb’s Experiential Learning theory, in the sense that they believe that people first have an experience, then reflect on it, then draw their own conclusions and afterwards they put their theory into practice. Several studies have used one or the other models and proven a level of validity for LSI versus LSQ and vice-versa (Cavanagh, Hogan, & Ramgopal, 1995; Chan & Mak, 2010; Duff & Duffy, 2002; Eide, Geiger, & Schwartz, 2001; Furnham, 1992; Kyprianidou, Demetriadis, & Pombortsis, 2008; Lewis & Bolden, 1989), but as a

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 38 of 300


general definition it is agreed that LSI might be more suitable in an education environment, while LSQ more in a business environment.

For the purpose of this exploratory study, both the interviews and the survey questions will have elements which, based on Cools and van der Broeck Cognitive Styles Indicator and on Honey and Mumford’s Learning Styles Questionnaire, will assess self-reported Cognitive Styles and Learning Styles. Indications of the Cognitive Styles and Learning Styles will be considered as informational data for the results of this exploratory study. Differences and similarities between generational cohorts will bring potential interest in exploring further those factors either for Generational Diversity or Knowledge Management practices.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 39 of 300


2.2 Knowledge Management, Capitalization, Transfer 2.2.1 Introduction This section deals with knowledge, Knowledge Management (KM), Knowledge Capitalization (KC), Knowledge Transfer (KT), and the associated implications within an organizational setting. The first part of the chapter explores the way knowledge has been defined, together with the most used knowledge attributes, characteristics, and dimensions, and most specifically the tacit knowledge dimension. Then it looks at the role of ITC for the knowledge management arena. Knowledge capitalization, or better capitalizing on knowledge, has become key for organizations, so we will give some definitions of KC and show how models and tools have been used in the enterprise setting. Finally this chapter describes in greater depth the Knowledge Transfer process, focusing on tacit knowledge transfer, the preferred means for transferring tacit knowledge, its motivators, barriers and facilitators.

Today’s economy is defined as a knowledge-based economy (Drucker, 2001) and the performance of organizations are heavily dependent on knowledge workers and intellectual capital. Knowledge capitalization has become a crucial issue, particularly with regard to demographic shifts in the workplace: within the next decade Boomers will retire, leaving a void of knowledge within organizations. A critical risk of knowledge loss is at hand for organizations adhering to a vision of “shorteism” (Despres, Remenyi, & Chauvel, 2011) in wanting to reduce performance times, leading to poor management decisions. Wiig (1997) states that in order to secure sustainability and succession, wise people have been transferring know-how and knowledge from one generation to the next (Wiig, 1997).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 40 of 300


Since the emergence of Knowledge Management as a field of inquiry and practice, organizations have invested in sophisticated Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) which, through Information and Communication Technologies, are aimed at facilitating the production, transfer and stocking of enterprise knowledge, within and amongst companies. Internet access is highly accepted within organizations and usage costs are irrelevant compared to the benefits produced. Moore’s law, according to which micro-chip and machine performance doubles every 18 to 24 months, has proven true over the past 40 years. With the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies and Enterprise 2.0 platforms, creating, stocking and transferring knowledge have become part of everyday business. Nevertheless, the human factors, in terms of psychological and sociological issues related to knowledge transfer, needs to be taken into account, as knowledge transfer is first of all a human process, so motivators, enablers and inhibitors to this process are key for a successful outcome of this process.

2.2.2 Knowledge Knowledge is a subject which has raised interest since pre-Socratic philosophers: it is a perennial topic which philosophy has dealt with in a formal way for over 3 Centuries (Pruzak, 1997). As with those kinds of difficult subjects, there is no “standard definition” for knowledge and still controversies are being raised about different proposals. The discipline of “epistemology” (from the Greek episteme: knowledge, and logos: word or reason) literally means to reason about knowledge: so the debate is about what knowledge is in the first place, what can we know, which are the limits to this, and do we actually know at all. Among definitions of knowledge, that of Confucius is often cited: The Master said, Yu, shall I teach you what knowledge is? When you know a thing, to recognize that you know it, and

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 41 of 300


When you do not know a thing, to recognize that you do not know it. That is knowledge (Confucius, 551-479 BC)

Hence, implying that knowledge is knowing to know and not to know. While Plato (424/348 BC) defined knowledge as “justified true belief”, Aristotele (384-322 BC) concluded that knowledge comes from experience and distinguished 3 types of knowledge: Episteme (scientific knowledge), Techne (skills and craft knowledge) and Phronesis (practical wisdom). More recent philosophers and academics have defined knowledge as: •

“Knowledge itself is power” – Bacon (1561 – 1626)

“Knowledge is a concept – like gravity. You cannot see it but can only observe its effects” (Hunt, 2003, p.100)

“Knowledge is a fluid mix of framed experience, values, contextual information, and expert insight that provides a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. It originates and is applied in the mind of knowers” (Davenport & Prusak, 1997, p.6)

“Knowledge is the appropriate collection of information, such that its intent is to be useful. Knowledge is a deterministic process. When someone "memorizes" information then they have amassed knowledge (Bellinger, Castro, & Mills, 2000 p.1)

There is no agreement on what knowledge is exactly and when and how it is created, so as a first objective within this challenging framework of definitions and arguments, this study proposes a brief taxonomy of selected knowledge attributes and characteristics.

2.2.3 Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom It is essential at this point to clarify what knowledge is and is not. A major differentiation has been proposed by Russell Ackoff (1989) in terms of his DIKW (Data, Information, Knowledge and Widsom) model describing how knowledge

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 42 of 300


and wisdom are mentally constructed by people, through changing data (defined as external symbols) into information (processed useful data) into knowledge (information being applied) and finally wisdom (evaluation and understanding of knowledge). Bellinger, Castro and Mills (2000) elaborated a model with the following definitions: Data “is raw material�. Data has not particular meaning except from their existence, and it can be used or not. Data has no specific context and because there is not link to space and time, it has no reference. It is like a number by itself, which has not specific interest unless it is linked to a context, so it acquires a meaning.

Figure 5 - DIKW model - Bellinger, Castro and Mills (2000)

Information is data that through a connection to a specific context, gains some meaning. Its usefulness is related to the context the information is created or used. Information remains static with time, as it is linked to a specific space and time attribute.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 43 of 300


Knowledge is a group of selected information which has been modified through an analytical process. This process is defined as understanding (relations, patterns and principles) thanks to which mental construct is formed into a different level: understanding connects and transforms information into believes or insights, and the stock of information, meaningfully ordered, defines knowledge. Understanding is a cognitive and analytical process, through which knowledge is utilized to create new knowledge. By understanding, individuals can perform useful actions, as they have processed the knowledge they have acquired or have created new knowledge based on the previously acquired one. Wisdom “is an extrapolative and non-deterministic, non-probabilistic process” (Bellinger et al., 2000 p.2 ). It is based on the previous levels but takes into account human ethics codes, moral etc. It goes beyond the mere understanding and it is linked to the human essence, and its philosophical quests. In literature, little attention is given to wisdom, as it might be seen “as a too elusive a concept”

spanning

from

being

virtue,

sound

judgment,

exceptional

understanding (Rowling, 2006). On a daily basis, individuals face a huge amount of sensory inputs or stimuli. Those inputs become data once they are perceived, and taking into account the individuals’ experience and context, these sensory inputs assume different meanings and interpretations. Individuals select the data acquired in order to create the information which makes sense to the individuals, subjectively, and this information is transformed it into useful knowledge within the vision, situation and specific needs of the individuals. Considering the subjectiveness and situational relativity of knowledge creation, the model proposed by Despres (2011) seems particularly appropriate. Despres explains that individuals, each with his own cognitive ability or mind set based on their education and socialization, enact situations out of their context and environment; by doing this, individuals can either ignore external stimuli (irrelevance) or perceive and develop them into information, knowledge and wisdom by defining their relationship and create actionable patterns which are

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 44 of 300


inherent to a specific situation (Despres et al., 2011). According to Weick (1979) individuals can ignore external stimuli, which are considered as noise, if those stimuli are not consistent with the individual’s mental model; and this might cause to fail new knowledge creation or knowledge absorption as individuals may be more inclined to prove their belives right instead of actively try to dispove them (Weick, 1979 cited in Ringberg & Reihlen, 2008). In line with this interpretation, we can say that knowledge, being firstly created by the individual, is initially subjective and linked to the individual’s experience, situation and context. Davenport, Delong and Beers (1998) also define knowledge as a combination of experience, context, interpretation and reflection (Davenport et al., 1998).

2.2.4 Characteristics of Knowledge Although Knowledge is difficult to define, we find in the literature many authors giving characteristics and attributes to knowledge. Hereafter, we explore some of those attributes, summarized in Table 3 - Knowledge Characteristics. Spender (1996) proposes that a firm possess four “ideal” types of knowledge, which represents their potential to knowledge-based competitive advantage: conscious, objectified, automatic and collective. Conscious knowledge is the knowledge owned by individuals, while objectified knowledge is owned by the organization, they both interact in the to create knowledge at the individual level but also at the organizational level, through the “reflection of the social aspects of the individual’s consciousness” (Spender, 1996) Automatic knowledge is individual knowledge which occurs within a preconscious setting, that is for example, the skills we have for riding a bike, with no explicit consciousness of every movement we make. Collective knowledge is dependent on the context of the organization and it is “situated and embedded in the organization as a community of practice” (Spender, 1996 p.75).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 45 of 300


In a Sloan Management Review article, Zack (1999) distinguishes several “types” of knowledge, underlying that every one of them may be made explicit: Declarative knowledge, being the “understanding of concepts, categories and descriptors” (Zack, 1999a): he defines this as Knowledge About which allows for communication and knowledge sharing efforts. Procedural knowledge, being the knowledge of processes, actions and sequences of events which allows for actions to be performed: he defines this as Knowledge How. Causal knowledge is defined as Knowledge Why which allows organizations to define common strategies and goals, through a common rational of conclusions; this is usually conveyed through organizational stories. Zack also distinguishes knowledge to be conditional (know when), and relational (know-with). He highlights that once an appropriate strategy has been defined, these distinctions help the mapping and management of knowledge within the required processes (Zack, 1999b). Kim (1993) and Lundvall and Johnson (1994, 2007) utilize the same terms of “know how” as the acquisition of skills, what people actually learn and the ability to produce actions (Kim, 1993) and “know why” as the understanding, or the ability of making an experience explicit, which can also be obtained through knowledge artifacts as books or databases. “Know who” is knowing who knows what, and this is learnt in social practices, as communities of experts (Jensen, Johnson, Lorenz, & Lundvall, 2007). Extending the categorization suggested by Collins (1993), Blacker defines five “images” of knowledge: embrained, embodied, encultured, embedded, and encoded. Embrained knowledge is contained in our mental models, systems thinking, personal insight, it is dependent on our conceptual skills and cognitive abilities (Blackler, 1995).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 46 of 300


Embodied knowledge is correspond to the “know-how” mostly tacit, which is acquired by doing and transferred through face-to-face discussion, it includes practical thinking and problem solving techniques (Blackler, 1995) Encultured knowledge happens through socialization and it aims at a common understanding, in line with the organizational culture and considering the language issues (Blackler, 1995). Embedded knowledge resides in systemic routines and are linked to organizational routines, organizational competencies (Blackler, 1995) Encoded knowledge is the traditional form of knowledge as we find it in books, and documentation. It is explicated by artifacts (Blackler, 1995). More recently, Despres, Remenyi and Chauvel (2011) suggested five characteristics of knowledge elements that underline their functionality and value. The value a knowledge element holds in a context is said to be directly related to the characteristics of connectedness, embeddedness, situational specificity, pragmatism, and generativity: “Connected: knowledge is inherently social […] the degree to which a unit of knowledge is connected to other knowledge units in an environment has a direct bearing on its value. Embedded: knowledge is structured and systemic and thus anchored in a context […] everything is context-dependent and relevant knowledge must be taxonomically and ontologically grounded in a superordinate system of thinking and action. Situational: knowledge is inevitably linked to a particular situation at a particular time and most generally, though not exclusively, decays in direct relation to the pertinence of the situation itself. Pragmatic: knowledge that is thus of central importance in KM is essentially action-oriented, intended to achieve something and useful.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 47 of 300


Generative: Knowledge is extensible […] the inputs of one are capable of stimulating those of another and so on, in a self-reinforcing process that benefits each and advances the whole.” (Despres, Remenyi and Chauvel, 2011, p.4). In a recent White Paper from Oracle, Gandhi mentions some interesting thoughts from a leading technology industry consultant and blogger, Stowe Boyd (Gandhi, 2008). Boyd introduces a new dimension of knowledge: Interpersonal knowledge which is implicit between individuals and embedded in our conversations and connections. This definition is really linked to the evolution of KM into KM 2.0 that we will explore later in this Chapter. Knowledge Characteristic

Definition

Authors

Tacit

Knowledge is rooted in actions, experience and involvement in specific context

Nonaka 1994

Cognitive tacit Technical tacit Explicit Individual

Mental models Know-how applicator to specific work Articulated, generalized knowledge Created by and inherent to the individual Created by and inherent in collective actions of a grop

Social Connected

Extent to which a knowledge element is associated with other k elements in an environment

Embedded

Extent to which a knowledge element is structured within a coherent system of thought

Situational

Extent to which a knowledge element is specific to time, place and circumstance

Pragmatic

Extent to which a knowledge element engenders new knowledge elements

Despres et al. 2011

Generative

Extent to which a knowledge element engenders new knowledge elements

Pragmatic

Useful knowledge for an organization

Swan et all 1998

Conscious

Explicit knowledge of an individual

Automatic

Individual’s tacit, subconscious knowledge

Spender 1992 1996

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 48 of 300


Objectified

Codified knowledge of a social system

Collective

Tacit knowledge of a social system

Declarative

Know-about

Procedural

Know-how

Causal

Know-why

Conditional

Know-when

Relational

Know-with

Embrained

Dependent on conceptual skills and cognitive abilities

Blackler 1995

Embodied

Action-oriented. Practical thinking. Likely to be explicit

Encultured

Process of achieving shared understanding. Related to socialization

Davenport & Prusack 1998

Embedded Encoded

Zack 1998

Resides in systematic routines Information conveyed by signs and symbols

Embodied

What knowers intrinsically know

Represented

Contained in documents, databases and records

Embedded

Evidenced by processes, products, rules and procedures

Know what

Information and facts

Know why

Principles and causal relationship

Know how

Understanding and applying learning

Know who

Who knows what

Gamble & Blackwell 2001

Lundvall and Johnson 2007 Kim 1993

Table 3 - Knowledge Characteristics

2.3 Tacit Dimension of Knowledge As this study focuses on transferring tacit knowledge between generational cohorts, we need to distinguish two dimensions of knowledge, as defined by the philosopher Michael Polanyi (1966), tacit or implicit and explicit or articulated knowledge. Polanyi observed that skills used to perform specific tasks might be used without cognitive awareness of the performer, so every action included elements of explicit and tacit knowledge, the latter being more difficult to

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 49 of 300


articulate and to pass it to others: “we know more than we can say” (Polanyi, 1966). Explicit knowledge has been defined as knowledge that can be codified, through language, numbers or codes and this codification makes it more easily transferable (Holste & Fields, 2010; Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Nonaka, Toyama, & Konno, 2000). Tacit knowledge is non-verbalized, intuitive and unarticulated and it depends on the experience and know-how of the individuals (Holste & Fields, 2010; Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Nonaka et al., 2000). Because of his intangible nature, tacit knowledge is difficult to articulate, and to transfer, but as noted by Zack (1999a) it is in this experience-based knowledge that an organization’s sustainable competitive advantage resides. One other variable to take into account is that knowledge is highly contextual and we only know what we need to know at the time we need to know it (Evans, 2003). Tacit knowledge has been highly discussed, specifically within an organizational context, as the main challenge for organizations is to understand which tacit knowledge should be made explicit (Zack, 1999a), hence how to identify it, how to use it and how to transfer it. Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) define tacit knowledge in this way: “Tacit knowledge is highly personal and hard to formalize, making it difficult to communicate or to share with others. Subjective insights, intuitions, and hunches fall into this category of knowledge. Furthermore, tacit knowledge is deeply rooted in an individual’s action and experience, as well as in the ideals, values, or emotions he or she embraces” (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995, p.8) For Choo (2010) : “Tacit knowledge is the personal knowledge used by members to perform their work and to make sense of their worlds. It is learned through extended periods of experiencing and doing a task, during which the

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 50 of 300


individual develops a feel for and a capacity to make intuitive judgments about the successful execution of the activity” (Choo, 2010, p.136).

In their literature review about tacit knowledge, McAdam, Mason and McCrory (2007) give a comprehensive definition of tacit knowledge: •

“knowledge-in-practice developed from direct experience and action;

highly pragmatic and situation specific;

subconsciously understood and applied; difficult to articulate;

usually shared through interactive conversation and shared experience” (McAdam et al., 2007, p.46),

also defining a list of epitomes of tacit knowledge: •

Intuition,

Skills,

Insight,

Know-how,

Beliefs,

Mental models and

Practical intelligence,

in an episteme of tacit knowledge (Figure – 6). According to Lam (2000) tacit knowledge encompasses the aptitudes, know-how, intuitions, perceptions of individuals, and because of its subjectivity it is difficult to transfer: it is intrinsically linked to the relationship that individuals have with their environment and their capability to solve a problem or make a decision (Lam, 2000). Today, tacit knowledge represents a key element and a unique competitive advantage (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995) not only within strategy but also for learning and innovation (Lam, 2000). The fact that individuals cannot articulate their tacit knowledge does not mean that it cannot be expressed in any other ways than though a common language;

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 51 of 300


it is mostly a knowledge with which we are intimately familiar, and that we can share through actions and other forms of communication (Spender, 1996): it can be more easily communicated through metaphors or demonstrations, storytelling techniques being considered as one of the most efficient way to sharing tacit knowledge (Brown, Denning, Groh, & Pruzak, 2000). Furthermore, we will see later in this Chapter, with the SECI model (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995), that tacit knowledge is also the result of socialization activities: it can occur from a group of individuals exchanging ideas, good practices, and solutions to problems or alternatives to processes. It is about sharing “knowhow” and insights. Although tacit knowledge is attached to the knower, it has a social dimension which sustains organizational memories or organizational knowledge.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 52 of 300


Figure 6 - Episteme of tacit knowledge (McAdam et al., 2007)

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 53 of 300


Knowledge management processes, tools and techniques as well as knowledge capitalization models, have concentrated their efforts on explicit knowledge, easier to formalize and so to stock, store, and retrieve through artifacts as books, documents, database systems, etc . We have seen that increasing literature is developed on the essential role of tacit knowledge, and its transfer, and the emergence of Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 technologies seem to technically support the social interaction of the knowers and actors of tacit knowledge transfer, namely through enterprise-wide social media. Although there is a recognized complexity in studying tacit knowledge, mainly due to its characteristics of abstractions, implicitness, and individuality, this remains nevertheless a key point in knowledge transfer as many authors have found in tacit knowledge the means for companies to maintain their competitive advantages (Davenport, 1997; Davenport & Prusak, 1997; Despres & Chauvel, 2000; Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Zack, 1999b). Still, to gain a deeper understanding of tacit knowledge it is essential to explore motivators, barriers and enablers of tacit knowledge transfer, its links to learning opportunities for increased innovation and competitiveness (Tsoukas, 2002). We will explore those factors later in this Chapter, in order to underline the human dimensions of knowledge transfer.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 54 of 300


2.3.1 Knowledge Creation Model Based on the distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge, Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) developed their well-known SECI model. This model, also called “the spiral of knowledge”, explains how knowledge is created and transformed into organizational learning, through four specific conversion processes:

Figure 8 - SECI Model - Nonaka & Takeuchi (1995)

Socialisation (tacit to tacit): people can share experience and know-how, without explicit codification (i.e.: watching someone performing a task). Externalization (tacit to explicit): tacit knowledge is codified in a tangible asset, as metaphors, analogies, models. Through this process personal knowledge can be made available to the organization. Combination (explicit to explicit): knowledge elements are combined into different elements to create new knowledge, this can happen through meetings, documents, etc. Internalization (explicit to tacit): external knowledge is captured, integrated and internalized by an individual (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995)

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 55 of 300


The SECI model underlines the dynamic nature of knowledge creation. It is at the individual level that knowledge is created and then expanded to organizational knowledge, and it is by creating an appropriate environment and culture for sharing knowledge that firms will reach their goal of becoming knowledgecreating organizations. Building on this model, Nonaka & Konno (1998) added the concept of “BA”. Originally, the concept of “BA” (which was translated in English into “space”) was proposed by the Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida (1990) and further developed by Shimizu (1995). This “space” is the environment for social interactions and it can be physical, in the sense of an office space, or virtual, as in a virtual meeting area, or mental, that is in one’s own mental models or in a shared experience, or even a combination of one or more of these. The concept of BA underlines the need of transcending space and time limitation for human interactions as foundations for knowledge creation and knowledge sharing (Nonaka et al., 2000)

Figure 9 - "BA" Model - Nonaka & Konno (1998)

To support the SECI process it is necessary to integrate a contextual setting through 4 types of BA, corresponding to the four stages of the model, in order to

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 56 of 300


offer “space” for multi-dynamic knowledge management: originating, dialoging, systemizing and exercising BAs. Originating BA, is where people can share emotions, feelings, experiences and mental models. This space is based on feelings like love and care. It is here that knowledge creation process begins. It is associated with socialization phase and it happens face to face in order to share tacit knowledge. The difficulty with originating BA is the management of it, as this BA is free and autonomous in its nature, and cannot be limited in strict organizational structures. Interacting (or dialoguing) BA is a more consciously constructed process, where dialogue helps sharing thinking and mental models; it is the space where tacit knowledge becomes explicit through storytelling and metaphors. Through this sharing space, individuals bring their own reflection to the group, working for commonly accepted explicit terms and concepts (Nonaka et al., 2000) Cyber (or systemizing) BA is a place of monologues, or dialogues in a virtual space, where explicit knowledge is added to existing knowledge, generating new explicit knowledge. As knowledge has already been made explicit, so there is no need for face-to-face interaction, but sharing can happen without limitations of space and time, namely in a virtual context. Exercising BA helps the conversion of explicit knowledge to tacit knowledge, through internalization, often linked to on-site activities and on the job training (mentors or colleagues). Nonaka and Toyama (2003) provide another useful summary of the BA concept: “[…] knowledge does not just exist in one’s cognition; rather, it’s created in situated action. Ba offers a context and is defined as a shared context in motion, in which knowledge is shared, created and utilized. Ba is a place where information is given meaning through interpretation to become knowledge, and new knowledge is created out of existing knowledge through the change of the meanings and contexts. […] Ba can emerge in individuals, working groups, project teams, informal circles, temporary

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 57 of 300


meetings, virtual space, such as e-mail groups, and at the front-line contact with the customer. Ba is an existential place where participants share their contexts and create new meanings through interactions. Ba is a way of organizing that is based on the meaning it creates, rather than a form of organizations such as a bureaucracy or network.” (Nonaka & Toyama, 2003 p.6)

The SECI model and the concept of BA are some of the dimensions we want to explore in this study. The SECI process gives the basis of the differences between how tacit and explicit knowledge are transferred: for this study we will mostly focus on the Socialization, the Externalization and the Internalization process, where tacit knowledge is converted into explicit or is absorbed to create new individual knowledge. The BA concept gives the basis for exploring the “where” and “when” knowledge is transferred, allowing for this research to focus on the context, the methods and the preferences in transferring tacit knowledge.

2.4 Knowledge Management Knowledge Management as a discipline and as an organizational awareness has started being developed within firms in late 1980s, as a result of a changing economic world, recognizing knowledge as being the one essential competitive advantage which brings value, thus profitability to the company. But knowledge management itself has been used in the past: for centuries rich mercantile families have passed their commercial knowledge to their children to continue the business, craftsman have transmitted their competencies and very specific skills to their apprentices, as did sailors and hunters exchanging their know-how on the job. In modern world we needed to make this process a conscious process which can be reproduced and optimized. As a first step to raising their awareness and to implement knowledge management processes, firms have in the past 30 years heavily invested in KM

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 58 of 300


information systems, but as mentioned earlier in this chapter, there is a clear distinction between information and knowledge: information being data, stored and retrieved, but it is only by understanding and manipulating this data that knowledge can be created. Booth (2008) states “information without context is simply raw data not knowledge” (cited in Stevens, 2010). In his article in Harvard Business Review in 2007, “The Knowledge creating company”, Nonaka explains how a company can be viewed not as a machine but “a living organism […] which can have a collective sense of identity and fundamental purpose […] a shared understanding of what the company stands for, where it is going and what kind of world it wants to live in” (Nonaka, 2007 p.163).

It is at the individual’s level that knowledge is created and then

expanded to organizational knowledge, and it is by creating an appropriate environment and culture for sharing knowledge that firms will reach their goal of becoming knowledge-creating organizations.

Many definitions have been given about what is knowledge management, but after reviewing the literature, a few seem more extensive and comprehensive, taking into account the human factor of knowledge management: Rastogi (2002): “Knowledge Management is a systematic and integrative process of coordinating organization-wide activities of acquiring, creating, storing, sharing, diffusing, developing and deploying knowledge by individuals and groups, in pursuit of major organizational goal.” (Rastogi, 2002, p.40) Slagter (2007): “Knowledge Management focuses on ways of sharing, sorting and maintaining knowledge as a mean of improving efficiency, speed, and competency of individuals within an organization and therefore increasing the profitability, flexibility and adaptability” (Slagter, 2007, p.84) Knowledge management has also been defined as a conscious strategy which provides useful knowledge to the appropriate knowledge workers at the right moment, and which help to share and transform information into action, so that

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 59 of 300


to improve organizational performances. Ermine, Boughzala and Tounkara (2006) insist on the transversality on knowledge management, being a process shared by different parts of the organization, as HR, ITC, Finance, strategy and organizational structures. Nevertheless, people remain the heart of Knowledge Management as people bring knowledge and without their presence no exchange is possible (Ermine, Boughzala, & Tounkara, 2006) Karl Wiig, in his book “Know-how Company” in 1993 defines that the foundation of the firms is knowledge, and the implementation of Knowledge Management practices should allow for intelligent-acting of the firm, as knowledge must be embedded in all products and services (Wiig, 1997) On a practitioner perspective, an example of KM definition can be found on the NASA website, stating: “Knowledge Management is getting the right information to the right people at the right time, and helping people create knowledge and share and act upon information in ways that will measurably improve the performance of the organization and its partners”(“Knowledge Management at NASA,” 2012). Extended literature exists on knowledge management, its definition, its implementation and organizational practices, but after giving some definitions, we will just concentrate on its implementation in an organizational environment.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 60 of 300


2.4.1 Knowledge Management Systems

Since the 1980’s the explosion of Information Technology and subsequently the Internet has shifted the economy forcing organizations to adapt to the unprecedented flow of information and to find innovative ways to improve their processes and management to enhance their reaction time. IT has become the backbone of organizational strategy and has changed the organizational structure from hierarchical to matrix, allowing for the development of projectoriented and virtual team management. Enabling management of corporate knowledge has become a key issue for organizations. Although IT is not the main component of knowledge management, it would be naïve to envisage building KM processes without the support of an efficient ICT system (Lopez-Nicolas & Meroño-Cerdán, 2009). Unfortunately, for about 20 years, KM Systems (KMS) have concentrated their efforts on storing and making accessible explicit knowledge, through heavy and hard-to-use databases. Nowadays, the Intranets and other e-collaboration solutions allow individuals to collaborate and share knowledge and information. New technologies bring together virtual and dispersed teams for meetings, learning, and sharing sessions. Studies have shown that besides technology, the key factors in KM is the individuals, so the human capital, as well as the organizational structures (Boughzala & Dudezert, 2012). Based on the SECI model, Tiwana (2001) proposes a model which takes into account ICT methods to create, capture and share knowledge, on an individual, group and organizational level. Today, this model can be enhanced with newer technologies (i.e.: wikis and blogs) and practices (i.e.: communities of practice and social networks).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 61 of 300


Figure 10 - SECI & BA & ICT - Tiwana (2001)

Building on the SECI Model, Nonaka and Reinmoller (2000) give a different dimension of knowledge creation through the Dynamic systems for Knowledge Creation and Utilization (DKCU) Model. Those dynamic systems “integrate structural and procedural components and are open to continuously changing contexts”. In order to create new knowledge and use the existing knowledge, DKCU are based on the concept of creating new routines: usually routines, extremely useful within an organizational context, emphasize repetitive actions, replication and standardization, but can be a barrier to creativity and innovation as they have a static component and which limit the creation of new knowledge; Nonaka and Reinmoller suggest to change the static routines into dynamic action patterns to increase innovation, in order to sustain organizations’ development in the market place. Based on the concept of BA (discussed previously in this

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 62 of 300


chapter), shared spaces for context in motion create new knowledge through human intervention and interactions. From the Latin meaning of context “contexere” (putting together, interweave) Nonaka and Reinmoller explain how context can generates relationship and meaning, information in contexts hence knowledge. Socialization for example (the transformation of tacit knowledge into new tacit knowledge) can occur through shared experiences, joint occupations, or just by being together and living in the same environment, bringing experiential access to tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge is often articulated through metaphors, analogies and diagrams, so through “systems for improvising” (creative language) it is likely to “experience increase the probabilities of serendipity and spontaneous emergence of meaning” (Nonaka & Reinmoeller, 2000, p.99).

Figure 11 - The SECI Model of DKCU - Nonaka & Reinmoller (2000)

Externalization (the transformation of tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge) is supported by “systems for dialogue” where physical and face-to-face

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 63 of 300


interactions are needed “to capture the full range of physical sense and psychoemotional reactions to transfer tacit knowledge and generate emotional knowledge assets”. (Nonaka & Reinmoeller, 2000 p.96). “Information technology provides the structure in which explicit knowledge is created and exploited. IT in knowledge management has three major advantages: efficiency, effectiveness, and velocity” (Nonaka & Reinmoeller, 2000 p.97). Although KMS have been proven to be a good support for the processes of knowledge capitalization, and new technologies an enabling factor of KM processes, most knowledge sharing attempts and systems fail. Even in the many cases where no IT or technological deficiencies are involved, the goal of sharing is rarely attained and even achieving relative success is not easy (Paghaleh, Shafiezadeh,

&

Mahammadi,

2011).

Nevertheless,

Information

and

Communication Technologies (ITC) may prove effective in lowering some barriers involved in knowledge transfer. Ruggles (1997) states that there are three types of barriers: temporal distance, physical distance and social distance (Hendriks, 1999). Today adoption of Web 2.0 technologies, called Enterprise 2.0 in an organizational environment, is meant to reduce temporal and physical distance, with technologies allowing for synchronous communication, through instant messaging, video conferences, and wikis. They support companies in capturing and sharing knowledge amongst knowledge workers. Social distance is reduced through blogs and enterprise social networks, as they allow for the creation of social relations, the understanding of individuals social environments, and this should improve the learning capabilities and transfer of knowledge both tacit and explicit. Web 2.0 technologies are user-centered, providing users the ability to participate and act directly, they add value through collaboration. Transfer of both tacit and explicit knowledge can occur transversally within the organizations, with more transparency and decentralization, orienting users to a higher social dimension (Boughzala & Dudezert, 2012).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 64 of 300


Together with those new ways of collaboration and knowledge sharing through Enterprise 2.0, management practices are also evolving to Management 2.0 practices, more focused on human interaction management providing higher empowerment to knowledge workers. In this evolutionary organizational context, the flow of knowledge becomes of paramount importance, letting collaboration and e-collaboration take a new role in the development of intellectual social capital, changing Francis Bacon’s paradigm of “knowledge is power” into a new dimension, widely exposed on the Internet, “Knowledge shared is power squared”. We mentioned earlier, the paper from Gandhi (2008) about Stowe Boyd position, introducing the new dimension of knowledge, Interpersonal knowledge which is supported by the new technologies which enable pervasive KM in social and virtual organizations. In his paper, Gandhi mentions that “The next generation of collaborative work will be defined by the shift from information handling to interaction management, or socialization” (Gandhi, 2008 p.2). According to Boyd, social networks are not yet taken seriously, as they might seem more like a playground for younger generations, but it is actually “such play and the recurring stickiness it engenders that will allow people to tap into the collective knowledge of their coworkers. Social networking will succeed where earlier approaches to collaboration, such as traditional knowledge management practices, have failed” (Gandhi, 2008 p.3). As of today there a not yet empirical studies that prove and support the efficiency of those tools in an enterprise context. As mentioned by Deltour, Plé and Saris-Roussel (2012) “ITC can neither convince nor oblige employees to share their knowledge or decrease their reluctance to do so” (Deltour et al., 2012 p.124). The core issue in knowledge transfer, once more, seems to be linked to the motivation that individuals have to transfer their knowledge: motivation and other factor influencing knowledge transfer are discussed further in this chapter.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 65 of 300


2.4.2 Knowledge Capitalization As a part of knowledge management, knowledge-intensive firms have often used the terminology, derived from intellectual capital, of Knowledge Capitalization. The starting point is to understand what is meant by capitalization. Looking at the definitions in the dictionary (Oxford Dictionary) capitalization is defined as a financial term: “the provision of capital, or the conversion of income or assets into capital”. Within an organizational setting it corresponds to the action of creating capital, by stocking cash or assets. While if looking at a more appropriate definition for intangible assets, like knowledge, the essential point is to “capitalize on” (Oxford Dictionary): “take the chance to gain advantage from tangible or intangible assets”. Grundstein, Rosenthal-Sabroux and Pachulski (2003) suggest that capitalizing on company’s knowledge, through user-centered ITC, will improve decision-making processes and enhance the value-added of business processes of the company (Grundstein et al., 2003). In literature, there has been an effort to clarify the different kind of capitals existing within organizations, and based on Edvisson’s work, firms’ assets can be classified within Human capital (human resources, people, organizational routines), Structural capital (physical and intangible infrastructure), Business assets (the firms’ commercialization processes) and Intellectual capital (intellectual assets with legal protection). Turning those definitions into knowledge specific capital definitions, Despres (2011) states: 1. Human capital: refers to the knowledge individuals employ in accomplishing organizational tasks; 2. Structural capital: refers to knowledge that is embedded in organizational systems, structures and routines; 3. Social capital: refers to human and structural capital that is embedded in internal or external networks that are considered to be important to the company (e.g. relationships with suppliers, distributors, researchers, coworkers, government officials, etc.). (Despres et al., 2011, p.7)

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 66 of 300


When defining the Capital knowledge of organizations it is often meant as technical knowledge but also the expert knowledge, know-how, wisdom (individual and human based), individual competencies and organizational memory (Boughzala & Ermine, 2004). According to Simon (1996) KC is the “re-use in a relevant way, the knowledge of a given domain previously stored and modeled in order to perform new tasks” (cited in Rasovska et al., 2008 p.348). From a lager perspective, KC results from the processes and the definitions of Intellectual Capital, where knowledge is stored and capitalized in order to become Intellectual Capital. Viale (2010) states that “KC happens when knowledge generates an economic added value” (Viale, 2010, p.31), thus capitalization of knowledge can be either direct (when knowledge is sold directly, like a teacher or a plumber, but also copyrights and patents) or indirect (when knowledge is used to produce a product or a service sold on the market). In an organizational view, this supports the well-established perspective of recognizing knowledge as being the one essential competitive advantage which brings value, thus profitability to the company. Within popular press and web sites, consulting firms propose knowledge capitalization processes and tools in order to derive tangible benefits from a KM strategy helping companies to improve their decision making process, and transforming knowledge into appropriate and effective actions which sustain their competitive advantage. From a different perspective, more based on new Enterprise 2.0 technologies and social media platforms, a white paper from Oracle defines knowledge capitalization as “todays answer to knowledge management: a blend of formal information systems and business processes with ground-up strategies for sharing knowledge to leverage best practices and mitigate risk of intellectual property loss” (Oracle, 2010 p.2).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 67 of 300


In a succinct way, the general purpose of KM is managing the processing of knowledge creation, storage and sharing with techniques, tools and activities which can help organizations to capture and communicate “resources, tacit and explicit perspectives and capabilities, data, information, knowledge and maybe wisdom (competence)”(Rasovska et al., 2008 p.348). While the principal purpose of KC is to “locate and make visible the enterprise knowledge, be able to keep it, access it and actualize it, know-how to diffuse it and better use it, put it in synergy and valorise it” (Dieng et al. 1998 p.9). Knowledge capitalization is moderately mentioned in literature, compared to knowledge management, and mainly considered in highly knowledge-intense and project-based environments, and within the decision making processes, although from our perspective capitalizing on knowledge goes beyond those domains and involves not only every part of the organization (from HR, to Strategy to IT) but it is also present in every day’s individuals’ actions, as we continuously capitalize on our knowledge and experience (in a conscious or unconscious way) every time we make a decision or we make a choice. In the different studies carried out on KC, new tools, solutions and methodologies are proposed to capitalize on a company’s knowledge and organizational memory. The major aim of the KC processes is as defined by Davenport and Prusak (1998): “what makes knowledge valuable to organizations is ultimately to make better the decisions and actions taken on the basis of knowledge” (cited in Grundstein et al., 2003 p.2) In 1992, Grundstein developed a framework of knowledge capitalization, which since then has been widely used in the area of Knowledge Engineering (KE) and the development of Decision Support Systems (DSS). According to Grundstein, the KC cycle is composed of four major steps:

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 68 of 300


Figure 12 - Knowledge Capitalization cycle - Grundstein (1992)

Detection: the process to identify the critical and strategic knowledge for the organization and locate it

Preservation: the process to model this knowledge into tangible and transferable pieces of knowledge, formalize it into a structured mean, and store it into a repository for future accessibility

Capitalization: to process to make the knowledge accessible, to diffuse it, and to re-use it for actions and decisions to improve organizational performance and maintain competitive advantage; and

Actualization: the process to update and enrich the existing knowledge

Within this model, knowledge in organizations can be found in many locations and different formats. Data, information and knowledge is shared through Information and Communication Systems (databases, data warehouses, Intranet, Internet, wikis etc), but not all knowledge is useful and appropriate for each task, activity or department. The major issue nowadays in the workplace is to find the appropriate information at the appropriate time. And even more to make sure that strategic knowledge is shared amongst employees or passed on from older

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 69 of 300


workers to the younger generations. On an organizational level, the challenge is to identify what is the “core knowledge” and how it can be transferred. Grundstein’s KC model is built around strategic knowledge, so it is essential to first clarify which knowledge is strategic and how to localize it, this means which kind of individual and organizational knowledge is worth preserving, developing or even abandoning. The second step of Grundstein’s KC model is to preserve the localized knowledge by its formalization, modelization and storage in a repository. This is represented in the KM process by KM Systems sustained by ICT. The third step in the KC model represents the knowledge capitalization itself, which is to make knowledge accessible, to integrate it and to diffuse it to final users. This step includes what is more commonly defined as knowledge transfer process, and it takes into account the organizational learning processes. The final step of the KC model is knowledge update and enrichment. This is based on experience feedback from individuals, and previously stored and shared knowledge is updated and eventually enriched by a new one. An example of knowledge actualization can be found in the “lessons learned” process, more specifically within project-based activities. By their nature, projects are limited in time, and might undergo frequent changes of team members: managing the project knowledge constitutes a risk for present and future projects (Reich, 2007). The aim of lessons learned is to create “organizational project memories” which can be re-used by other projects. The cyclic process of documenting lessons learned allows building new knowledge on existing explicit knowledge, and this can be done on a project, program or organizational level. Alquier and Tignol (1998) propose a method for KC in Project Management aimed at improving the decision making process. This method is based on the MUSIC (Management and Use of Cooperative information System) model, which provides organized and accessible inter-firm information, and which is applicable to DSS, cooperative work, KC and corporate memory (Alquier & Tignol, 1998)

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 70 of 300


For the purpose of this study we will focus on the underlying concepts of KC processes, that of knowledge in action: individuals capitalize on their knowledge by applying the knowledge created and acquired though the interactions with others (Grundstein, 2004). As we have seen Nonaka’s knowledge creating model at the heart of knowledge creation are human interactions which allow for sharing or transferring knowledge; once the knowledge is transferred, individuals can capitalize on their existing knowledge to create new knowledge. Hence the critical role of knowledge transfer for the success of organizational KM and KC practices.

2.5 Knowledge Transfer Several studies indicate the urgency for organizations to transferring explicit or tacit knowledge, specifically taking into account the foreseen “brain drain” caused by massive retirements within the next decade (Calo, 2008b; D’Aprix, 2010; Lamari, 2012; Liebowitz et al., 2007; Unequal, 2006). In the following sections we are going to review the process and models of knowledge transfer, the socio-psychological factors influencing knowledge transfer and the preferred methods of transferring tacit knowledge. Knowledge has a value if it is shared and re-used, and if the new knowledge created through human interactions is put into action to produce a benefit for the individual and for the organizations (Davenport & Prusak, 1997). The key process for this to happen is knowledge transfer. The terms knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer are used in different and confusing ways in literature. In order to make this clear, we consider that knowledge sharing is a part of knowledge transfer (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995), knowledge sharing being a bidirectional people-to-people process (Liyanage et al, 2009) where individuals mutually exchange knowledge; while a knowledge

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 71 of 300


transfer process is more complex and it encompasses several steps: it is about identifying knowledge that already exists, acquiring it and subsequently applying it. This newly applied knowledge may develop new ideas or enhance the existing ideas to make a process or an action faster, better or safer than they would have otherwise been. So, knowledge transfer is not only about exploiting accessible resources, i.e. knowledge, but also about how to acquire it and absorb it in order to make decisions and actions more efficient and effective; it concerns the movement of knowledge amongst specialized knowledge domains, from one place, or person, or ownership to a recipient which will absorb and reuse this knowledge (Liyanage et al., 2009). According to Argote (2000) “knowledge transfer in organizations involves transfer at the individual level, the problem of knowledge transfer in organizations transcends the individual level to include transfer at higher levels of analysis, such as the group, product line, department, or division (Argote, 2000 p.151), and it is a key process in translating individual learning into organizational capability (Lam & Lambermont-Ford, 2010).

The classical communication theory from Shannon and Weaver (1957) explains that a communication process is made by a sender and a receiver thought some communication media which might be touched by some external or internal “noise”. The message sent by the sender is bounded within a specific context, and it might be modified or even destroyed by the “noise” before arriving to the recipient who will receive the message within his own specific context. The process is composed of two phases: encoding, when the sender packages the message in a way which is adapted to the media used, and decoding, when the receiver unpacks the message in order to capture it.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 72 of 300


Figure 13 - Communication model – based on Shannon and Weaver (1957)

Building on this model, and in contrast with the model of knowledge transfer as a unique instantaneous act of reproducing exact knowledge from the sender to the receiver, Gabriel Szulanski first defined a diachronic (contrasting effects over time) process for knowledge transfer in order to prove the “stickiness” of knowledge, that is the difficulty of knowledge to flow and the ability to remain rather static within organizations. According to Szulanski, there are 4 phases to knowledge transfer: •

Initialization (where the opportunities to transfer knowledge are identified),

Implementation (where the actual exchange of knowledge happens through defined actors’ ties and communication means),

Ramp-up (where the recipient starts using the received knowledge)

Integration (where the new knowledge is routinized) (Szulanski, 1999).

All those phases are linked to specific problems which might arise both from the

Figure 14 - 4 Knowledge Transfer phases - Szulanski (1999)

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 73 of 300


receiver or the sender, and Szulanski identifies some predictors to stickiness of knowledge (discussed later in this Chapter). Sveiby (2001) raises the interesting point of about the decision of transferring knowledge. When looking at KT dynamics between individuals, internal and external structures, he describes 9 types of knowledge transfer of which only one seems of interest with the objective of this research, hence with the transfer of tacit knowledge: knowledge transfer between individuals.

Figure 15 - KT System - Sveiby (2001)

Knowledge transfer between individuals is mostly facilitated by trust, and Sveiby suggest that we should look a creating and implementing activities which enable for trust building, like team activities, induction programs, and apprenticeship programs (Sveiby, 2001).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 74 of 300


Knowledge transfer from individual competence to internal structure and within the internal structure has mostly to do with what we have described before in a knowledge capitalization effort which was meant as the conversion of tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge with the implementation of KM systems and tools, as the backbone of the management of knowledge within an organization.

Another theory which seems appropriate in the consideration of how knowledge is transferred is the Translation theory. The study for the translation theory focuses on the cross-cultural issues linked to the global economy and constant interactions of individuals having to communicate in a language which is not necessarily their mother-tongue. We found this theory of particular interest as it can be generalized and related to the common issues of Project Management professionals’ business environment. As pointed out by Holden and Von Kortzfleisc (2004), knowledge transfer is not the simple action of moving knowledge from one owner to a recipient but it is also a process transforming knowledge so that it is contextualized, understood and utilized by the receiver. This process of transformation is also defined as a process of interpretation or translation. Translation theory can be of value to the knowledge transfer process at least from the following highlights: •

Translation as a networking activity: translating is more than a linguistic coding from one language to another, it underlines a social interaction amongst people within the same network (as from Nonaka’s model, transferring knowledge is an act of socialization).

Process and end-product quality: it concerns the accuracy of the message transmitted and the impact on readers, as well the cognitive capabilities of the translator (sender)

Levels of accuracy: this deals with the fact of sufficient information needs to be conveyed in order for the receiver to make sense out of it.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 75 of 300


Constraints on the production of good translation: it concerned with the barriers to good knowledge transfer, which are ambiguity, interference and lack of equivalence.

This leads to the conclusion that as translation, knowledge transfer is a sensemaking activity, it is concerned with personal cognition and the transfer into social networks, it concerns not only transfer, but also transferability (the extent to which knowledge can be transmitted to others) (Holden & Kortzfleisch, 2004).

Figure 16 - KT as Translation process - Holden and Von Kortzfleisch (2004)

2.5.1 Factors influencing the Transfer of Tacit Knowledge Szulanski (1999) exposed the concept of knowledge stickiness, by identifying inhibitors for the knowledge transfer process to occur. A list of those factors is defined here: • • •

lack of motivation (both from the source and/or the recipient), source not perceived as reliable, unproven knowledge (utility of the transferred knowledge)

recipient lack of absorptive capacity (unable to identify value and apply new knowledge); organizational context (organization supporting transfers);

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 76 of 300


arduous relationship (communication and intimacy between sender and recipient) (Szulanski, 1999).

Knowledge does not exist in itself; it needs people to be created and to be exchanged. So the never-ending questions which arise in public press and academic literature is, “why do people share or not share knowledge?” First of all, people might have limited awareness about the tacit knowledge they possess, that is they may not know what they know (Chiem, 2001). Additionally, they might not know how to share or with whom to share, could have difficulties in expressing their knowledge tied to physical actions or mental models, and have difficulties in applying context-specific tacit knowledge in other contexts (Argote, 2000; Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995); or sharing may be seen as too difficult or time consuming; transferring tacit knowledge could also be seen as a risk for an individual, to lose the competitive advantage over peers (Hammer, 2005). According to Cabrera and Cabrera (2002): “Employees may not share what they know with other co-workers due to insufficient understanding of the benefits of doing so or because they somehow cannot manage to integrate such tasks into their everyday duties. Some employees may not have enough time to share their experiences, or to learn how to use the available information systems. Also, some employees may fail to see a personal benefit from sharing knowledge or they may perceive insufficient support from the company’s top management to apply new ideas to their work” (Cabrera & Cabrera, 2002, p.2) . Within the academic literature, the most cited barrier to knowledge transfer is the strong role that organizational culture (sometimes defined as organizational climate) plays in this process. Sveiby and Simons (2002) found that a culture of trust and collaboration improves knowledge sharing and organizational effectiveness, although differences are found within age groups as collaborative

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 77 of 300


climate tends to improve with age, and appreciation of the collaborative climate is closely correlated with seniority in the organization (Sveiby & Simons, 2002). Trust is also a recurring subject as a barrier or motivator for knowledge transfer. Holste and Fields (2010) suggest that the transfer of tacit knowledge is related to affect-based and cognition-based trust between individuals: affect-based trust, concerns mutual care between individuals and cognition-based trust consist of the reliability and competence of the individuals (Holste & Fields, 2010). On the other hand, Levin and Cross (2009), demonstrate that strong relationship between individuals might lead to a less effective transfer of knowledge, as one can lose objectivity and critical interest; while weak ties (together with benevolence and competence-based trust) allow for receiving useful knowledge as it eliminates redundant knowledge: while benevolence-based knowledge is a key factor in transferring explicit knowledge, competence is an essential component for transferring tacit knowledge (Levin and Cross 2009). Another barrier to effective knowledge transfer has been identified to be the absorptive capacity of the recipient. Absorptive capacity is the ability of an individual or an organization to recognize the value of new external knowledge, assimilate it and apply it. Cohen and Levinthal (1990) state that the recipient’s prior knowledge permits the assimilation and exploitation of new knowledge. “Some portion of that prior knowledge should be very closely related to the new knowledge to facilitate assimilation, and some fraction of that knowledge must be fairly diverse, although still related, to permit effective, creative utilization of the new knowledge” (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990, p.136). This is a self-reinforcing cycle, so that more the recipient has acquired cognitive or experiential knowledge, the easier is the process of assimilation and use of the new knowledge; on the contrary, new external knowledge on unrelated previous knowledge is more difficult to assimilate, leading to a more arduous and costly learning process, hence to reduced absorptive capacity.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 78 of 300


Cabrera and Cabrera (2002) posited the issue of social dilemma in knowledge sharing. Shared knowledge becomes a social good, creating a social dilemma: everyone can benefit from this knowledge whether they have contributed or are contributing to it, contribution is not extrinsically rewarded and non-contribution is not sanctioned; this causes a loop dis-incentive as contributing individuals would bear the cost of transferring knowledge if everybody was going to pay for a social good. Cabrera concludes with potential solutions for companies experiencing the knowledge sharing dilemma: “The first potential solution to knowledge-sharing dilemmas consists of restructuring the payoff function. This can be accomplished by either reducing the perceived costs or increasing the perceived benefits of contributing. The second type of solution focuses on increasing perceived efficacy of individual contributions. Individuals are more willing to participate if they believe their contributions will be valuable to others. Finally, establishing group identity and promoting personal responsibility are also useful ways of increasing cooperation in a knowledge-sharing dilemma”. (Cabrera & Cabrera, 2002, p.10).

2.5.2 Motivation for Transferring Knowledge The models of knowledge transfer have focused on the social and collective interaction of individuals to create and transfer knowledge, but those models implicitly assume an utopian view of ‘‘benevolent co-operators’’ who voluntarily give up personal knowledge without appropriate reward (Lam & LambermontFord, 2010). We need to clarify here which are the intrinsic, extrinsic motivators and incentives which do lead individuals to share their knowledge. In their paper on Motivation and the Theory of the firm, Gottshalg and Zollo (2006), based on Deci’s definition (1975) and Linderberg refinement (2001), explore the simple argument that “motivation can be linked to a set of underlying goals, from whose accomplishment individuals derive a certain level

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 79 of 300


of utility” (Gottschalg & Zollo, 2006 p.6). Motivation is then determined by the motivator, which allow for a behavior which aims at the accomplishment of the goals, taking into account individual preferences of different motivators, based on the individual relevance of the goal. They separated motivators into three categories: •

Extrinsic motivators, aiming at providing additional tangible or intangible resources to the individual, like money or power.

Hedonic intrinsic motivators, is linked to the goal to executing a desirable task, and this could be the joy of executing a task, self-determination of how the task is executed, or the competence-enhancement value of the task.

Normative intrinsic motivators, driven by the goal of compliance to social norms and valued of the organization or community an individual belongs to. This is not linked to the recognition of the community, but to the satisfaction the individual perceived from being identifying and integrating with the community.

Organizations have often focused on extrinsic motivations, through incentive systems (rewards and recognition systems) (Bartol & Srivastava, 2002), but those are argued insufficient and, as they engage personal financial interest, to be detrimental to the community (Sharratt & Usoro, 2003) Lam and Lambermont-Ford (2004) focus on the relationship amongst different types of motivators to explain how knowledge sharing has been considered the result of opportunistic or altruistic behavior; they argue that potential solution for encouraging knowledge transfer would be to creating a, perhaps “utopian”, working environment which stimulates knowledge transfer by tackling at the hedonic motivator of self-esteem and self-determination (through enjoyable tasks for example), together with extrinsic (rewards, financial incentives) and normative (peers recognition) motivators (Lam & Lambermont-Ford, 2010). In the psychology literature, we found particularly pertinent to the study on intergenerational knowledge transfer, the Generativity theory from McAdams

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 80 of 300


and De St Aubin (1992). This theory is based on the work of Erik Erikson (1950) who introduced the concept of generativity in the life-span theory of personal development. According to this theory, individuals are concerned about the next generation, by guiding, teaching, leading the next generation to promote the continuity of the social system from one generation to the next. This is due to several factors, as the philosophical search for symbolic immortality, the concern to transfer motives and values, commitment to societal goals of providing for the next generation. In their study, McAdams and De St Aubin confirm Erickson’s belief that generativity behaviors become more salient as individuals grow into later adulthood.

2.5.3 Methods and tools for transferring tacit knowledge .As

we have seen, knowledge can be tacit and explicit, and the knowledge

capitalization processes have concentrated, with the support of ICTs, on making tacit knowledge explicit so that it could be recorded, stored and shared through artifacts like books, databases and other documents. For tacit knowledge transfer, specific attention needs to be brought about the transmission media as, as we have seen, KT is a process of communication, and due to codification strategies, the message arriving at the receiver might not be exactly the same as the knowledge of the sender. The transfer of tacit knowledge, although highly regarded and studied within the academic literature, remains a difficult part to capture mainly because of the highly subjective and contextual nature of the tacit knowledge dimension. Considering Nonaka’s (1995) SECI model, the BA concepts, as well as the characteristics of tacit knowledge, we explored literature about how tacit knowledge can be transferred, and we review hereafter through which methods, tools and within which context the transfer of tacit knowledge happens. A study from IBM and ASTD (2006) show that Executives are aware about the fact that the ageing workforce will impact their organizations (Lesser & Riviera,

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 81 of 300


2006). When asked how knowledge is transferred within their organization, 60% of the respondents mentioned “mentoring programs” (mentoring being a oneto-one relationship which allows passing tacit experiential knowledge to a protégé): the back draw of this being the high time consuming characteristic of this activity. Others mentioned training classes given by older employees; some mentioned learning communities of practice and even audio and video tools. In the press and on-line literature, it is shown that 70% of the Fortune 500 companies offer Mentoring programs, AT&T established a program of shadowdays (where new hires can shadow an older worker or an executive), IBM provides a “connection coach” to new hires, and Xerox matches younger employees with “higher-ups” (Lesser & Riviera, 2006) Strategy for knowledge transfer has to be clearly identified and defined. Many consulting firms, although they are in the same business and field of action, define different KM strategies. Ernst & Young and Accenture have chosen a “knowledge codification strategy”, which corresponds to a people-to-document strategy, which allows, through documenting experiences and cases, a pool of reusable assets to achieve business performance. This is like transforming tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge, which unfortunately misses out the essential transmission of know-how and experience. On the other hand, strategy consulting firms like Bain, Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey have preferred a

“knowledge personalization

strategy”,

a dialogue-based, one-to-one

conversation strategy (Hansen, Nohria, & Tierney, 1999). In her research on French specific cases, Gendron (2006) considered 3 French companies (a state-owned, a small size and a middle size firm, all employing a large percentage of people over 50). All the companies had to put in place plans and policies for managing older workers and more specifically generational Knowledge Transfer: the most efficient way was to revitalize the practices of “tutorship” and mentorship. Gendron conclusions are for policy makers and HR professionals to set up a “sustainable and quality age management, and to impulse new solidarity between generations” (Gendron, 2006).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 82 of 300


Face-to-face interaction often is the primary method for transferring tacit knowledge (Holste & Fields, 2010). DeLong and Davenport (1998) posited the most effective knowledge transfer processes include “interviews/videotaping, mentoring, storytelling, communities of practice, and training and education” (Davenport et al., 1998). An emerging method of transferring tacit knowledge is Storytelling: Davenport and Prusak (2000) state that individuals learn the best from stories which enable easier transfer of knowledge through convincing, elegant and passionate narratives (Davenport & Prusak, 1997), and Denning (2006) confirms that when experts tell stories about their past experiences and best practices, they prepare the audience for dealing with potential similar situations, and through story telling they can transfer more human related factors like their perceptions and intuitions, their feelings and values, in a meaningful way (Denning, 2006). Apprenticeship has been for centuries used as a mean of transferring both explicit and tacit knowledge, but the tacit dimension is more relevant today (due to internet and other media used for distribution of explicit knowledge). Arrow (1962) indicates the strategic role of “learning by doing” as a mean of economic development in organizations where by experiential learning individuals can acquire the necessary skills and quickly put them into action enhancing their performances. Turner, Keegan and Crawford (2000), indicate that a common practice in organizations, whenever feasible, is to “pair” professionals, so having two people within the same project doing the same job: this enhance individual learning and people can reciprocally gain knowledge, experience and know-how from one another. They also state that research, within the project management practices, “shows that the majority (85%) of project personnel have gained their knowledge, both explicit and tacit, through experiential learning” (Turner et al., 2000). Another form of transferring tacit knowledge has been studied by Rosenberg (1992) who sees in “learning by using” a way of efficiently involve individuals in the knowledgetTransfer process, making them actively using and

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 83 of 300


manipulating tools and processes, instead of leaving them as “passive” observers (Lamari, 2012) Finally the emergence of Communities of Practice, Communities of Interest and Communities of Knowledge, is being largely studied in contemporary literature (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990; Lamari, 2012; Slagter, 2007; Turner et al., 2000; Wenger, 2000), proving that they create organizational value, enhance individual’s performance and organizational performance, support sharing of valuable knowledge amongst the community members. Communities of practice are often informal and flexible created within an organization or within a profession, an industry and their extent can go far beyond the boundaries of organizations; they base their success on cooperation, interaction, trust and recognition amongst the members. Dinur (2011) states that there is no unique method for transferring tacit knowledge, but the choice of the method should be based on the type of tacit knowledge which needs to be transferred. She distinguishes 9 types of tacit knowledge, their barriers and channels for transfer. She points out that hands-on training, apprenticeship, and long-term immersion in culture seemed effective in transferring emotional, cultural, and unlearning types of tacit knowledge (Dinur, 2011).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 84 of 300


2.6 Conclusion of Literature Review As a conclusion of this literature review, we will summarize the major items which are explored in this study. Knowledge is considered as a key factor for the sustainability of today’s organizations in a challenging business environment (Argote, 2000). Knowledge transfer is a communication process through which knowledge is shared and new knowledge is created, and this happens through human interaction (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995). The tacit dimension of knowledge (individuals’ know-how and experience), although difficult to study because of the subjectiveness of its nature, is defined as an element of paramount importance for companies to maintain their competitive advantages (Davenport, 1997; Davenport & Prusak, 1997; Despres & Chauvel, 2000; Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Zack, 1999b). Considering the demographic shift that we are facing today, reversing the population pyramids towards a higher number of older people from now to 2050 (DESA, 2001), organizations need to pay attention to the challenge of generational diversity in the workplace and the imminent retirement of the Baby-Boomers generation: this will leave a void of skills and competences within the next few years. Knowledge transfer practices need to be facilitated in order to balance the loss of older people’s experience with the arrival of new, highly educated but inexperienced younger generations (Lancaster & Stillman, 2002; Zemke et al., 1999) Extended literature exists, both in the practitioners and academic world, about the generations present in the workplace today. We explored the three most represented generational cohorts in the workplace: Boomers, Xers and Millenials (Buahene & Kovary, 2003; Lancaster & Stillman, 2002; Zemke et al., 1999), and discovered differences in their attitudes towards career management, work values, motivation, and organizational loyalty (De Meuse & Mlodzik, 2010).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 85 of 300


We did not find in the literature studies on their Cognitive Styles and Learning Styles and their relationship with generations: we assume that differences and similarities in the way different generational cohorts organize and structure their thinking (Cognitive Style) (Cools & Van den Broeck, 2007) and their way to approach learning experience (Learning Styles) (Honey & Mumford, 1986) may influence their knowledge transfer process. Nonaka’s SECI Model and the concepts of BA (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Nonaka & Toyama, 2003; Nonaka et al., 2000) set the basis for the exploration of tacit Knowledge Transfer between generations. The phases of Socialization, Externalization and Internalization focus on the transfer of Tacit knowledge within specific spaces and context of respectively Originating, Interaction and Exercising BAs (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995; Nonaka & Toyama, 2003; Nonaka et al., 2000). Within the context of this study, this model allows to focus on how tacit knowledge transferred within the specific case of generations in a project-based environment (SECI phases), and where tacit knowledge is transferred (BAs), through which artifacts, spaces and preferred methods for each generation. This relates to the different methods used for transferring know-how and insights, which spans from face-to-face interactions, to storytelling, learning-by-doing, learning-by-acting, mentorship and apprenticeship programs (Brown et al., 2000; Davenport et al., 1998; Denning, 2006; Holste & Fields, 2010; Lamari, 2012; Stam, 2009)

Organizations have embraced Knowledge management practices for the past 30 years, and through extensive use of ICT, have built Systems for identifying, capturing and distributing knowledge (Boughzala & Dudezert, 2012; Davenport & Prusak, 1997; Nonaka & Reinmoeller, 2000). Knowledge Capitalization processes, based on KMS, have failed to put into light the transfer know-how, by trying to convert tacit knowledge into explicit artifacts like documents, databases and

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 86 of 300


files. With the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies those issues could potentially be overcome, by providing means of synchronous communication (instant messaging, video conferencing and wikis) to facilitate the flow of tacit knowledge. The question remains about the adaptability of generational cohorts to those technologies, and very little evidence is found in literature about the degree of adoption of those new technologies in the generationally diverse workplace. Knowledge transfer as a process has been proven to face some barriers: the stickiness of knowledge results from, amongst others, the organizational climate, trust, arduous relationship, absorptive capacity and lack of motivation (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990; Levin & Cross, 2004; Szulanski, 1999). The literature does not explore how those barriers to knowledge transfer might be different according to the generational cohort a person is belonging to. The main challenge for organizations is to find innovative and rewarding ways of encouraging knowledge transfer. As many researchers pointed out, individuals cannot be forced to transfer their knowledge, the key element is to find what motivates them. Intrinsic motivators have proved to be the most effective motivators, both hedonic and normative (Lam & Lambermont-Ford, 2010). There is no study which focuses on the relationship between generational cohorts and motivators for transferring tacit knowledge. Finally, within the Project Management literature, although work exists on knowledge transfer, knowledge management, and learning preferences, no studies have been conducted on the preferences of this profession for cognitive and learning styles, nor on generational differences and tacit knowledge transfer within the profession. From this literature review, we derived our research questions, defined in the following Chapter.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 87 of 300


3. CHAPTER 3– METHODOLOGY 3.1 Choice of the methodology Research can be conducted using different methods strategies, either quantitative, qualitative or a mix of both, which is usually defined as MixedMethods. This research will use a Mixed-Methods approach. Tashakkori & Creswell (2007) define Mixed-Methods research as “a research in which the investigator collects and analyzes data, integrates the findings and draws interferences using both qualitative and quantitative approaches or methods in a single study or program of inquiry” (Tashakkori & Creswell, 2007, p.4). Creswell (2009) indicates that Mixed-Methods research can answer questions that the other methodologies cannot do alone: as qualitative research is usually exploratory and drives to the generation of theories, while quantitative research tends to verify theories in a confirmatory approach, Mixed-Methods research can lead to answering both confirmatory and exploratory questions within the same study so to reduce the potential biases (Creswell, 2009). Amongst the strong points of mixed method research, we list here those which are appropriate to this research: •

Complementarities: the use of numerical data as well as narrative explanations allow a deeper understanding of the research results, specifically in social science study where the complementarities of the different sets of data (numerical and narrative) can produce a more thorough understanding of a complex real-life situation.

Development: the use of the results of one method to develop or inform another method. This is meant to increase the validity of the study.

Mixed-Methods research underlines the importance of the research questions, from where everything derives, and it underlines that whichever method should be used to collect and analyze data, it would be accepted if it does add knowledge by answering to the research questions.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 88 of 300


From the philosophical perspective, Mixed-Methods researcher follows the pragmatism paradigm: “a deconstructive paradigm that debunks concepts such as “truth and reality” and focuses instead on “what works” as the truth regarding the research question [….] Pragmatists acknowledge that the values of the researcher play a large role in the interpretation of the results” (Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2009 p.8). The design of this research will follow the typology defined by Tashakkori & Teddlie, (2009), as Mixed-Methods multistrand design in sequential order, beginning with the qualitative approach (semi-directed interviews) followed by the quantitative approach (web-based questionnaire). This research study is exploratory in nature. There are two models for Mixed-Methods design: 1. Parallel mixed model, when one or more of the research stages occur simultaneously 2. Sequential mixed model, when all phases occur in chronological sequencing. Each phase can confirm or explore questions from the previous phase. In the multistrand sequential mixed design two strands occur in chronological order and the conclusions of the first strand serve as a basis for the development of the following strand. The second strand allows for the confirmation or disconfirmation of the inferences from the previous strand and the final inferences are based on the results of both strands.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 89 of 300


3.2 Research Questions The objective of this exploratory study is to clarify how to facilitate intergeneration transfer of tacit knowledge. As we have seen from the literature review several topics are related to this objective. Knowledge management practices play a key role in organizations in today’s changing business environment, especially considering the brain drain and skills void which is likely to within the next few year when Boomers will continue moving into retirement. The challenge is to plan for leaving enough time and spaces for knowledge transfer to happen between generational cohorts, concentrating on the fluidity of tacit knowledge, which cannot be stored into databases nor taught in classes.

As Nonaka and Takeuschi (1995) pointed out, knowledge is created and transferred through human interactions, under whichever forms (not necessarily by verbal means). The process of transferring knowledge is as the process of communication: communication happens between a sender and a receiver through some media. What makes knowledge transfer challenging is that individuals cannot be forced to transfer their know-how, but there are always some motivators to trigger the knowledge transfer process, whether there are intrinsic, extrinsic or hedonic. In the case of intergenerational knowledge transfer, we take into account the attributes which have been proven to be linked to generations, their different motivations to transfer knowledge, as well as their perceived cognitive and learning styles. We assume that their cognitive and learning styles will influence their preferred ways to transfer knowledge, and this corresponds to the different stages of the SECI models and the different tools and methods describes by

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 90 of 300


Nonaka and Konno (2002). We will focus more specifically on the transfer of tacit knowledge through those interactions. At the receiver end, some “noise” might alter the communication process, thus the appropriate transfer of knowledge: the receiver absorptive capacity, the sender’s competence and reliability, the trust amongst sender and receiver. The receiver belongs to a generational cohort himself with his specific cognitive and learning preferences, and characteristics of his own generation. So the main research question is: “How tacit knowledge transfer between generational cohorts can be facilitated”? In order to answer this main question we looked at different aspects of the issue. First of all, around generational cohorts there is quite some focus but no generalized and specific definitions. From the practitioner literature we found four generational cohorts (Veterans, Baby Boomers, Xers and Millenials). To those cohorts have been associated some characteristics of which only few have been empirically proved. For this research we will consider 3 generational cohorts: Boomers, Xers and Millenials. We will leave aside the Veterans, who are nearly all retired as they are aged over 65. Although this classification does not correspond to a classification used by French sociologist, we believe that for a potential internationalization of this study, this is a good starting point and can be easily applicable to other countries. In the psychological and educational literature we have found no evidence of studies conducted on the differences on the Cognitive styles and Learning Styles on generational cohorts. Cognitive styles have proven to influence learning, problem solving, decision making, communication, interpersonal functioning, and creativity. So we will test generational cohorts on their perceived cognitive and learning styles and analyze if there is a correlation between generational

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 91 of 300


cohorts and their cognitive and learning styles. So the next question of this explorative study is: Is there a relationship between generational cohorts and their perceived Cognitive Styles and Learning Styles? The main challenge organizations are facing to encourage individuals and groups to share their knowledge, as notwithstanding any tool or process they put in place, it is not possible to oblige people to share their knowledge. Based on the work of Lam and Lambermont-Ford (2010), we will focus on three categories of motivators: extrinsic (like financial rewards), intrinsic (like a social status) and hedonic (like self-esteem) (Lam & Lambermont-Ford, 2010). We will explore which are the optimal motivators for each cohort. How do extrinsic and intrinsic motivators influence the transfer of knowledge between generational cohorts? As we have seen in the communication theory, the message received might not correspond to the message that the sender had sent. This is due generally to some noise, or to some “translation” issues (leaving aside the pure language constraints, we will focus on the meaning of the message). We will not focus on the absorptive capacity of the receiver, as we assume that the individual might have enough knowledge, experience and interest to acquire new knowledge. But other factors might influence the transfer of tacit knowledge, like the reliability and perceived competencies of the sender, trust, weak or strong ties amongst the individuals. How different generational cohorts perceive factors affecting the transfer of tacit knowledge? Based on Nonaka’s work on the SECI model and the BA, we have seen that knowledge is shared in situated actions, in context and space which allow knowledge creation, sharing and utilization. BA can be of any sort, from an office meeting, to on-the-job training, or though virtual communities of practice. Based on the cognitive styles and learning styles, different generational cohorts might

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 92 of 300


have a preferred space to share knowledge, hence preferred tools and methods, specifically to share tacit knowledge, which is difficult to convey. What do different generational cohorts perceive as optimal methods for transferring tacit knowledge? The answers to these questions will assist us in attaining the objective of this study, which is to explore how to facilitate tacit knowledge transfer between generational cohorts.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 93 of 300


3.3 Research Design This exploratory study is composed of three phases (strands): •

The first phase is a qualitative phase, where data is collected through the mean of individuals’ interviews and then analyzed,

A second quantitative phase, where data is collected through a web-based questionnaire and then analyzed and

Finally a meta-interference phase where the results of both qualitative and quantitative data are analyzed

The choice of a Mixed-Methods design is justified by the aims of the research, looking at confirming some propositions in the first place and discovering some insights from the generational cohorts of Project management professionals in terms of perceived cognitive and learning styles, preferred methods for knowledge transfer, motivators and barriers for knowledge transfer. Then through the web-based questionnaire, looking at a larger generalization of the new findings and verification of previously confirmed findings. This is in line with the primary advantages of Mixed-Methods: Development and Complementarities. Data are collected in the first phase through semi-structured and open-ended interviews. The interviews method is used in order to get an indepth understanding of the subject perspectives. Subjects of different cohorts can freely express their beliefs and experiences on Knowledge Transfer, and by keeping the questions open-ended they have the ability to express as many facts and opinions which might not have been observable otherwise. The semistructured schema of the interviews helps in keeping the subjects and their answers focused on the themes of the research. Through this phase the initial propositions are either confirmed or disconfirmed, and new insights are added to the research. The analysis and the results of this first phase serve as basis for the development and refinement of hypothesis for the second phase, the quantitative part of the research.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 94 of 300


The web-based survey aims to confirm or refute the hypothesis raised. Finally, comparing findings from the qualitative and quantitative results will allow drawing conclusions which would support with empirical evidence the answers to the overall research question.

3.3.1 Population for the Study This study uses a sample of Project Management professionals who are based in France or in European French speaking countries. Most of the participants of this study are affiliated to the PMI (Project Management Institute) either in France or on a global level. Participants may also be affiliated to other Project Management associations, or have no affiliations at all, or being part of the community of Project Managers on Linked-in and/or other social networks. The findings of this study will be shared with the PMI France Chapter members, and with other participants who expressly requested the results. This should allow for some generalizations in the Project Management profession; furthermore this study could potentially be a starting point for carrying out similar research within different professions, or within specific industries.

3.3.2 Ethical Considerations This study does not pose any significant risk to the participant, except to the time involved in participating to the study. All participants are volunteering for participating to the study. The purpose of the study is clearly stated both before the interviews, in the consent form for the participant, and in the invitation to take the survey; additionally, the consent statement appears at the beginning of each electronic survey (participants need to select a check-box to agree to a voluntary participation).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 95 of 300


The interviews take place and time chosen by the participant so that to ensure that the participant feels at ease. Participants are informed, both for the interviews and the questionnaire that their participation and answers are kept strictly confidential, and the survey answers will be anonymous. This is done in the interest of receiving more accurate and honest responses. Human subject protocol assumes that any information obtained in a research study or during any research investigation is always confidential unless specifically agreed to in advance.

3.3.3 Sampling techniques Because of the different phase in Mixed-Methods research, the sampling characteristics are combinations of qualitative and quantitative approaches. In Mixed-Methods, the overall purpose of sampling is to address the research questions: in this perspective, depending on the strand, sampling can be based on purposive or probability techniques, the size can vary from small to large number of units of analysis, focusing on representativeness or on searching for information rich cases (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2009). For this exploratory study, we use a different sampling technique for each phase.

3.3.3.1 Phase 1 - Qualitative Phase 1 is the qualitative strand, where data is collected through individual interviews, and in this phase we used a purposive sampling technique, so that individuals for interviews are selected based on a specific purpose rather than randomly (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2009). It has been noted that purposeful sampling (also called convenience sampling) allows the research to select a sample from which the researcher can effectively understand, and gain new insights about the subject investigated, and it is of interest in exploratory research (Cooper & Schindler, 2011).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 96 of 300


As defined by Teddlie and Yu (2007) this sampling is meant to achieve representativeness of comparability: in this study cases are selected to analyze if learning styles, cognitive styles, factors influencing knowledge transfer differ between generational cohorts. This convenience sample is divided into 3 groups of individuals corresponding to the 3 generational cohorts on which we focus for this study: •

Boomers – people born between 1946 and 1964 and today being of ages ranging between 48 and 65

Xers – people born between 1965-1980 and today being of ages ranging between 32 and 46

Millennials – the youngest generation in the workplace today, of people born between 1981-1999 and today being of ages ranging between 22 and 31

Participants are selected through the list of the members of the PMI France-Sud Association, based on their age, and their geographical location in order to facilitate face-to-face interviews: in the guidelines for Mixed-Methods sampling, Teddlie and Tashakkori (2009) specify that the sampling strategy should be feasible and practical (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2009). PMI France-Sud is a non-profit Organization aiming at promoting and developing the Project Management practices and profession. The association counts members of different generational cohorts, being employed in organizations, self-employed or retired, from different industries (from IT, to manufacturing, to pharmaceutical, to services). A letter requesting authorization to both interview members of the Association and to send a web-based questionnaire to the members of the Association was sent to the President of PMI France-Sud Chapter. The number of the samples as defined by Teddlie and Tashakkori (2009) is based on ethnography studies sampling, and it will be of at least 8 individuals per generational cohort (for a total of 24 interviews), however, according to the principle of saturation, if the researcher does not find any additional information

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 97 of 300


during the interviews, the interviews will end in order to proceed to the next stage and to the next phase (Creswell, 2009).

3.3.3.2 Phase 2 – Quantitative For the quantitative strand a volunteer sampling is used. Participants are volunteering to participate to the study by accessing a web-based questionnaire. The targeted population is Project Management professionals, both members of Project Management Institute (PMI) and non-members. The links to the web questionnaire was posted on Linked-in Social network, on Dantotsu Blog (a French based Project Management Blog) and sent to individuals of the Project Management Institute Association (with no bulk mailing, but only individual contacts). This type of sampling is also defined as snowball sampling, where participants are contacted through a referral network (Cooper & Schindler, 2011)

3.3.4 Interview Protocol and questions The aim of the interviews is to confirm or infirm some propositions, derived from literature review and previous studies, but also they provide new insight to the researcher on the knowledge transfer process within generational cohorts. The propositions which are the basis for the interviews are the following: •

Individuals have cognitive styles and learning styles which show common patterns among the same cohort

The preferred methods and tools for transferring tacit knowledge differ according to the generational cohort individuals belong to

Within the motivators and barriers to knowledge transfer there are common patterns among the same cohort

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 98 of 300


Technology might be an inhibitor or an enabler to tacit knowledge transfer process according to the generational cohort individuals belong to.

Dilley (2000) suggests that “Protocol questions are a guide to the journey we want our respondents to take [. . .] the questions form a script for us to use” (Dilly, 2000, p. 133). So the questions were created as a starting point to both give the intended direction to the interview, and to keep the interviews within the boundaries of the study. Interviewees are asked: •

To describe ways they have transferred knowledge during their past life experiences, and how this was motivated. They are asked to explain why some environmental factors influenced their experience more than others.

To reflect on their own preferences of constructing mental process (cognitive styles) and their preferred ways to learning (learning styles),

To think about how some barriers have inhibited knowledge transfer and knowledge acquisition processes, and how the relationship they had with either the sender or the receiver influenced those experiences

To describe how the use of technology in the knowledge transfer experience helped or inhibited their interactions with others.

Most of the interviews were conducted in the French language, so the interview script includes French and English versions and, whenever applicable, the transcript is translated into English. The detailed interview script is in Appendix B.

3.3.5 Mailed Questionnaire The aim of the questionnaire was to test the hypotheses raised after the analysis of the qualitative phase. The questionnaire started with a Participant Consent Statement, which respondents could accept, and move to the beginning of the questionnaire, or reject, and quit the questionnaire (detailed questionnaire in Appendix C).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 99 of 300


The questionnaire is built in 3 different sections which correspond to the main sections defined for the interviews and questions are built from the results of the literature review and the findings from the interviews. 1. Demographics: Age, gender, Position etc (details in the following section) 2. Cognitive styles and learning styles – those questions included the definitions of styles as in the interviews 3. Knowledge Transfer – this section included questions on Content, Enabler and Inhibitors, Motivators, Methods, Technology. The questions on cognitive and learning Styles are based on the existing models of Cognitive Styles Index (CoSI), and Learning Styles Questionnaire (LSQ), their definitions available web-site, or on previous research. The actual CoSI and LSQ tools were not used in this exploratory study. The rationale behind not using the tested and validated tools resides within the scope, time and budget of this project. Because of its exploratory nature, this study aimed at exploring the potential relationship between generational cohorts and Cognitive and Learning Style to clarify if this could be an appropriate axis of future research and could lead to further development. During the pilots of both the interview script and the questionnaire, participants expressed their concerns about the time they could spend on answering to this study, as being a maximum of one hour for the interviews and 30 minutes for the questionnaire: adding the CoSI and the LSQ questions would have tripled this time. The tested and validated tools require a license, and considering the large number of respondents, this project did not have the appropriate budget to support the expenses. The questions in the knowledge transfer section were defined as statements to which respondents were asked to indicate their agreement or disagreement; answers were based on a 5 point Likert scale: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 100 of 300


The detailed questions of the questionnaire are displayed in Appendix C.

3.4 Scope of the Study The study concentrates on the experience of knowledge transfer between generational cohorts from the Project management profession; this includes project managers, program managers, Project Office managers, project management consultants. For the qualitative phase, interviewees were members of the PMI Association, while for the quantitative phase they were Project Management professionals within the PMI association or not. Within the scope of this study we considered factors potentially affecting the process of tacit knowledge transfer within the above mentioned profession. Those factors were categorized as : Cognitive and Learning Styles, Motivators, Enablers and Inhibitors, Content, Methods, Technology.

3.5 Assumptions The participants of this study volunteered in participating, so it is assumed that they provided honest and accurate information about their knowledge transfer experiences, and their perceived styles and that the freely expressed their beliefs and views.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 101 of 300


4. CHAPTER 4 – DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS The purpose of this exploratory study is to clarify how to facilitate tacit knowledge transfer hence to analyze which factors influence tacit knowledge transfer between generational cohorts within the project management profession. This chapter presents the data collected and the findings based on these data. The study is a sequential mixed methods investigation. The first strand is the qualitative one and the second the quantitative.

4.1 Qualitative Data Collection The qualitative strand of the study was comprised of interviews of 25 PMI members and project management professionals, divided as follows: 10 Boomers, 8 Xers and 7 Millennials. The semi-directed interviews lasted from 45 to 90 minutes, and were carried out following the interview script in Appendix B. The Interview script has been piloted and adjusted to the needs of the research, by adding more specific questions linked to the aim of the study. Interviewees were asked to give examples and their own views on the way they transferred their tacit knowledge to other people within their professional environment and more specifically within the case of a project hand over. An inductive view of major categories from the literature review was used to ask more specific questions on motivators, methods, enablers and inhibitors, and perceived effectiveness and success for knowledge transfer as well as the use of technological means for transferring tacit knowledge. The interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed using NVIVO 9 Software. The transcripts were read through, coded and analyzed through NVIVO 9. Coding was refined until major themes within each category raised from the interviews and new categories emerged from the interviews analysis.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 102 of 300


4.2 Qualitative Data Analysis The interviews took place in a face-to-face setting, chosen as being appropriate environment for the interviewee.

All interviewees have or had a Project

Management Professional Role, International exposure, and some had people Management responsibilities (mostly Xers and Boomers) of teams between 5 and 20 people (more for 2 Boomers). A comprehensive table of the Demographics of the interviewees can be found hereafter.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 103 of 300


Interviewee

Cohort

Gender

Nationality

Ed Level

Ed background

01B

BB

F

FR

BAC+5

SOCIAL SCIENCE

02X 03X 04B

X X BB

F M F

FR FR FR

PHD BAC+5 BAC+4

05B 06X 07X 08Y 09B 10X 11Y 12X 14B 15Y 16B 17Y 18Y 19B 20Y 21B 22X 23Y 24X

BB X X Y BB X Y X BB Y BB Y Y BB Y BB X Y X

M F M F M F M F M M M M F M F F F F M

FR FR SAU SAU FR FR MAR GER FR COL FR FR FR FR FR FR FR BRAZILIAN FR

PHD BAC+5 PHD BAC+4 BAC+5 BAC+5 BAC+5 BAC+4 BAC+5 BAC+5 Bac+5 Bac+5 Bac+5 Bac+5 Bac+5 PHD BAC+4 Bac+5 Bac+5

25B 26B

BB BB

M M

FR FR

Bac+5 PhD

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Position

PM PROGRAM ELECTRONICS MGR TELECOM PM COMPUTER SCIENCE PM PMO ENGINEER MANAGER ENGINEER PM MEDICAL SCIENCE STUDENT COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDENT ENGINEER PM ELECTRONICS PM COACH WEB MARKETING STUDENT BUSINESS PM ENGINEER PM COACH ENGINEER/BUSINESS STUDENT ELECTRONICS PM COACH TELECOM PM PM PM ENGINEER PM PM PM ELECTRONICS PM ELECTRONICS PM TRAINER BA and PM STUDENT ELECTRONICS PM PMO ENGINEER MANAGER ENGINEER PM

People manager

PMI certified

No

No

10

5

No Yes No

Yes Yes Yes

10 10 10

4 4 10

Yes Yes No No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No No

Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes No Yes

20 4 1 5 14 15 4 10 15 6 15 2 8 12 1 8 4 1 3

10 4 1 1 10 4 1 5 10 1 3 2 8 12 1 4 4 1 1

Yes Yes

Yes Yes

14 15

14 14

yrs in PM

yrs in PMI

Page 104 of 300


Before analyzing the details of the interview, we have some general considerations to take into account for further analysis. We found that it was very easy to have interviews from Boomers which appeared very willing to share their knowledge and to spend time in the interview. On the other hand it was very difficult to find Millennials interviewees, which showed little interest in the study and in sharing their experiences, as they were too busy in their activities for sparing time for an interview. Also, most of the Millennials interviewees were from different countries, hence cultures (Colombian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Saudi, Brazilian) compared to the Xers and Boomers (who were mostly French, with only two exceptions, 1 Saudi, 1 German). This might bring a difference as for their culture, which might bias the results of the interviews for Millennials. In general, when asked about transferring and receiving knowledge, interviewees mostly expressed a reciprocity in their methods, motivators, enablers and inhibitors: that is to say, if they prefer face-to-face meetings to transfer their knowledge, they also prefer face-to-face meetings for receiving knowledge, or if they consider that the project context is an essential element to transfer, they also want to receive knowledge on the project context.

4.2.1 COGNITIVE STYLES AND LEARNING STYLES Interviewees were asked to select groups of definitions which could indicate their cognitive styles and learning styles. To do so, they were showed definitions of each Style, from which they had to select the one which most represented their way of thinking or learning. Those definitions were textually taken from the definitions of the Cognitive Styles Indicator (Cools & Van den Broeck, 2007) and from the Learning Styles Questionnaire (Honey & Mumford, 1999). For this exploratory study, to remain within the scope, budget and time of the project (as expressed before), it was chosen to have a self-evaluation view of

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 105 of 300


those styles in order to explore if any further study on cognitive and learning styles and generational cohorts would be appropriate. Within the self-evaluation of cognitive styles, there is a very strong percentage of “Thinking” cognitive styles amongst Xers and Boomers, corresponding to characteristics as facts, details, rational and methodical; Millennials have shown mostly “Planning” cognitive styles, corresponding to characteristics as structured, planned, and organized. There seem to be a relationship between generational cohorts and learning styles: •

Boomers: mostly “Activists”

Xers: mostly “Pragmatists”

Millennials: either “Reflectors” or “Pragmatists”

It is interesting to see if those findings can be generalized, so through the quantitative part of the study, the following hypotheses will be tested: H1: There is a relationship between generational cohorts and cognitive styles H1.1: There is a relationship between generational cohorts and learning styles We understand that the results of those self-reporting questions do not have the scientific value of the results of the CoSI and LSQ tools. Nevertheless, we will use this data as informative, in order to clarify some trends and patterns between generational cohorts. The following sections are related to factors affecting the transfer of experience and know-how, as Motivators, Enablers and Inhibitors, Methods, and perception of Web 2.0 Technology for tacit knowledge transfer. The results are based on the content analysis carried out through coding in NVIVO 9 Software.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 106 of 300


The interviews have been coded using these criteria: I = interviewee; 0-25 = sequential number of the interview; B/X/Y= generational cohort (Boomers, Xers, Y=Millennials) 4.2.2 CONTENT Content was a new category which arose from the interviews: although during the interview, and according to the interview script, it was specified what was meant by tacit knowledge, interviewees of all cohorts felt the need to specify that the most important thing in project management is human interaction and a clear definition of the project context. The human interactions have been explained as the most difficult element to be managed but there is no magic trick to find out how to deal with people (team members, customers, managers, stakeholders) and it is essential to pass on the knowledge about people. This is seen as subjective knowledge, but very important and difficult to transfer, and conversely technical project management processes and tools are written down and can be more easily apprehended. For some of the interviewees context and strategy is essential: although written documents exist, it is important “to read between the lines” (I14B), as knowing the background, the context and the vision of the project does give a different perspective of the knowledge transferred and a better understanding of strategic decisions taken. I11Y:” I would explain which has been the reasoning behind decisions or actions, is not only what is documented, so the results, but mainly the reasons why we got to that decision” I5B: “I put technical stuff secondary compared to the way we do things, the most important item is context” Interpersonal relationship and teams dynamics also stood out as a major theme within the content: interviewees, of all generational cohorts, seem confident on the technical side of project management – I11Y “transfer the human side […] the rest can be found everywhere” – but they underline the difficulties of Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 107 of 300


managing teams and people, create trustful relationships with internal and external customers, understand the influences and powers of the stakeholders: I2X: “the most difficult thing in Project management is the human side, so I believe that once you know what needs to be done on a technical level, you need to understand how we deal with the ones and the others” There are differences of opinion in the fact of transferring one’s own ideas and personal experiences: according to some interviewees, it is good to share his own vision, point of view or experience, without imposing it on the other person, as this could be beneficial for the future development of the person. I7X: “I would spend a lot of time in order to give things related to work to my opinion, my ideas, my believes and this things cannot be captured by books and manuals” On the other hand, some suggest that giving one’s view point might influence the perception of the person, inhibiting the creation of new ideas coming from personal experience, or even making relationship with people more difficult because of negative a-priori judgments. I12X: “the human factors is not black and white to pass on, so I have a vision, there are things that would pass on but maybe there are things that I don’t, perhaps he would bring something new, so I might also benefit from someone new coming in” Generally they mostly agree that whatever tacit knowledge is transferred, everyone can use it or not and adapt it to his own values, believes and contextual settings. There have been common patterns amongst the different generations; all those themes are shared amongst the generational cohorts, no matter the length of working experience. It is interesting to see if those findings could be generalized, so through the quantitative part of the study, we will include questions about what are considered as essential items to be transferred.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 108 of 300


4.2.3 MOTIVATION Interviewees were asked what would motivate them to either transfer of receive knowledge in a project setting. Most of the interviewees showed a strong sense of commitment and ownership: a project is often defined as “my baby” or “a part of me” and involvement in the project and the interest in the project

motivates people to transfer their

knowledge for the good of the company, for the success of the project, for the satisfaction of the customers and of the team members, also the success of the person to whom the knowledge has been transferred, particularly if there are some strong ties or an existing relationship. Some interviewees consider that transferring knowledge is a duty, part of their job that they want to “do well”, but also that transferring knowledge has become part of their own lives. I7X: “I developed something recently to be like a broadcasting station: I believe in transmitting what I know to other people around me, I get some payback, whatever I share with others […], it is becoming a habit, teaching and sharing the information, with people in the group, at work, at home, with people you see daily” On a personal standpoint, interviewees indicated that transferring knowledge is interaction which results in personal satisfaction and the development of new skills and visions, a valorization of the individual from the professional and human side. Interviewees stated “I love people”, “I like to share knowledge, I like the sense of community, where people learn by giving”, “I love to transfer, like a school teacher” indicating that there is a strong hedonic motivational factor in transferring knowledge. I10X: “it is an evidence for me to share my know how […] it is always a give-give situation when transferring know-how , we always have something in return, we have questions, people who are going to challenge, or give more, all this is an exchange which allow us to build ourselves, and it is a personal building and the search for success for a team, for a project, for the company, the customers”

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 109 of 300


Some indicated that by transferring knowledge in a project setting it would reflect on their own performance, if the project succeeds it is also thanks to their contribution, and on the other hand it can be a way of protecting oneself if the project fails, they would not be considered as responsible for that. Interviewees also indicated that recognition of their efforts in transferring knowledge would be a motivator. It is interesting to see if those findings can be generalized, so through the quantitative part of the study, the following hypotheses will be tested: H2: Different Generational cohorts share the same motivators for transferring tacit knowledge 4.2.4 ENABLERS AND INHIBITORS Interviewees were asked about enablers and inhibitors for transferring and receiving tacit knowledge. The most cited enabler has been the attitude of the person to whom the knowledge is transferred or from whom the knowledge is received. To facilitate the process the person should be pleasant, with an attitude of openness, flexibility, cooperative and willingness to receive or give knowledge. Ideally, the receiver and the sender would share the same “project management language”, as well as the same professional values. The receiver should show interest in the project, the company and value the experience and knowledge of the sender. Conversely, if the person is aggressive, unpleasant, has judgments, and is unhelpful, this would create communication barriers which will inhibit the transfer of knowledge. I5B: “if the person has no will to transfer, there will be no transfer” I12X: “if you have a closed door, it will not happen, or it will be superficial, or we could write papers to do a transfer, but for me this will not be a transfer”

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 110 of 300


Boomers have expressed much concern about time and availability for transferring knowledge with a project setting, in two interesting ways: time to transfer knowledge and time for the receiver to “digest” what has been transferred, and both as enablers, when there is enough time to transfer the knowledge and as an inhibitor when there is no time. I9B: “it was better to wait and the fact of waiting and in the period of reflection, maturation, and metabolization so we understand that there are a lot of things which came along within that specific issue or context” I5B: “I’d like to spend more time with the person. Often I had to do it in a rush” All generational cohorts expressed their concerns about security and trust both in the environment and the relationship for Knowledge Transfer: the exchange has to happen within a certain level of trust that the knowledge shared is not going to be inappropriately used, not to harm people or the organization, politics and hidden agenda would also lower the level of trust, which will result in knowledge retention and little collaboration. I3X: “ideally there should be an agreement between the parties on the fact that the transferred knowledge will be used in a certain way, that there is a deontological agreement, a formalized deontology, I think it would facilitate knowledge transfer” Amongst other enablers interviewees cited: having a friendly and open environment, getting immediate feedback from people, time to review our own knowledge and master the subject before we pass it on, having a defined structure for transferring knowledge, getting and giving concrete examples as well as tables, images and tools to allow knowledge to be more easily absorbed. All of these enablers are cited in the opposite manner as inhibitors. There is no specific pattern of distinction between the generational cohorts, so in order to generalize those findings through the quantitative part of the study; the following hypotheses will be tested:

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 111 of 300


H3. Different Generational cohorts share the same inhibiting and enabling factors for transferring tacit knowledge. 4.2.5 METHODS Xers and Boomers interviewees have expressed a very strong attitude of flexibility and adaptability in order to match the needs of the person they would transfer knowledge to or receive knowledge from: they consider it is of their responsibility to adapt to the appropriate communication means and attitudes of the person. I10X: “it is like a chameleon, adapting oneself, within our possibilities; we are going to model the style, language of the person” I5B: ”I believe that I will listen a lot, I will learn myself, to understand the drivers of the person in front of me, if I have people who had the same education as me, it is easy, if this is not the case, I need to start by understanding how this person works and understand the person” The setting is also a priority for tacit knowledge transfer, and generally speaking, interviewees of all cohorts would prefer to transfer tacit knowledge in an informal setting and without writing what is being said. This is very much linked to the perception of the different generations amongst them, as all believe that they would address an older professional in a formal manner and setting, while they would be more informal with a younger person, proposing knowledge transfer at the coffee machine or at lunch. Boomers on the other hand express their willingness to adapt to the requirement of the person they are interacting with, with no specific preference for a formal setting or meeting. All interviewees underline the importance of face-to-face meetings to transfer tacit knowledge: this is key to create a relationship and to better understand the person through mainly their body language I5B: “Transfer with no face to face within this profession for me is very difficult” I12X:” there are a lot of feeling and soft knowledge that can be passed in proximity, for example the confidence, am I sure that he has absorbed my Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 112 of 300


knowledge? so is facial expressions and feeling on how the person behaves, it is very difficult over the phone” I11Y: “we have new tools and it is useful to use but we will lose the transfer from person to person, obviously if we have people geographically dispersed yes, we have no choice, but if we have people within the same place, for me nothing will replace a coffee break, honestly I believe those are the moments where we can discuss freely […] it is a privileged moment to transfer” For Boomers more than others, a way to transfer tacit knowledge is by telling stories and telling about one’s own experiences and lessons learned, this allows passing subjective knowledge that can be used in different situations and in different context. This also allows people to understand that a specific issue might have been experienced before and there is a work around to problems. I4B: “I like to have stories and can get them out of the context then replace them in my context” All generational cohorts value tutoring and coaching within a project environment. I6X: “the most efficient way to learn is coaching and put into practice” I14B:” I would expect some coaching […] the Project Manager is often alone, while we could imagine that a senior person could accompany a new person, not from time to time, but being there, available all the time when it is needed” I11Y: “I would appreciate to have not only a coach but a real "master" like in old times” But there are some mixed feelings about a mentoring relationship within a project setting: I12X: “I believe that no matter your age or role, if you have a mentor it can bring you, advance you, it is much better working, you get satisfaction as you feel that someone is teaching you but at the same time you get better at your job”

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 113 of 300


I15Y: “I would appreciate to be though things that I don't know, but (mentoring) within a project no, as the project team might see you less empowered to run the project so it would make my things a bit harder” Considering the large number of interviewees with Pragmatist and Activist learning Styles (17 out of 25) it is not a surprise to see that most interviewees prefer to transfer knowledge or receive knowledge through hand-on experience and learning-by-doing approach. When transferring tacit knowledge Boomers and Xers show how to do the work, they give concrete cases to work on, they delegate and give responsibilities to people, push people to act, put into practice new knowledge, they do simulations and scenarios, I7X: “I like things to be simple and practical, so for tacit knowledge a simple and practical know-how to perform things, this makes the cornerstone or the background that people can build on and which can be the principles, trying something then after that I can have different ways to do it, instead of having only one way of doing it” When receiving knowledge they would also like to put directly into practice, they would become quickly autonomous, and would not be afraid of asking questions. According to those findings, there are similarities in the way different generational cohorts prefer to transfer tacit knowledge. So to verify those findings, through the quantitative part of the study, the following hypotheses will be tested: H4: Preferred methods for transferring tacit knowledge differ across generational cohorts

4.2.6 GENERATIONAL PERSPECTIVES The interviewees declared that there are no major issues in transferring knowledge through different generations, because of their adaptability. All Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 114 of 300


generations believe that the transfer of tacit knowledge can happen through good communication practices. Nevertheless, interviewees of different generations have specific views amongst and between their cohorts. Millenials and Xers, see transfer of knowledge from or to Boomers in a formal setting, through scheduled meetings and structured sessions and lists of precise questions. They would not transfer much to a senior person, considering that he might already have enough knowledge on how to deal with people and the complexity of organizations and team dynamics. I2X: “I think that the person senior, having more experience on the human side, on the senior person I should be more factual, as they might have already developed the human side” They respect seniority and value the knowledge and experience that senior people have, and look forwards to learn more from them, particularly acquiring more of their tacit knowledge. I8Y: “He has a lot of experience, and he knows how to deal with it” I12Y: “There is a respect from the older people, I will not feel at ease in teaching to someone who’ll older and has more knowledge, so I will have a modest attitude, I will not be at ease, I would prefer to receive from him. I will be modest; he has more experience than me, so modesty, humility in all circumstances” They might not feel very much at ease in communicating with them, as they are aware of the attitude of respect they ought to have with a senior person. Millennials are critical towards people of their own generation, having experiences in young people a sense of irrespective attitude towards senior people, while they do confirm that sometimes Boomers do not have the vision of future trends and technological innovations, but can be convinced with facts. Those different attitudes within the same generational cohort may also depend on cultural differences. As we stated before, most of the Millennials are not

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 115 of 300


French and come from cultures where respect for older people might be differently valued. I11Y: “sometimes they do not see the trends which emerge, certain effect of fashion, which are linked to the world of services, so there sometimes we need to explain them, bringing concrete elements, proofs” Boomers and X generation on the other hand have great faith and belief in the younger generation. All Xers and Boomers have indicated that they would spend much of their time and efforts in helping younger people, providing them all possible support and transferring their tacit knowledge in whichever manner best suit the younger, and mainly in informal setting. I4B: “I would give him more, tell him more about it, as I would like to share more what I know, but the result will be great as I have great faith in the youth” I3X: “with a Y gen it will be mostly around the coffee machine, a good restaurant, to extract him from the setting of an office or meeting room, as I think this could work, I know this by experience” I9B: “for a younger person I can give it all (my tacit knowledge) … as he has everything to discover, particularly the world of a company” Although they recognize that there are differences to be taken into account: I7X: “Younger people depends on what age, usually there are not mature enough to listen if from the beginning it is not interesting for him” I2X: “with a young person i fear the arrogance, the one who says I know you are older and do not know” I14B: “the typical things of Y generation, they zap very quickly, they do not see the hidden part, they just do it, with vision of very short term, they dare not built on a stability in the company, in 6 month they'll be doing something else so why to get too much involved into it, often they do not understand the hierarchical issues” There seem to be some generalized stereotypes amongst generations, which might not be seen in the same way by individuals of different cohorts.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 116 of 300


4.2.7 TECHNOLOGY There are some differences of approach to technology, social media and Web 2.0 tools. Millennials and Xers feel comfortable in using which ever media is available within their company, including but not limited to: intranet, blogs, wikis, instant messaging, SharePoint, video conference, Skype. For Boomers is more a matter of knowing which tool is more effective, and less time consuming, but they say they would adapt to the requirements of the team. Most of interviewees, no matter the generational cohort they belong to, do not use or trust the sharing of information on social media, and rarely use it for professional reasons (except for LinkedIn, of which most of the interviewees are occasional readers). Wikis, blogs and forums are considered to be a good means for information push (broadcast) and for information retrieval, but only if there is the need for a quick and short information. Most of the Millennials use blogs and forums to gather information, and they tend to contribute. For Boomers, blogs only contain instant information, with no analysis, just raw data, but this is not to be considered as knowledge. They do not believe those tools to be effective for tacit knowledge transfer; in the example of wikis, there is too much information, which is not structured, and not everything is good information, so sometimes it is too time consuming. In order to verify those findings, through the quantitative part of the study, the following hypotheses will be tested: H5: Different generational cohorts make different usage of Web 2.0 technologies for transferring tacit knowledge.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 117 of 300


4.3 Conclusions of the Qualitative Analysis Through individual interviews we explored tacit knowledge transfer dynamics between three generational cohorts (Boomers, Xers and Millennials) in the Project Management Professional Community. Within this profession the majority of Xers and Boomers interviewees showed their preferred cognitive style as “Thinking” which corresponds to having characteristics as facts, details, rational and methodical, while Millennials have shown mostly “Planning” which corresponds to having characteristics as structured, planned, and organized. In the preferences for learning styles there are more differences based on the generational cohorts to which people belong, as Boomers are mostly “Activists”, Xers mostly “Pragmatists”, and Millennials either “Reflectors” or “Pragmatists”, concluding that individuals from this profession have a strong inclination for hand-on experience, practical and effective learning activities and like a learning-by-doing approach. When transferring tacit knowledge all generational cohorts recognize the difficulties linked with human interactions, and suggest transferring their intuitions and feeling about team members and stakeholders as well as their know-how in dealing with people. Essential to all generational cohorts is transferring elements of the context, the vision and the reasons behind decisions taken. They would do so mainly in face-to-face meetings, in an informal setting. Millennials would prefer the Knowledge Transfer process to occur in a formal and structured manner with older professionals. Boomers and Xers state that it would be their responsibility to adapt their communication style and transfer methods to the person they are transferring to or receiving from. All generational cohorts prefer to transfer or receive knowledge by being directly involved, so through hand-on experience, and a learning-by-doing approach. Boomers and Xers would transfer their knowledge by showing, demonstrating and through life-experience narrations. Web 2.0 technologies do not appear to Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 118 of 300


be an appropriate method for transferring tacit knowledge, although Millennials widely use and contribute to Blogs and Forums, as a mean to find and share information. Several factors influence the transfer of tacit knowledge, first of all Motivation, but also factors facilitating or inhibiting the process. All interviewees are motivated in transferring their knowledge in a project environment by the project success, the good of their company, the satisfaction of stakeholders and team members. They showed a strong sense of ownership and commitment to their project and organizations, and expressed that transferring knowledge was their duty. They also find personal satisfaction and pleasure in transferring knowledge and are concerned about the success of the person to whom they transferred their knowledge. Enablers for tacit knowledge transfer are share between the generational cohorts: the major and most recurring item is the attitude of the person they are transferring to or receiving from, but also the trust which arises within a relationship with the person. Other items shared by all interviewees are: a friendly and open environment, getting immediate feedback, having enough time, having a defined structure, getting and giving concrete examples. All those factors have been conversely considered as inhibiting factors in their negative assumptions (i.e.: no time, no feedback, no structure etc.). Based on those results, together with the results of the literature review, we created questions for the web-based questionnaire, in order to test the results and explore how the finding of the qualitative strand could potentially be generalized to a larger population. In creating the questions for the questionnaire, we mostly kept the classification utilized during the interviews (details of the mailed questionnaire are in Appendix C) so we had several sections, divided into three main sections: demographics, cognitive and learning styles, and knowledge transfer.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 119 of 300


The questions in the knowledge transfer section (Content, Motivators, Enablers and Inhibitors, Methods and Technology) have been created as statements to which respondents are asked indicate they agreement or not, on a Likert scale (Strongly agree to Strongly disagree). Those statements are based on the results of the literature review, but mostly reflect the findings and wordings from the interviews. The following propositions were the basis for the interviews: •

Individuals have cognitive styles and learning styles which show common patterns among the same cohort

The preferred methods and tools for transferring tacit knowledge differ according to the generational cohort individuals belong to

Within the motivators and barriers to knowledge transfer there are common patterns among the same cohort

Technology might be an inhibitor or an enabler to tacit knowledge transfer process according to the generational cohort individuals belong to.

After collecting and analyzing the data, we considered the following hypotheses for testing within the quantitative phase, through the web-based questionnaire: •

H1: There is a relationship between generational cohorts and cognitive styles

H1.1: There is a relationship between generational cohorts and learning styles

H2: Different Generational cohorts share the same motivators for transferring tacit knowledge

H3: Different Generational cohorts share the same inhibiting and enabling factors for transferring tacit knowledge

H4: Preferred methods for transferring tacit knowledge differ across generational cohorts

H5: Different generational cohorts make different usage of Web 2.0 technologies for transferring tacit knowledge.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 120 of 300


This lead to the development of the questions for the web-based questionnaire, which took into account responses from the interviews and inputs from the literature reviewed, as explained in the following Chapter.

4.4 Quantitative Data Collection For the quantitative strand a volunteer and snowballing sampling has been used: participants were volunteering to participate to the study by accessing a webbased questionnaire. The targeted population was Project Management professionals, both members of Project Management Institute (PMI) and nonmembers. The questionnaire was created and hosted by Surveymonkey.com. The web-based questionnaire specified the research study purpose and scope, a participant consent form and ethical considerations. Participants were free to choose whether to participate or not to the study.

4.5 Quantitative Data Analysis This part of the chapter reviews and analyzes the data collected in this study. The results are based on descriptive analysis of the project management professionals’ preferences for tacit knowledge transfer. As previously mentioned, the tool used for the quantitative strand of this exploratory study is a web-based survey. This survey examines preferences of tacit knowledge transfer of Project Management Professionals. It uses several variables categorized within different sections: • • • • •

Content, Motivation, Enablers and Inhibitors, Methods Technologies.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 121 of 300


Each variable within those categories is measured through a Likert rating scale, for which choices are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Agree nor Disagree Agree Strongly Agree

Within every category a “Comment” field is also proposed, which is analyzed a qualitative data. The independent variable is the generational cohort of the participants defined as “Boomers”, “Xers” and “Millennials”. The survey also takes into account the following demographic variables: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Gender; Nationality; Location; Education Level; Education Background; Position; Industry; People management responsibilities; Member of PMI; PMI certification; Member of a different PM organization; Certification of other PM Organizations.

as well as the preferences on cognitive and learning styles (the descriptions of those styles are based on the descriptions of the Cognitive Styles Index, and Learning Styles Questionnaire). The detailed list of questions is in Appendix C. The quantitative analysis of this study uses both descriptive and inferential statistics. A list of descriptive statistics is evaluated and reported. The inference data analysis is statistical hypothesis testing.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 122 of 300


For hypothesis testing the null and alternative hypothesis are developed, considering the null hypothesis as the statement that no relationship exists between the two measured variables, and the alternative hypothesis as the logical opposite of the null statement. Alternative hypothesis have been developed based on the results of the qualitative study. Respondents In total 349 people accessed the Questionnaire. From this total number we considered only 275 as being completed, based on the following selection: •

1 person did not accept the Participant Consent Form

30 people only accepted the Participant Consent Form and dropped before answering to the demographics questions

10 people responded to the Demographics questions and dropped before answering the cognitive style Questions

18 people responded to the Demographics questions and to the cognitive style question but dropped before answering to the learning style Question

Of the 292 remaining respondents: •

7 people were over 65 years of age, so outside the scope of this research (their responses are kept in any case for further information, if required, but their small number does not allow for any statistical analysis)

10 people indicated they were of African or Chinese nationalities and being located in Africa or China, but we kept all other nationalities of people located in France or in the other French speaking countries.

So we have a total of 275 responses that we considered as completed, although 10 respondent did not complete the entire Questionnaire, but we will consider those as Missing data (3,6% of the total responses), and take the available responses into account for the analysis of the results.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 123 of 300


4.5.1 DEMOGRAPHICS A table of the respondents’ demographics is at the end of this section. The Questionnaire was built with first section of Demographics questions. For the detailed data of this section, refer to Appendix D. Generational cohort Generational cohorts was defined based on the categorization of age groups, and we observed: • • •

Millennials: 20-31 years old - 47 respondents (17% of the total population) Xers: 32 – 47 years old - 141 respondents (51% of the total population) Boomer: 48 - 65 years old – 87 respondents (32% of the total population)

Gender Women represented 25% of the population (69 respondents) and Men 75% (206 respondents) Within generational cohorts, the population was evenly spread confirming the percentages of the total population: • • •

Millennials: Women 25,5%, Men 74,5% Xers: Women 27%, Men 73% Boomers: Women 21,8%, Men 78,2%

Nationality A comment field was set for this data, so participants could indicate their nationality. We took into account all respondents with French and other nationalities (Italian, German, British etc) based in France or French speaking countries (Belgium, Luxembourg, etc). Data was analyzed as qualitative data: a numerical value of 1 was then given to responses “French”, and 2 to responses different from French, in order to facilitate analysis. We observed that 87% of respondents are French while 13% from other nationalities.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 124 of 300


Within generational cohorts, the population was evenly spread confirming the percentages of the total population. Education Level Participants were asked to indicate their Education Level through a multiple choice field which had predefined data as: BAC+2, BAC+3, BAC+4, BAC+5, Master, PhD, Other. The usage of BAC is due to the French specific Education system which categorizes in this way the level of Education. The Education system has recently being modified so that a BAC+5 is equal to a Master, but we left the 2 options as we considered potential misunderstanding from people who had a BAC+5 previous the Education system reform. For the analysis of the data, we merged BAC+5 and Masters as a unique measure. We observed that 73% of the population has a Master, 12% a PhD, 7% a BAC+4, and 8% lower education levels. From a generational cohort perspective, we observed that 91% of Millennials have a Master level of Education, while 74% of Xers have a Master level and 12% a PhD level; the major differences are observed within the Boomers, where 60% have a Master level, 17% a PhD level and 13% a BAC+2 Level. From a gender perspective, 9% of women have a BAC+2, 67% a Master, and 20% a PhD level, while 9% of men have a BAC+2, 75% a Master, and 9% a PhD level. Education Background Participants were asked to indicate their Education Background through a multiple choice field which had predefined data as: Computer Science, IT, Electronics, Business, Economics, Social Science, Other (as a comment field). Analyzing the comment field we modified categories to facilitate the analysis, by adding Engineering, Physics, Project Management, by combining responses for Business and Economics, and adding Education to the Social Science category. We left the category “Other”, in which we included other responses as Chemistry, Biology, Pharmaceutical.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 125 of 300


14% of respondents are from the Business & Economics background, 3% from Social Science & Education, leaving 83% of the population from a Technical or Scientific background. Position Participants were asked to indicate the position held through a multiple choice field which had predefined data as: • • • • • • After

Project Manager, Project Member, PMO Manager, PMO Member, Program Manager, Other (as a comment field). analyzing

the

comment

field,

we

added

two

categories,

CEO/CTO/Managerial position (which included Quality Manager, Business Unit Manager etc), and Consultant. We also modified the category “other” to “Blank” as respondent, although they selected “other” did not indicate a position in the comment field. 55% of respondent are in a Project Manager position, 10% in Program Manager Position, and 8% in a CEO/CTO or other Managerial Positions. Consultants represent 5% of the population. Compared

with

generational

cohorts,

we

observed

that

52%

of

CEO/CTO/Managerial positions are held by Boomers, and that 61% of Consultants are within the Boomers Cohort. We believe that it is interesting to notice no respondent has indicated that they were “Retired”, and we looked also at the 7 responses from participants over 65 years old, where only one person mention he is retired. This is a very interesting information for a French-based population, where the retirement age has been 60 until recently (passed to 62 in 2010), indicating that within the Project Management profession people remain active even after retirement age. People Management responsibilities Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 126 of 300


Participants were asked to indicate their People Management responsibilities through a multiple choice field which had predefined data as: No, Less than 10, More than 10, More than 20. 47% of respondents have no People Management responsibilities, and 33% manage less than 10 people. This is consistent with a Project Management environment, where Project Management professionals usually have indirect responsibilities on team members, but not necessarily first line management responsibilities. Industry Participants were asked to indicate the Industry in which they work through a multiple choice field which had predefined data as: • • • • • • •

Manufacturing, IT, Telecommunication, Electronics, Services, Education Other (as a comment field).

After analyzing the comment field, we added several categories as Healthcare, Aerospace, Energy. We left the “Other” category, which includes: Automotive, Construction, Public sector. Cumulatively 53% of respondents are in the IT, Telecommunication and Electronic Industries, while 16% in the Services industry and 14% in Manufacturing. It is interesting to notice how other Industries are also represented, showing that Project Management practices and professionals are now recognized in other industries, like Education and Healthcare. PMI Membership and Certification

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 127 of 300


Participants were asked to indicate if they are members of the Project Management Institute Association. 77% of respondent are part of PMI and 23% are not. Participants were also asked if they have a formal PMI certification: 54% indicated yes, and 46% indicated no. We did not ask for the kind of Certification, but this can vary from CAPM, PMP, and PMPgM, having this differentiation is of little interest to our research. Comparing PMI Certification with generational cohorts indicates that only 19% of Millennials are PMI certified, which is consistent with the PMI policies for certification, which require proven experience in a Project management position. Other Project Management Membership and Certifications Participants were asked to indicate if they are members of other Project Management associations, and 93% responded no, and 7% responded yes: those memberships have been specified in the Comments field as Prince2, AFITEP, Agile, Scrum Alliance. Participants were also asked if they have a formal PM certification from other organizations, and they responded no at 81% and yes at 19%: those certifications have been specified in the comments field, and the most cited are: ITIL, Prince2, Microsoft Managing Projects, Six-Sigma, IBM internal certifications.

Demographic data is summarized in the following table: Frequencies Gender * Gen Cohort Gen Cohort Millennials Gender

Men

Women

Total

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Xers

Boomers

Total

35

103

68

206

17,0%

50,0%

33,0%

100,0%

12

38

19

69

17,4%

55,1%

27,5%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

Page 128 of 300


Nationality

FRENCH

40

120

78

238

16,8%

50,4%

32,8%

100,0%

7

21

9

37

18,9%

56,8%

24,3%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

0

1

0

1

0,0%

100,0%

0,0%

100,0%

1

2

12

15

6,7%

13,3%

80,0%

100,0%

0

5

2

7

0,0%

71,4%

28,6%

100,0%

3

11

6

20

15,0%

55,0%

30,0%

100,0%

43

105

52

200

21,5%

52,5%

26,0%

100,0%

0

17

15

32

0,0%

53,1%

46,9%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

4

18

5

27

14,8%

66,7%

18,5%

100,0%

3

41

23

67

4,5%

61,2%

34,3%

100,0%

4

21

17

42

9,5%

50,0%

40,5%

100,0%

0

3

6

9

0,0%

33,3%

66,7%

100,0%

12

18

17

47

25,5%

38,3%

36,2%

100,0%

Business &

15

15

9

39

Economics

38,5%

38,5%

23,1%

100,0%

4

18

5

27

14,8%

66,7%

18,5%

100,0%

4

3

0

7

57,1%

42,9%

0,0%

100,0%

1

4

5

10

10,0%

40,0%

50,0%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

OTHER

Total

Education

Other

Level BAC+2

BAC+3

BAC+4

Masters

PhD

Total

Education

Other

Background Computer Science

Electronics

Social Science

IT

Engineering

Project Management

Physics

Total

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 129 of 300


Position

Other

Project Manager

PMO Manager

Projet Member

PMO Member

Program manager

CEO / CTO / Managerial position Consultant

Total

Industry

Other

Manufacturing

Electronics

IT

Telecommunication

Services

Education

Electronics

Helathcare

Aerospace

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

9

4

2

15

60,0%

26,7%

13,3%

100,0%

18

91

43

152

11,8%

59,9%

28,3%

100,0%

1

11

7

19

5,3%

57,9%

36,8%

100,0%

10

4

1

15

66,7%

26,7%

6,7%

100,0%

3

3

4

10

30,0%

30,0%

40,0%

100,0%

2

16

10

28

7,1%

57,1%

35,7%

100,0%

1

10

12

23

4,3%

43,5%

52,2%

100,0%

3

2

8

13

23,1%

15,4%

61,5%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

0

7

3

10

0,0%

70,0%

30,0%

100,0%

6

21

11

38

15,8%

55,3%

28,9%

100,0%

3

8

6

17

17,6%

47,1%

35,3%

100,0%

22

35

32

89

24,7%

39,3%

36,0%

100,0%

4

16

9

29

13,8%

55,2%

31,0%

100,0%

6

24

13

43

14,0%

55,8%

30,2%

100,0%

2

8

5

15

13,3%

53,3%

33,3%

100,0%

0

5

6

11

0,0%

45,5%

54,5%

100,0%

1

5

2

8

12,5%

62,5%

25,0%

100,0%

1

5

0

6

16,7%

83,3%

0,0%

100,0%

Page 130 of 300


Energy

Total

People

NO

management Less 10

More 10

More 20

Total

PMI Member

YES

NO

Total

PMI Certified

YES

NO

Total

PM member

YES

NO

Total

PM Certif

YES

NO

Total

2

7

0

9

22,2%

77,8%

0,0%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

25

56

47

128

19,5%

43,8%

36,7%

100,0%

19

56

15

90

21,1%

62,2%

16,7%

100,0%

2

18

13

33

6,1%

54,5%

39,4%

100,0%

1

11

12

24

4,2%

45,8%

50,0%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

35

106

71

212

16,5%

50,0%

33,5%

100,0%

12

35

16

63

19,0%

55,6%

25,4%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

9

85

54

148

6,1%

57,4%

36,5%

100,0%

38

56

33

127

29,9%

44,1%

26,0%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

8

14

14

36

22,2%

38,9%

38,9%

100,0%

39

127

73

239

16,3%

53,1%

30,5%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

13

23

17

53

24,5%

43,4%

32,1%

100,0%

34

118

70

222

15,3%

53,2%

31,5%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

Table 4 - Questionnaire demographics

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 131 of 300


CHI-SQUARE TEST To analyze categorical data with more than one variable, contingency tables are used to analyze the results. Those tables provide a foundation for statistical inference, when questioning the relationship between the variables of the data observed. Chi-square test provides a method for testing the association between row and column variables in a two-way table. Chi-square is used to test the Null hypothesis H0 which assumes that there is no relationship between the variables that is to say that one variable does not vary according to the other variable. The Null hypothesis is rejected if the calculated value is equal or greater to the chisquare table critical value, while if the calculated value is smaller than the table critical value, the null hypothesis cannot be rejected: there is no relationship between the data set. The chi-square table also gives the value of P, and in social science if p > 0,05 the null hypothesis is not rejected, but if p < 0,05 the null hypothesis is rejected. Two additional measures (Phi and Cramerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s V), based on chi-square, give the indication of the strength of the relationship or dependency between the variables. As this test does not add specific significance to the chi-square test in this study, we are not focusing on the interpretation of these measures.

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 132 of 300


4.5.2 COGNITIVE STYLES AND LEARNING STYLES After the demographic section, the second section of the questionnaire included questions about cognitive and learning styles. The detailed questions are in Appendix C. The detailed data of this section are in Appendix D. As mentioned before, these questions are purely exploratory so we did not use the tools for determining individuals’ cognitive and learning styles, but we asked for a self-reported evaluation of individuals cognitive and learning styles giving a description of each style from which to choose. Cognitive and learning styles are categorical data with more than one variable, so we used contingency tables to analyze the results. Those tables provide a foundation for statistical inference, when questioning the relationship between the variables of the data observed. We have used chi-square to test the null hypothesis H0 which assumes that there is no relationship between the variables.

4.5.2.1 Cognitive Styles The respondents were asked to self-evaluate their cognitive style by choosing a description of a cognitive style which would most closely match their way of reasoning and thinking. Through the observed frequencies table: •

109 participants (40% ) responded Planning cognitive style

85 participants (31%) responded Knowing cognitive style

81 participants (29%) responded Creating cognitive style

Through a contingency table we compared cognitive styles and generational cohorts and we observed that: Planning cognitive style has been chosen by 47% of Millennials and 39% of Xers, while Creating cognitive style has been chosen by 40% of Boomers. Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 133 of 300


We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 8,468

4

,076

Based on the calculated chi-square of 8,468 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9.49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between generational cohort and cognitive styles. Through a contingency table we compared cognitive styles and gender and we observed that: Planning cognitive style has been chosen by 43% of Women and 38% of Men. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 1,700

2

,427

Based on the calculated chi-square of 1,700 compared with the chi-square critical value of 5.99 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between gender and cognitive styles. We performed the same test on other variables as Education background and Position, but no significant results of relationship have been found. Although there is no statistical evidence of relationship, we can still propose that within the Project Management Professionals there is a strong preference for the Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 134 of 300


characteristics of a Planning cognitive style (which are, amongst others, a need for structure, organization and control) with no difference between genders. The characteristics of Planning cognitive style are mostly preferred within Millennials and Xers, while there is a preference for the characteristics of a Creative cognitive style (which are, amongst others, a need for freedom and uncertainty, creativeness and experimentation) for the Boomers. Hypothesis conclusions The qualitative phase results evidenced a potential relationship between cognitive styles and generational cohorts. In order to verify those findings, we suggested the following hypothesis for the quantitative phase: H1: There is a relationship between cognitive style and generational cohorts Nominal variables collected were analyzed using chi-square statistics. Null hypothesis was not rejected at a 5% significance level. This suggests there is no relationship between the variables generational cohort and cognitive style.

4.5.2.2 Learning Styles The respondents were asked to self-evaluate their learning style by choosing a description of a learning style which would most closely match their way of Learning. Through the observed frequencies table: •

92 participants (33% ) responded Activist learning style

78 participants (28%) responded Pragmatist learning style

56 participants (20%) responded Thinking learning style

49 participants (18%) responded Reflector learning style

Through a contingency table we compared learning styles and generational cohorts and we observed that:

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 135 of 300


Activist learning style has been chosen by 31% of Xers and 39% of Boomers, while Pragmatist learning style has been chosen by 36% of Boomers.

We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 6,065

6

,416

Based on the calculated chi-square of 6,065 compared with the chi-square critical value of 12.59 for 6 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between generational cohort and learning styles. Through a contingency table we compared learning styles and gender and we observed that: Activist learning style has been chosen by 36% of Women and 32% of Men. While Pragmatist learning style has been chosen by 29% of Women and 27% of Men. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 1,774

3

,621

Based on the calculated chi-square of 1,774 compared with the chi-square critical value of 7.82 for 3 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is not rejected. So we can conclude that there is no relationship between gender and learning styles. Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 136 of 300


Although there is no statistical evidence of relationship, we can still propose that within the Project Management Professionals there is a strong preference for the characteristics of the Activist Learning Style (which are, amongst others, a need for short here-and-now learning activities, and competitive tasks) and of the Pragmatist learning style (which are, amongst others, a need for learning activities with a link with on-the-job opportunities, and where there is a model to emulate) with no difference between genders, but with a preference of Activist for Boomers and Xers and Pragmatist for Millennials. Hypothesis conclusions The qualitative strand results evidenced a potential relationship between learning styles and generational cohorts. In order to verify those findings, we suggested the following hypothesis for the quantitative phase: H1.1: There is a relationship between learning style and generational cohorts Nominal variables collected were analyzed using chi-square statistics. Null hypothesis was NOT rejected at a 5% significance level. This suggests there is NO relationship between the variables generational cohort and learning style.

4.5.3 Content – Motivators – Enablers and Inhibitors – Methods – Technology The following 5 sections of the questionnaire have been built with questions to be rated on a 5 points Likert scale – from Strongly Agree to Strongly Disagree. In order to facilitate data analysis and more specifically to allow proper calculation of the chi-square test, which provides unpredicted results when there is a small numbers of frequencies, the scale was recoded into 3 groups as follows: 1. “Disagree” = Strongly Disagree and Disagree 2. “Neutral” = Neither Agree nor Disagree 3. “Agree” = Strongly Agree and Agree The detailed questions are in Appendix C; the detailed data and data analysis in Appendix D. Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 137 of 300


Participants were proposed a set of statements, and asked to rate extent to which they agreed or disagreed with the statement terms of their own personal experience when transferring and/or receiving "know-how" (the term know-how can be defined in French as a combination of "savoir-faire" and "savoirêtre"). They were asked to consider that this knowledge transfer might occur in a professional, project-related situation (e.g.: project hand-over, new hire enablement, departure). Participants were also given the opportunity to add additional information in a comment field. For the 5 following sections, we have used chi-square to test the Null hypothesis H0 which assumes that there is no relationship between the variables.

4.5.3.1 CONTENT The third section of the questionnaire was comprised of questions about Content … that is, what people are considering important to transfer as their know-how. The detailed questions are in Appendix C. For the detailed data and data analysis of this section, refer to Appendix D. As a result of the qualitative phase, questions about Content have been included in this questionnaire in order to triangulate the results of the Interviews. The following items were proposed as Content for transferring know-how: • • • •

Context, Intuitions and opinions, Team members’ characteristics, Facts only.

Through a contingency table we compared each variable with generational cohort (generational cohort). Results and observations are described below.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 138 of 300


4.5.3.1.1 CONTEXT: Participants were asked if when transferring or receiving know-how, information about the context (ie: risks, objectives, reasons behind decisions, stakeholders commitment) is important. All generational cohorts Agree about transferring context (89% to 98%), although 9% of Millennials disagree, and 2,2% are neutral. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test:

chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 11,067

4

,026

Based on the calculated chi-square of 11,067 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable CONTEXT.

4.5.3.1.2 INTUITIONS and OPINIONS: Participants were asked if it is important to transfer their own intuitions and opinions about the situation of the project. Although there is a high percentage in “Agree” for all generational cohorts, Millennials show a higher percentage of Neutral (28,3%) and Disagree (9%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 2,427

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

4

,658

Page 139 of 300


Based on the calculated chi-square of 2,427 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between generational cohort and the variable INTUITIONS and OPINIONS.

4.5.3.1.3 TEAM Members’ Characteristics: Participants were asked if it is important to transfer or receive information about team members (i.e. their characters, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses). Although there is a high percentage in “Agree” for all generational cohorts, Millennials show a higher percentage of Neutral (28,3%) and Disagree (11%). We obtained the following results with the Chi-Square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 14,544

4

,006

Based on the calculated chi-square of 14,544 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a relationship between generational cohort and the variable TEAM Members’ Characteristics.

4.5.3.1.4 FACTS Only: Participants were asked if they prefer to transfer only facts that are specific to the project (i.e. project history, stakeholders’ impediments, levels of expertise inside the project, links to sites and databases relevant to the project). There are many dispersed responses to this question. We report the major trends:

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 140 of 300


52% of Millennials and 40% of Boomers “Agree” on transferring only facts, while 43% of Xers “Disagree”. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 11,458

4

,022

Based on the calculated chi-square of 11,458 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a relationship between generational cohort and the variable FACTS Only. We also analyzed the Content variables in contingency tables with gender, learning styles, cognitive styles, and education background, but we did not find any statistically significant relationship. The comment field invited the participant to specify the essential elements for them to be transferred in a project setting. These are the major trends (beside the ones mentioned in the questions): • • • • • • • •

Lessons Learned Vision Analogies in similar projects or settings Plans, records, key project documentation Political dynamics between the stakeholders Explained and unexplained goals Project culture Deadlines, contingency costs and budgets

So for the variables related to CONTENT, we can summarize the findings as: the transfer of Context information is statistically related to the generational cohorts, although we observed that all agreed on transferring Context

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 141 of 300


information, Millennials are less inclined to transfer Intuitions and Opinions, while transferring information on team members’ characteristics is also related to generational cohorts (Millennials being less inclined than others) and transferring only fact is also related to the generational cohorts, as most Xers disagree on this item.

4.5.3.2 MOTIVATORS The fourth section of the questionnaire was comprised of questions about Motivators, which is what motivates people to transfer their know-how. The detailed questions are in Appendix C. For the detailed data and data analysis of this section, refer to Appendix D. The following items were proposed as Motivations for transferring know-how: • • • • • • • • •

Business objectives, Person success, Formal recognition, No disruption for Team and Project, Financial Reward, Self-Accomplishment, Professional Duty, Project Success, Being recognized as SME.

Through a contingency table we compared each variable with generational cohort. Results and observations are described below.

4.5.3.2.1 BUSINESS OBJECTIVES: Participants were asked if supporting the organization’s Business Objectives would be a motivator for transferring their know-how. Although all generational cohorts have high percentages in “Agree” (86% Boomers, 83% Xers, 78% Millennials), Xers and Millennials rated higher “Neutral” choices (17% Millennials, 16% Xers).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 142 of 300


We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees of

P value

Freedom 3,925

4

,416

Based on the calculated chi-square of 3,925 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between generational cohort and the variable BUSINESS OBJECTIVES.

4.5.3.2.2 PERSON SUCCESS: Participants were asked if they were motivated in transferring their know-how by the success of the person to whom they transferred their knowledge. Although all generational cohorts have high percentages in “Agree” (93% Boomers, 96% Xers, 83% Millennials), Millennials seemed less concerned by the person’s success rating higher on “Neutral” (11%) and “Disagree” (6,5%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 17,832

4

,001

Based on the calculated chi-square of 17,832 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable PERSON SUCCESS.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 143 of 300


4.5.3.2.3 FORMAL RECOGNITION: Participants were asked if having a formal recognition for their efforts in transferring know-how, would motivate them. We observed the highest “Agree” scores with Millennials (74%) and Boomers (71%) while Xers have higher scores than others in “Neutral” (31%) and “Disagree” (6%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 4,398

4

,355

Based on the calculated chi-square of 4,398 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between generational cohort and the variable FORMAL RECOGNITION.

4.5.3.2.4 NO DISRUPTION for TEAM and PROJECT: Participants were asked if they would be motivated in transferring their know-how to ensure no disruption for the project and the project team members. Xers show the highest score in “Agree” (91%) higher than the Boomers (88%), while Millennials show higher scores for “Neutral” (22%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 11,831

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

4

,019

Page 144 of 300


Based on the calculated chi-square of 11,831 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. The difference between the groups is statistically significant so we can conclude that there is a strong relationship between generational cohort and the variable NO DISRUPTION for TEAM and PROJECT.

4.5.3.2.5 FINANCIAL REWARD: Participants were asked if a financial reward would be a good motivator for transferring their know-how. The Xers showed the highest percentages in “Disagree”, Boomers in “Neutral” and Millennial in “Agree”. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 3,340

4

,503

Based on the calculated chi-square of 3,340 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between generational cohort and the variable FINANCIAL REWARD.

4.5.3.2.6 SELF-ACCOMPLISHMENT: Participants were asked if transferring their know-how could be motivated by a sense of self-accomplishment. The Boomers showed the highest percentages in “Agree” (93%), as well as Xers (88%) while Millennials showed high percentages in “Neutral” (17%) and “Disagree” (6,5%).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 145 of 300


We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 14,900

4

,005

Based on the calculated chi-square of 14,900 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a strong relationship between generational cohort and the variable SELF-ACCOMPLISHMENT.

4.5.3.2.7 PROFESSIONAL DUTY: Participants were asked if transferring their know-how could be motivated by a sense professional duty. The Xers showed the highest percentages in “Agree” (70%), while Millennials showed high percentages in “Neutral” (35%) and Boomers in “Disagree” (16,5%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 7,861

4

,097

Based on the calculated chi-square of 7,861 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between generational cohort and the variable PROFESSIONAL DUTY.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 146 of 300


4.5.3.2.8 PROJECT SUCCESS: Participants were asked if transferring their knowhow could be motivated by the potential success of the project. Although all the generational cohorts showed high percentages in “Agree” (Xers: 93%, Boomers: 89%, Millennials: 85%), Boomers show the highest percentages in “Neutral” (8%) and Millennials in “Disagree” (9%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 9,093

4

,059

Based on the calculated chi-square of 9,093 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between generational cohort and the variable PROJECT SUCCESS. Although there is no statistical relationship within those variables, because of the low value of p (in social science if p < 0,05 the null hypothesis is rejected), we will take into account the results from the contingency table and consider the percentages to draw conclusions.

4.5.3.2.9 BEING RECOGNIZED as a SME: Participants were asked if transferring their know-how could be motivated by being recognized as a Subject Matter Expert. Xers showed high percentages in “Agree” (46%), as well as Boomers (45%) while Millennials showed the highest percentages in “Neutral” (37%) and in “Disagree” (28%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test:

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 147 of 300


chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 3,343

4

,502

Based on the calculated chi-square of 3,343 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between generational cohort and the variable BEING RECOGNIZED as a SME.

We also analyzed the Motivation variables in contingency tables with gender, but we did not find any statistically significant relationship.

The comment field invited the participant to specify which factors motivate them to transfer their know-how in a project setting. Those are the major trends (beside the ones mentioned in the questions): • • • • • •

Good project Sponsorship Collaborative attitude Customer’s satisfaction Information and experience gained on a project is like gold Ethics Sense of Commitment

Hypothesis conclusions The qualitative phase results evidenced a potential relationship between the motivation factors and the different generational cohorts. In order to test those findings, we suggested the following hypothesis for the quantitative phase: H2: Different generational cohorts share the same motivators for transferring tacit knowledge Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 148 of 300


Nominal variables collected and recoded to ordinal variables in a smaller number or groups, and were analyzed using chi-square statistics. Null hypothesis was not rejected at a 5% significance level for the following variables: Business objectives, Formal recognition, Financial Reward, Professional Duty, Project Success, Being recognized as SME. This suggests that there is no relationship between some of the variables Motivation and the variable generational cohort, in the sense that the motivation for transferring tacit knowledge is not influenced by the generational cohort to which participants belong to. There were however 3 variables for which the null hypothesis was rejected: Self-Accomplishment, Person’s Success, and Disruption for the team and the project, suggesting that those variables are related to the variable generational cohort. According to this result, we reject the H2 hypothesis as 3 out of 9 motivators show a relationships with the generational cohorts variable; hence some differences exist in the way generational cohorts are motivated to transfer their know-how.

4.5.3.3 ENABLERS and INHIBITORS The fifth section of the questionnaire was comprised of questions about Enablers and Inhibitors, that is what prevents people to transfer their know-how and what facilitate their transferring of know-how. The detailed questions are in Appendix C. For the detailed data and data analysis of this section, refer to Appendix D. The following items were extracted from the qualitative phase results, and proposed as Enablers for transferring know-how: • • •

Respectful attitude from the person to whom the knowledge is transferred, Friendly settings, Using Stories and examples

The following items were extracted from the qualitative phase results, and proposed as Inhibitors for transferring know-how:

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 149 of 300


• • • • •

Hidden agendas, Not having enough time, Not awareness about what to transfer, Unsecure transfer, No interest showed by the person receiving knowledge.

Through a contingency table we compared each variable with generational cohort. Results and observations are described below.

4.5.3.3.1 RESPECTFUL ATTITUDE: Participants were asked if knowledge transfer would be facilitated by the respectful attitude of the person receiving their knowledge. All generational cohorts have higher percentages in “Agree”, mostly Xers 91%, while Boomers have the highest percentages of the “Neutral” choice (15,5%) and the Millennials in the “Disagree” choice (9%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 9,979

4

,044

Based on the calculated chi-square of 9,979 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable RESPECTFUL ATTITUDE.

4.5.3.3.2 FRIENDLY SETTINGS: Participants were asked if transferring their knowhow might be facilitated by occurring in a friendly setting or environment.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 150 of 300


All Generational cohorts have higher percentages in “Agree”, Xers 96%, and Boomers 94%, while Millennials show the highest percentages of the in the “Disagree” choice (11%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 16,194

4

,003

Based on the calculated chi-square of 16,194 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a strong statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable FRIENDLY SETTING.

4.5.3.3.3 STORIES and EXAMPLES: Participants were asked if transferring their know-how might be facilitated by the usage of stories and examples. Responses are fairly spread amongst the generational cohorts, and we observe that Boomer have the highest percentages within the “Agree” choice (77%), Millennials within the “Neutral” choice (31%) and Xers within the “Disagree” choice (10%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 5,191

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

4

,268

Page 151 of 300


Based on the calculated chi-square of 5,191 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable STORIES and EXAMPLES. We also analyzed this variable with the gender variable and we obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 6,040

2

,049

Based on the calculated chi-square of 6,040 compared with the chi-square critical value of 5,99 for 2 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between gender and the variable STORIES and EXAMPLES, indicating that it easier for women to transfer and/or receive tacit knowledge using stories and examples.

INHIBITORS 4.5.3.3.4 HIDDEN AGENDAS: Participants were asked if transferring their knowhow might be inhibited by the person operating with hidden agendas. Responses are fairly spread amongst the generational cohorts, and we observe that Boomer have the highest percentages within the “Agree” choice (30%), Millennials within the “Disagree” choice (33%).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 152 of 300


We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom ,694

4

,952

Based on the calculated chi-square of ,694 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable HIDDEN AGENDAS. We also analyzed this variable with the gender variable and we obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 6,029

2

,049

Based on the calculated chi-square of 6,029 compared with the chi-square critical value of 5,99 for 2 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between gender and the variable HIDDEN AGENDAS, indicating that it more difficult for men to transfer and/or receive tacit knowledge if the person is operating with hidden agendas; on the other hand, women are more neutral and seem not to consider this as an inhibitor to tacit knowledge transfer.

We also analyzed this variable with the learning styles variable, as we know that there are mainly “Activists” and “Pragmatists” learning styles within the Project Management community, we observed that Pragmatists “disagree” at 42% while Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 153 of 300


Activists are “Neutral” at 52%. We obtained the following results with the chisquare test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 13,995

6

,030

Based on the calculated chi-square of 13,995 compared with the chi-square critical value of 12,59 for 6 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between learning styles and the variable HIDDEN AGENDAS. The Nationality variable also suggests that there is a statistical relationship with the HIDDEN AGENDAS variable.

4.5.3.3.4 NO TIME: Participants were asked if transferring their know-how might be inhibited by time-stressed situations which do not offer time to knowledge transfer. Responses are fairly spread amongst the generational cohorts, and we observe that Millennials have the highest percentages within the “Agree” choice (36%), while Boomers within the “Disagree” choice (52%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 2,555

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

4

,689

Page 154 of 300


Based on the calculated chi-square of 2,555 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable NO TIME.

4.5.3.3.5 NOT KNOWING: Participants were asked if transferring their know-how might be inhibited by their non-awareness about their useful know-how to be transferred to others. Responses are fairly spread amongst the generational cohorts, and we observe that Millennials have the highest percentages within the “Agree” choice (11%) and the “Neutral” choice (39%), while Xers within the “Disagree” choice (71%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 7,385

4

,117

Based on the calculated chi-square of 7,385 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable NOT KNOWING.

4.5.3.3.6 UNSECURE TRANSFER: Participants were asked if transferring their know-how might be inhibited by their feeling about the other person using their know-how to negatively impact the project or the organization. Responses are fairly spread amongst the generational cohorts, and we observe that Millennials have the highest percentages within the “Agree” choice (51%) as

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 155 of 300


well as Boomers (45%) and Xers have the highest percentages within the “Disagree” choice (22%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 2,154

4

,708

Based on the calculated chi-square of 2,154 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable UNSECURE TRANSFER.

4.5.3.3.7 PERSON’S NO INTEREST: Participants were asked if transferring their know-how might be inhibited by their feeling about the other person not being interested in what they have to transfer. Responses are fairly spread amongst the generational cohorts, and we observe that Boomer have the highest percentages within the “Agree” choice (67%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 2,493

4

,656

Based on the calculated chi-square of 2,493 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 156 of 300


hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable PERSON’S NO INTEREST.

The comment field invited the participant to specify which factors enabled or inhibited the transfer their know-how in a project setting. Those are the major trends (beside the ones mentioned in the questions): • • • •

Open-minded person Organizational climate/workplace atmosphere Win-win attitude Respect of values

Hypothesis conclusions The qualitative phase results evidenced a potential relationship between the enabler and inhibitors and the different generational cohorts. In order to verify those findings, we suggested the following hypothesis for the quantitative phase: H3. Different Generational cohorts share the same inhibiting and enabling factors for transferring tacit knowledge. Nominal variables collected and recoded to ordinal variables in a smaller number or groups, and were analyzed using chi-square statistics. Null hypothesis was rejected at a 5% significance level for the following variables: Respectful Attitude, Friendly setting and Stories and examples suggesting that there is a relationship between those variables of Enablers and Inhibitors and the variable generational cohort. For all the others variables, null hypothesis was NOT rejected at a 5% significance level suggesting that those variables are NOT related to the variable generational cohort. According to this result, we reject the H3 hypothesis as 3 out of 8 Enablers and Inhibitors variables are related to the generational cohorts variable; hence some

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 157 of 300


differences exist in the way generational cohorts perceive enabling and inhibiting factors to tacit knowledge transfer.

4.5.3.4 METHODS The sixth section of the questionnaire was comprised of questions about Methods, which is their preferred methods to effectively transfer their knowhow. The detailed questions are in Appendix C. For the detailed data and data analysis of this section, refer to Appendix D. The following items were extracted from the qualitative phase results, and proposed as Methods for transferring know-how: • • • • • • • • • • •

Informal settings, Written and Structured, Enough Time, Face-to-Face, Adapt communication styles, Coaching and Tutoring, Virtual settings, Formal settings for older PM, Feedback, Hands-on Practical experience, Effectiveness when put into action.

Through a contingency table we compared each variable with generational cohort. Results and observations are described below.

4.5.3.4.1 INFORMAL SETTING: Participants were asked if they preferred transferring their know-how in an informal setting, like at the coffee machine or during an informal lunch. Responses are mainly focused on the “Disagree” choice, with 45% of Xers, 42% of Boomers and 40% of Millennials. Nevertheless, Millennials have the highest

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 158 of 300


percentage in the “Agree” choice (31%) and Boomers in the “Neutral” choice (37%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 2,598

4

,627

Based on the calculated chi-square of 2,493 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable INFORMAL SETTING.

4.5.3.4.2 WRITTEN AND STRUCTURED: Participants were asked if they felt that the best way to transfer their know-how is in a clearly written and structured way. Responses are fairly spread in the different choices, with a clear preference for “Agree” for all generational cohorts: 54% for Boomers, 53% for Xers, and 51% for Millennials. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 1,427

4

,840

Based on the calculated chi-square of 1,427 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 159 of 300


relationship between generational cohort and the variable WRITTEN AND STRUCTURED.

4.5.3.4.3 ENOUGH TIME: Participants were asked if they felt that for transferring their know-how, having enough time was an important factor. Responses are fairly spread in the different choices, with a clear preference for “Agree” for all generational cohorts, more specifically for Millennials, who have the highest percentages for this choice (82%), while Xers show the highest percentage within the “Neutral” choice. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 3,744

4

,442

Based on the calculated chi-square of 3,744 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable ENOUGH TIME. We also compared this value results with the variable INHIBITOR: NO TIME, and although they both do not show a statistical relationship with the variable generational cohort, we observed that Millennials showed the highest scores in both variables for the “Agree” choice.

4.5.3.4.4 FACE-TO-FACE: Participants were asked if they felt that face-to-face interactions are essentials for transferring their know-how.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 160 of 300


Responses are fairly spread in the different choices, with a clear preference for “Agree” for all generational cohorts, 90% for Millennials, 89% for Boomers and 86% for Xers. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom ,571

4

,966

Based on the calculated chi-square of ,571 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable FACE-TO-FACE.

4.5.3.4.5 ADAPT COMMUNICATION STYLES: Participants were asked if they felt that it is their responsibility to adapt their communication style to the needs or style of the person to whom there are transferring their know-how. Responses are fairly spread in the different choices, with a clear preference for “Agree” for all generational cohorts, 88% for Boomer, and 86% for Xers, and 80% for Millennials. Millennials also show the highest percentage (18%) in the “Neutral” choice. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 8,746

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

4

,068

Page 161 of 300


Based on the calculated chi-square of 8,746 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship

between

generational

cohort

and

the

variable

ADAPT

COMMUNICATION STYLES. Although there is no statistical relationship within those variables, because of the low value of p (in social science if p < 0,05 the null hypothesis is rejected), we will take into account the results from the contingency table and consider the percentages to draw conclusions.

We also compared this value results with the variables of MOTIVATION: PERSON SUCCESS and SELF-ACCOMPLISHMENT, and although the three do not show a statistical relationship with the variable generational cohort, we observed that Millennials showed the highest scores in both variables for the “Neutral” choice.

4.5.3.4.6 COACHING and TUTORING: Participants were asked if they felt that coaching and tutoring are the best methods for transferring know-how. Responses are fairly spread in the different choices, with a preference for “Agree” for Boomer (66%), while Xers show the highest percentages within the “Neutral” choice (34%) and Millennials the highest percentages in the “Disagree” choice. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 6,700

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

4

,153

Page 162 of 300


Based on the calculated chi-square of 6,700 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable COACHING and TUTORING.

VIRTUAL SETTINGS: Participants were asked if they felt comfortable in transferring their know-how in virtual team environments (by phone, video conference, and email). Responses are fairly spread in the different choices, with a preference for “Agree” for Boomer (52%), and Xers (44%), while Millennials show their highest percentages in the “Disagree” choice, and the highest percentages within the “Neutral” choice (29%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 7,644

4

,106

Based on the calculated chi-square of 7,644 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable VIRTUAL SETTINGS.

4.5.3.4.7 FORMAL for OLDER PM: Participants were asked if they felt that older professional would rather transfer their know-how in a formal setting (structured and scheduled meetings).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 163 of 300


Responses are fairly spread in the different choices, mainly in the “Neutral” choice. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 2,445

4

,665

Based on the calculated chi-square of 2,445 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable FORMAL for OLDER PM.

4.5.3.4.8 FEEDBACK: Participants were asked if they felt that getting feedback from the other person would help them in transferring their know-how more effectively. Responses are fairly spread in the different choices, mainly in the “Agree” choice: 94% for Xers, 92% for Boomers, and 89% Millennials. We obtained the following results with the chi-square test:

chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 3,137

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

4

,535

Page 164 of 300


Based on the calculated chi-square of 3,137 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable FEEDBACK.

4.5.3.4.9 HANDS-ON PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE: Participants were asked if they believed that the best way to transfer and/or receive know-how is through hands-on exercises and practical experience. Responses are fairly spread in the different choices, mainly in the “Agree” choice: 67% for Boomers, 62% for Xers. Millennials show the highest scores within the “Disagree” choice (16%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 7,363

4

,118

Based on the calculated chi-square of 7,363 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable HANDS-ON PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE.

4.5.3.4.10 EFFECTIVE if PUT INTO ACTION: Participants were asked if they believed that the transfer of know-how is more efficient if people can put into action what they have learned. Responses are fairly spread in the different choices, mainly in the “Agree” choice: 94% for Xers, 93% for Boomers, 87% for Millennials. Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 165 of 300


We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 6,518

4

,164

Based on the calculated chi-square of 6,518 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable EFFECTIVE if PUT INTO ACTION.

The comment field invited the participant to specify which factors enabled or inhibited the transfer their know-how in a project setting. Those are the major trends (beside the ones mentioned in the questions): • • •

Giving real-world examples in a project setting Walk the talk learning by doing

Hypothesis conclusions The qualitative phase results evidenced that methods for transferring knowledge could differ between the different generational cohorts. In order to verify those findings, we suggested the following hypothesis for the quantitative phase: H4: Preferred methods for transferring tacit knowledge differ across generational cohorts Nominal variables collected and recoded to ordinal variables in a smaller number of groups, and were analyzed using chi-square statistics. Null hypothesis was rejected at a 5% significance level for ALL the variables in the Methods category.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 166 of 300


According to this result, we reject the H4 hypothesis as the variable generational cohort does not influence the preferred methods for transferring tacit knowledge.

4.5.3.5 TECHNOLOGY The last section of the questionnaire was comprised of questions about Technology, which is how Project Management professionals face the new Technologies. The detailed questions are in Appendix C. For the detailed data and data analysis of this section, refer to Appendix D. The following items were extracted from the qualitative phase results, and proposed to verify usage of Technology for transferring know-how: • • • •

Web 2.0 effectiveness, Comfortable in using Web 2.0, Contribution to networks, Importance of professional social networks.

Through a contingency table we compared each variable with generational cohort. Results and observations are described below.

4.5.3.5.1 WEB 2.0 EFFECTIVENSS: Participants were asked if they believed that blogs, wikis and forums are effective means for transferring know-how. Responses show that Millennials have the highest percentage (66%) within the “Agree” choice, Xers within the “Neutral” (40%) and Boomers within the “Disagree” (22%).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 167 of 300


We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 9,113

4

,058

Based on the calculated chi-square of 9,113 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable WEB 2.0 EFFECTIVENSS. Although there is no statistical relationship within those variables, because of the low value of p (in social science if p < 0,05 the null hypothesis is rejected), we will take into account the results from the contingency table and consider the percentages to draw conclusions.

4.5.3.5.2 COMFORTABLE IN USING WEB 2.0: Participants were asked if they felt comfortable using new technologies for transferring know-how (e.g.: instant messaging, wikis, blogs, video conferencing, etc.). Responses show that Millennials have the highest percentage (75%) within the “Agree” choice, Xers within the “Neutral” (25%) and Boomers within the “Disagree” (17%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 9,241

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

4

,055

Page 168 of 300


Based on the calculated chi-square of 9,241 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable COMFORTABLE IN USING WEB 2.0. Although there is no statistical relationship within those variables, because of the low value of p (in social science if p < 0,05 the null hypothesis is rejected), we will take into account the results from the contingency table and consider the percentages to draw conclusions.

4.5.3.5.3 NO CONTRIBUTION: Participants were asked to rate the statement “I do not contribute to blogs or forums in my professional life”. Responses show that Millennials have their highest percentages (48%) in the “Agree” choice, followed by Xers (45%), while Boomers have the highest percentages in “Disagree” (43%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 4,310

4

,366

Based on the calculated chi-square of 4,310 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable NO CONTRIBUTION. We also compared this variable results with the variables of INHIBITORS: No Time and Not Knowing, and although the three do not show a statistical Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 169 of 300


relationship with the variable generational cohort, we observed that Millennials showed the highest scores in all variables for the “Agree” and “Neutral” choices.

4.5.3.5.4 IMPORTANCE OF PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL NETWORKS: Participants were asked if they felt that Professional social networks – like LinkedIn and Viadeo are important and worthwhile for their work Responses show that Millennials have the higest percentage (41%) within the “Neutral” choice, Xers within the “Agree” (60%) and Boomers within the “Disagree” (26,5%). We obtained the following results with the chi-square test: chi-square

Degrees

of P value

Freedom 8,257

4

,083

Based on the calculated chi-square of 8,257 compared with the chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between generational cohort and the variable IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS. Hypothesis conclusions The qualitative phase results evidenced that there are differences in the way different cohorts apprehend the new Web 2.0 technologies for transferring their know-how.

In order to verify those findings, we suggested the following

hypothesis for the quantitative phase: H5: Different generational cohorts make different usage of Web 2.0 technologies for transferring tacit knowledge

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 170 of 300


Nominal variables collected and recoded to ordinal variables in a smaller number of groups, and were analyzed using chi-square statistics. Null hypothesis was NOT rejected at a 5% significance level for all the variables. According to this result, we reject the H5 hypothesis as the variable generational cohort does not influence the preferred Methods for transferring tacit knowledge. We observed that for all the TECHNOLOGY variables the resulting independence was not significant. We will take into account the chi-square results, but use the information provided in the contingency table in the next chapter when discussing results.

4.6 Conclusions of the Quantitative Analysis The aim of this quantitative study was to clarify if there is a relationship between generational cohorts and different variables which might affect tacit knowledge transfer. We found no statistical relationship for most of the variables included in the questionnaire, indicating that there is no significant difference between generational cohorts on the way they perceive tacit knowledge transfer. Out of the 38 variables only 10 showed a relationship. As far as content is concerned, generational cohorts consider differently the items to transfer in a project setting: Xers and Boomer consider that transferring context

information

(i.e.

risks,

objectives,

reasons

behind

decisions,

stakeholdersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; commitment) is important; also they consider important to transfer intuition and opinions about the situation of the project as well as information about the team members (i.e. their characters, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses). While Millennials prefer to transfer only facts that are specific to the project (i.e. project history, stakeholdersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; impediments, levels of expertise inside the project, links to sites and databases relevant to the project). Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 171 of 300


A for Motivators, Boomers and Xers are concerned with the success of the people to whom they transfer knowledge; they care about their knowledge transfer helping the team and the project in not experiencing any disruption; they also express a sense of self-accomplishment in transferring their know-how and experience. Xers expressed high agreement on the fact that knowledge transfer is for them a professional duty. Finally, statistical relationship is found between generational cohorts and what facilitate the tacit knowledge transfer process: a friendly setting is a viewed as an enabler by Xers and Boomers to transfer experience and know-how as well as a respectful attitude from the person they are transferring knowledge to.

Although most of the variables do not show a significant statistical relationship with generational cohorts, some similarities and diverging patterns have been noted in the observed data. First of all, the perceived cognitive styles and learning styles of the Project Management professionals: overall they show strong preference for the characteristics of a Planning Cognitive style (which are, amongst others, a need for structure, organization and control) with no difference between genders. The characteristics of Planning cognitive style are mostly preferred within Millennials and Xers, while there is a preference for the characteristics of a Creative cognitive style (which are, amongst others, a need for freedom and uncertainty, creativeness and experimentation) for the Boomers. They also showed a strong preference for the characteristics of the Activist learning style (which are, amongst others, a need for short here-and-now learning activities, and competitive tasks) and of the Pragmatist learning style (which are, amongst others, a need for learning activities with a link with on-the-job opportunities, and where there is a model to emulate) with no difference between genders, but with a preference of Activist for Boomers and Xers and Pragmatist for Millennials.

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 172 of 300


Millennials showed great concern in the following factors affecting tacit knowledge transfer: being in a time-stressed situation which does not allow for the transfer process to happen, not having awareness about the know-how they could transfer, facing an unsecure situation where their knowledge may be used in a negative way, being in a virtual environment as they prefer face-to-face interactions; having enough time to transfer knowledge, being in informal settings, receiving formal organizational recognitions and financial rewards for their knowledge transfer efforts. Xers and Boomers show similar patterns in evaluating the factors which might affect tacit knowledge transfer: they would adapt their communication styles and methods to meet the other personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preferences and styles, and although they showed a preference for a written and structured way to transfer tacit knowledge, they also value coaching and tutoring as being an effective method; they are motivated by their contribution to support the business objectives of the company, and by being recognized as Subject Matter Experts. Within the questions about technologies and Web 2.0 adoption, although there is no statistical evidence of relationship, the low value of p, slightly higher than ,05, indicates that there might be some diverging patterns in the way different generations approach Web 2.0 technologies. Millennials expressed that wikis, blogs, and forums are an efficient way of transferring tacit knowledge, while Boomers mostly disagreed with this statement. Millennials also reported being comfortable in the usage of new technologies, while Boomers expressed lower comfort in using new technologies. The usage of Professional Social Networks is highly valued by Xers, more than Boomers and Millennials.

4.7 Conclusions of the Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis In this section we will compare the results from the qualitative and quantitative phasesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; results.

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 173 of 300


Cognitive styles and Learning styles The interviews of Project Management professionals indicated the following preferences in terms of cognitive styles: Xers and Boomers mainly “Thinking” and Millennials mainly “Planning” cognitive styles; on a larger sample through the questionnaire the Project management professionals have indicated by a large majority a preference for the “Planning” cognitive style which corresponds to characteristics as structured, planned, and organized: those characteristics seem in line with the Project management practices, often characterized by structure, organization, consciousness and critical analysis, key elements to influence projects’ success. Additionally, this might be influenced by the widely spread scientific educational background (Computer Science, Electronics, Information Technologies, Telecommunication, etc.), as interviewees who showed a different cognitive style have in general a different educational background (Education, Social Science, etc). We would also like to underline the strong preference that Boomers expressed for “Creating” cognitive styles, leading to the conclusion that a potential characteristic of this generational cohort is to looking for greater freedom to explore and experiment new ways of dealing with projects, risks, stakeholders and accepting uncertainty. Project Management professionals, of all generational cohorts showed a strong preference for the characteristics of the Activist learning style (which are, amongst others, a need for short here-and-now learning activities, and competitive tasks) and of the Pragmatist learning style (which are, amongst others, a need for learning activities with a link with on-the-job opportunities, and where there is a model to emulate. Content During the qualitative phase, all interviewees, no matter the age or the working experience, had expressed concern about the transferring the human side of a project context. But Boomers and Xers had expressed more interest in the subjective and intangible items linked to intuitions and opinions, considering that

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 174 of 300


this would facilitate learning on past experiences. The quantitative phase has confirmed with statistical evidence that those patterns differ according to the generational cohort individuals belong to. Additionally it has highlighted a preference of Millennials for transferring mainly facts related to the project instead of opinions and intuitions. This could potentially be explained by the maturity of experience in managing projects, as if the knowledge of project management processes (controls of budget, scope, time, tools etc.) had become an unconscious competence for Boomers and Xers who can now concentrate on the most difficult and uncertain task of dealing with human interactions (stakeholders, team members, customers, upper management), considering context, intuitions, opinions, team members characteristics, as essential elements to transfer. Enablers and Inhibitors Through the interviews, Project Management professionals have expressed that the attitude of the person they are transferring to or receiving knowledge from, is an essential items to facilitate tacit knowledge transfer. They also indicated trust, friendly and open environment, getting immediate feedback, having enough time, having a defined structure, getting and giving concrete examples, as important items for enabling knowledge transfer. The results of the questionnaire have confirmed those items, with some statistical relationship with generational cohorts (respectful attitude and a friendly setting), and evidenced that not having enough time and unsecure transfer are considered as inhibitors to knowledge transfer mainly by Millennials. Motivators The results of the qualitative phase did not show differences between generational cohorts, in terms of motivators for transferring their knowledge in a project environment: they mostly expressed being motivated by the project success, the good of their company, the satisfaction of stakeholders and team members; they also find personal satisfaction and pleasure in transferring

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 175 of 300


knowledge. The quantitative phase allowed to clarify which differences exists between generational cohorts. Although all the previously mentioned factors are important for motivating Project Management professionals, a statistical relationship has been proved between generational cohorts: Boomers and Xers showed higher concerned about the success of the people to whom they transfer knowledge, about the team and the project itself, expressing a sense of selfaccomplishment in transferring their know-how and experience. Probably due to the anonymous responses of the questionnaire, all generational cohorts, but more specifically Millennials, indicated interest in financial rewards and organizational recognition as motivators to transfer their know-how. Methods Through the interviews, project management professionals indicated that they would transfer tacit knowledge mainly in face-to-face meetings, in an informal setting. Millennials would prefer the Knowledge Transfer process to occur in a formal and structured manner with older professionals. Boomers and Xers state that it would be their responsibility to adapt their communication style and transfer methods to the person they are transferring to or receiving from. All generational cohorts prefer to transfer or receive knowledge by being directly involved, so through hand-on experience, and a learning-by-doing approach. Boomers and Xers would transfer their knowledge by showing, demonstrating and through life-experience narrations.

The results of the questionnaire

confirms that those methods are used by all generational cohorts and show no statistical relationship between generational cohorts and the methods for transferring tacit knowledge. Nevertheless we found some diverging patterns between generational cohorts: Boomers and Xers value tutoring and coaching, and they would adapt to the style of the person they are transferring knowledge to or receiving knowledge from; Millennials prefer informal settings, consider time as an essential factor for appropriate knowledge transfer, and do not feel at ease in a virtual environment.

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 176 of 300


Interviewees indicated Web 2.0 technologies not to be an appropriate method for transferring tacit knowledge, although Millennials widely use and contribute to Blogs and Forums, as a mean to find and share information. The results of the questionnaire confirmed those findings, with no strong statistical relationship between generational cohorts: Millennials confirm their adoptions of Web 2.0 technologies, mainly as readers as they do not contribute to wikis and blogs, while Xers use and contribute to professional social networks.

The next Chapter will discuss in more details those findings and their relationship to existing literature and theories.

5. CHAPTER 5 – DISCUSSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION The objective of this exploratory study was to define a comprehensive framework of for tacit knowledge transfer between generational cohorts. To achieve this objective we explored existing literature about the three major components of this study: tacit knowledge, knowledge transfer and generational cohorts. We raised the major question of this research: How can tacit knowledge transfer between generational cohorts be facilitated? Through a Mixed-Methods research, we collected and analyzed data from the Project Management professionals’ community, with a qualitative and quantitative approach. The results of the quantitative and qualitative data were discussed in the previous Chapter. This Chapter proposes a framework for optimal tacit knowledge transfer between generational cohorts, as well as exposing the limitations of this study and the implications and recommendations for further research. Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 177 of 300


5.1 Discussions Generational diversity is defined in today practitioners’ press as a cause of conflicts in the workplace, due to differences, amongst others, in work values and attitudes; the challenge in organizations is to develop harmonized collaboration practices in order to promote knowledge transfer before the retirement of Boomers. As a high-level conclusion, we join the arguments of Giancola, that the issues raised about differences in generational cohorts in popular press “lend credence to the notion that the generational approach may be more popular culture than social science” (Giancola, 2006, p.33). This exploratory study found little statistical relationship between generational cohorts and the factors influencing tacit knowledge transfer, indicating that Project Management Professionals of all generational cohorts share common patterns in Motivators, Methods, Enablers and Inhibitors when transferring their know-how.

5.1.1 Cognitive Styles and learning styles We did not find in literature any study looking for a correlation between Learning and cognitive styles and generational cohorts. We found this of interest as finding out how people construct their thoughts and reflections, how they learn and apply their knowledge, could facilitate the knowledge transfer process. We analyzed the different perception of generational cohorts of their own cognitive and learning styles, to discover that although there is no statistical evidence of a relationship between those elements, there are some similarities and differences which are worth taking into account. We surveyed Project Management professional in France, and within this profession there is a strong inclination towards the Planning cognitive styles, although interviews indicated a higher percentage of Thinking Cognitive styles amongst Boomers and Xers. As from the definition from the cognitive style Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 178 of 300


Indicator “People with a planning style are characterized by a need for structure. Planners like to organize and control and prefer a well-structured work environment. They attach importance to preparation and planning to reach their objectives” (Cools & Van den Broeck, 2007). As for the learning styles they showed preferences for the Activist and Pragmatist Styles, firstly evidenced during the individuals’ interviews and confirmed with the questionnaire. From the definitions is the learning styles questionnaire “Pragmatists prefers to apply new learning to actual practice to see if they work. They like laboratories, field work, and observations. Likes feedback, coaching, and obvious links between the task-on-hand and a problem; Activists prefer the challenges of new experiences, involvement with others, assimilation and role-playing. They like anything new, problem solving, and small group discussions”. (Honey & Mumford, 1986). The answer to our research question: “Is there a relationship between generational cohorts and their perceived cognitive styles and learning styles?” is that there is no statistical evidence for such relationship; however, similarities within the Project Management profession and patterns between generational cohorts can be found within the data of the observed population.

5.1.2 Methods for knowledge transfer and technology usage To answer to our research question: “How different generational cohort perceive their optimal methods to transfer tacit knowledge?”, this study focused on Nonaka and Takeuchi’s (1995) SECI model and Nonaka and Konno’s “BA” (2000) and observe knowledge transfer dynamics between the generational cohorts of the Project Management Professionals. Learning-by-doing together with preference for hands-on practical experience indicates that all generational cohorts within this profession transfer their tacit knowledge through the Socialization process where experience and know-how is transferred with no specific codification. As interviewees indicated, they prefer

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 179 of 300


to show people how to perform tasks, and let them learn by being actively involved. The Externalization process occurs within the Project Management professionals when individuals articulate their tacit knowledge through the usage of stories and example, but also in artifacts like written and structured documents, specifically within the Xers and Boomers. We observed that there is a statistical difference between genders, where women use more stories and examples than men. The Internalization process occurs with no differences between generational cohorts by putting into action the newly acquired knowledge. Knowledge Transfer is considered as effective by all cohorts if they can put into action what they have learned. This links to the concepts of capitalizing on knowledge, where individuals can â&#x20AC;&#x153;re-use in a relevant way, the knowledge of a given domain previously stored and modeled in order to perform new tasksâ&#x20AC;? (cited in Rasovska et al., 2008, p.348). Nonaka and Konno (2000) have extended the SECI model with the dimensions of BA, the space and time where knowledge is shared and new knowledge created. Within this study we observed that time is highly valued and considered as an essential in factor in when transferring tacit knowledge, and although there is no significant statistical relationship between time and generational cohorts, Millennials indicate that having enough time for transferring knowledge is very important, and that they are often in time-stressed situations where time is lacking for proper Knowledge transfer. Within the Originating BA, Project Management professionals transfer tacit knowledge, with no statistical differences between generational cohorts, through face-to-face interactions which are considered as essential in this profession; interviewees clarified that during face-to-face interactions, a relationship is created, feelings are perceived and shared, and communication is

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 180 of 300


made easier through body language. As an interviewee pointed out “transfer with no face-to-face within this profession is very difficult” (I5B). Project Management professionals transfer personal opinions and intuitions, about the project, the stakeholders and the team members, although Millennials indicate that they prefer to transfer only facts not opinions, and they are less sensitive in transferring information about the project considered as very important for Xers and Boomers. An informal setting for transferring tacit knowledge is valued by all generational cohorts, although Xers and Boomers value more than Millennials a friendly atmosphere. Within the Dialoging BA knowledge is transferred by interactions within a group. This happens through team meetings, and in today’s dispersed business environment, this often occurs within virtual settings, as conference calls. While all generational cohorts prefer to convert their tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge in a structured and written manner, Millennials indicate not feeling at ease in Virtual settings. With the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies, synchronous communication is now possible through instant messaging, video conferencing, enterprise social platforms, and although there is no statistical relationship between generational cohorts and variables we classified as “technology”, there are evident differences in the data of the observed population: all generations feel fairly at ease in using Web 2.0 technologies in the workplace, Millennials more than others, and they consider that wikis, blogs, and forums are a good support for sharing tacit knowledge; Xers and Boomers, although less at ease in using the technologies, have less agreement in considering those technologies efficient for tacit knowledge Transfer, nevertheless they contribute more than Millennials (who have showed that lack of time and not knowing what to transfer inhibits knowledge transfer). Exercising BA is the space where explicit knowledge is converted to tacit knowledge and internalized by the individual. This happens with on-the-job training with the supervision of a tutor or a coach. With no statistical relationship with generational cohorts, Tutoring and Coaching are highly regarded by Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 181 of 300


Boomers and Xers but less by Millennials. Nevertheless, interviewed Millennials expressed their interest in being Tutored and Coached by a senior professional, in order to acquire their experience and know-how. Finally, Xers and Boomers consider it is of their responsibility to adapt their communication style and KT methods to the people they are transferring to or receiving from, and highly value feedback for improving the knowledge transfer process.

5.1.3 Enablers and inhibitors for knowledge transfer Some factors are indicated as inhibiting tacit knowledge transfer. In line with Szulanski (1999) and Sveiby (2001), Trust between individuals and arduous relationships, appears as major issues. With no statistical evidence, we observed that all generational cohorts, but particularly Boomer and Millennials, would not transfer their knowledge if they felt that their knowledge could be used improperly, or if they felt the existence of hidden agendas. The attitude of the person they are transferring to or receiving from is also an inhibitor: Xers and Boomers value a respectful attitude and that the person shows interest in transferring knowledge. Lack of time is also perceived as an inhibiting factor, mainly by Millennials. All those factors were evidenced in the qualitative phase and confirmed in the quantitative phase. As indicated by Chiem (2001) people might not know what to transfer. This is the case observed for Millennials, who indicate that they don’t feel like having much know-how that would be useful to others. So the answer to our research question: “How different generational cohorts perceive factors affecting their transfer of tacit knowledge?” is that all generational cohorts perceive lack of trust, negative people’s attitude and lack of time as potential barriers to knowledge transfer, and on the other hand they perceive a trustful relationship, a positive person’s attitude, a friendly setting and enough time, as enablers to transferring tacit knowledge. Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 182 of 300


5.1.4 Motivators Amongst the major factors of motivation raised through the interviews, we observed that extrinsic motivators are valued differently by generational cohorts: Millennials prefer financial rewards and formal organizational recognition while Xers and Boomers prefer to be recognized by peers as Subject Matter Experts. Those factors were confirmed in the quantitative phase, although no statistical relationship has been found between those factors and generational cohorts. Intrinsic motivators, both hedonic and normative, are highly valued with statistical relationship between generational cohorts. A sense of SelfAccomplishment when transferring tacit knowledge is experienced mostly by Boomers and Xers. This may also be related to the Generativity theory (McAdams & De St Aubin, 1992), which argues that with age people raise their concern in transferring to the next generation. Although this theory is linked to age and not to generational cohorts, it is of interest to see the attitudes of Boomers and Xers towards knowledge transfer: they are concerned about the success of the person they are transferring to, and about not causing disruption to the team members, considering this as a motivator for tacit knowledge transfer. They also expressed, in the interviews and comments, their willingness to transfer to the next generation. Showing loyalty and commitment to the project and the organization, Xers expressed higher agreement in being motivated by the success of the project, the support they could bring to meeting the organizations’ business objectives and considering Knowledge transfer as their professional duty. Those motivators are shared mostly to the same extend by Boomers and Xers, but far less by Millennials. The answer to our research question: “How do intrinsic and extrinsic motivators influence the transfer of tacit Knowledge between generational cohorts?” is that there is statistical evidence of relationship between generations and intrinsic Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 183 of 300


motivators: hedonic motivators in terms of Boomers and Xers valuing a sense of Self-accomplishment and the success of the person they transfer knowledge to, and we observed a feeling of satisfaction in accomplishing a professional duty; as normative motivators the success of the project and the good of the organization. We observed that extrinsic motivators, financial rewards and organizational recognition are important for Millennials, while peer recognition is important for Xers and Boomers.

5.1.5 A framework for tacit knowledge transfer between generations As a result, to answer the main question of this research: “How can tacit knowledge transfer between generational cohorts be facilitated”? we propose a framework of optimal tacit knowledge transfer, structured in “what”, “where”, “how” and “why”:

WHAT Xers and Boomers value the transfer of Context (risks, objectives, reasons behind decisions, stakeholder’s commitment), as well as intuitions, opinions and information on team members (their characters, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses), while Millennials, believe that transferring only facts (project history, stakeholders’ impediments, levels of expertise inside the project, links to sites and databases relevant to the project) is more appropriate.

WHERE •

Xers and Boomers prefer tacit knowledge transfer to happen in a friendly atmosphere, even if this is within a Virtual setting. Millennials prefer an informal setting, and do not feel at ease in a Virtual environment.

Although widely used, Web 2.0 technologies are not yet considered as appropriate for transferring tacit knowledge by Xers and Boomers, while

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 184 of 300


Millennials find blogs, wikis and forums a good source of information, although they do not contribute because they lack of time and confidence in what know-how they could share. •

Spaces for appropriate Time for knowledge transfer are valued by all generational cohorts, even more by Millennials.

HOW •

All generational cohorts value face-to-face interactions, as a way to capture feelings, body language signals, to create a trustful relationship which enables to transfer personal insights and intuitions.

All generational cohorts value a trustful and secured relationship, with no hidden agendas; a positive, respectful attitude, and an expressed interest in Knowledge transfer is valued by all generational cohorts but more by Xers and Boomers.

All generational cohorts value Learning-by-doing, hands-on experience, both for transferring and receiving tacit knowledge, and Xers and Boomers mostly value Tutoring and Coaching

WHY •

All generational cohorts are motivated to transfer their knowledge by the success of the project, the team and the organization. Xers mostly consider transferring their knowledge as their professional duty.

A sense of self-accomplishment is mostly valued by Xers and Boomers, as well as being recognized as Subject Matter Experts.

Millennials show higher interest in formal organizational recognition and financial rewards.

All generational cohorts understand that they capitalize on tacit knowledge transfer by putting into action what they have received

A summary of these discussions is presented in the following table :

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 185 of 300


Shared characteristics

WHAT

Baby-Boomers

Xers

Millennials

Xers and Boomers value the transfer of Context (risks, objectives, reasons behind decisions, stakeholder’s commitment), as well as intuitions, opinions and information on team members (their characters, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses),

Xers and Boomers value the transfer of Context (risks, objectives, reasons behind decisions, stakeholder’s commitment), as well as intuitions, opinions and information on team members (their characters, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses),

Millennials believe that transferring only facts (project history, stakeholders’ impediments, levels of expertise inside the project, links to sites and databases relevant to the project) is more appropriate.

Xers and Boomers prefer Tacit knowledge transfer to happen in a friendly atmosphere, even if this is within a Virtual setting.

WHERE

Spaces for appropriate Time for knowledge transfer are valued by all generational cohorts, even more by Millennials.

Although widely used, Web 2.0 technologies are not yet considered as appropriate for transferring Tacit knowledge by Xers and Boomers,

Millennials prefer an informal setting, and do not feel at ease in a Virtual environment.

Xers and Boomers prefer Tacit knowledge transfer to happen in a friendly atmosphere, even if this is within a Virtual setting.

While Millennials find blogs, wikis and forums a good source of information, although they do not contribute because they lack of time and confidence in what know-how they could share. Spaces for appropriate Time for knowledge transfer are valued by all generational cohorts, even more by Millennials.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 186 of 300


Shared characteristics

HOW

WHY

Baby-Boomers

All generational cohorts value face-to-face interactions, as a way to capture feelings, body language signals, to create a trustful relationship which enables to transfer personal insights and A positive, respectful attitude, and an expressed interest intuitions. in knowledge transfer is valued by all generational cohorts but more by Xers and Boomers. All generational cohorts value a trustful and secured relationship, with no hidden agendas.

Xers

A positive, respectful attitude, and an expressed interest in knowledge transfer is valued by all generational cohorts but more by Xers and Boomers.

All generational cohorts value Learning-bydoing, hands-on experience, both for transferring and receiving tacit knowledge.

Xers and Boomers mostly value Tutoring and Coaching

Xers and Boomers mostly value Tutoring and Coaching

All generational cohorts consider feedback as essential to facilitate tacit knowledge transfer

Xers and Boomers consider that adapting their communication methods to the style of the other person is their responsibility

Xers and Boomers consider that adapting their communication methods to the style of the other person is their responsibility

All generational cohorts are motivated to transfer their knowledge by the success of the project, the team and the organization.

Millennials

Xers mostly consider transferring their knowledge as their professional duty.

Millennials show higher interest in formal organizational recognition and financial rewards.

A sense of self-accomplishment is mostly valued by Boomers, as well as being recognized as Subject Matter Experts. All generational cohorts understand that they capitalize on Tacit knowledge transfer by putting into action what they have received

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

A sense of self-accomplishment is mostly valued by Xers as well as being recognized as Subject Matter Experts.

Page 187 of 300


5.2 Limitations of the Study This study has been conducted within the Project Management profession, of French, highly educated professionals with mostly a scientific educational background. So the results and findings are confined to a specific country and a specific profession and may not apply to a different profession, specific industry context and organizational structures. In the literature review, most of the studies have been conducted in the US, causing a bias in understanding how cultural differences might impact the workplace in other countries. There are no sociological studies on generational cohorts in the workplace conducted in France or Europe, so we could only base our assumptions of the existing US literature. Although all individuals have experienced knowledge transfer phenomena, the volunteering participants in this exploratory study takes into account individuals who have shown an interest in collaboration, sharing and networking, through a professional associations and through professional web-based networks. We could not explore how individuals, who have a lower inclination to sharing, would approach tacit knowledge transfer. The study is conducted within the Project Management profession in France, so it does not take into account any cultural differences related to the Knowledge Transfer process, motivators, barriers and methods which may differ in different cultural settings. Another limitation may reside in the decision not to use the official tools for evaluating Cognitive and Learning styles (CSI and LSQ), but questions derived from those tools were used to identify the participantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s perceived preferred ways of dealing with information and their preferred way of learning.

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 188 of 300


5.3 Implications for practice This study brings together the major factors observed in the dynamics of tacit knowledge transfer between generational cohorts in the Project Management profession. From an organizational perspective the results of this study are of interest in refuting the so much cited generational differences in the workplace. Within the Project Management professionals there are little differences but, with no doubt, some preferences should be taken into account when developing knowledge transfer programs. This study shows that Project Management professionals: • • • • • • •

Prefer face-to-face interactions Prefer hands-on activities Look for having time for proper transfer of knowledge Are motivated by different factors Value feedback Do not value Web 2.0 technologies as being effective Look for informal and friendly settings

Besides those preferences, and un-proven differences, practitioners’ literature urges HRM to modify their practices and processes to support the new generation in the workplace, that of Millennials. We would like to underline a simple demographic evidence, which is that, considering the longer life expectancy, and the required longer working life, the work environment will still have active Boomers for the next 15 to 20 years, and active Xers for the next 35 to 40 years. So generational diversity programs should be undertaken, Millennials integration facilitated, but HRM should be cautious about changes in practices and policies.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 189 of 300


5.3 Implications for knowledge and theory The originality of this study resides in its comprehensive investigation. Previous studies did focus on elements of the knowledge transfer process, on motivation, on generational diversity, but none has taken into account several factors influencing intergenerational knowledge transfer. This study might bring some insight to the work of Szulanski (1999) and his four phases for knowledge transfer, by adding a more individual and human dimension do the model. Specifically, Szulanski includes a Milestone of “Decision transfer”, defining this to decision to “occur under some degree of irreducible uncertainty or causal ambiguity. That is because the source’s understanding and ability to explain a practice is often incomplete, the recipient’s ability to specify the environment where new knowledge will be applied is also incomplete, and measures of performance used to identify opportunities are often imprecise and subject to chance fluctuation” (Szulanski, 1999, p.11). We would argue that, besides those factors, the decision to transfer knowledge is triggered by the motivation of the individual, weather it is a matter of extrinsic motivators (as financial rewards for Millennials), or intrinsic motivators (as self-accomplishment for Xers and Boomers), individuals do transfer their knowledge if they find that the benefits derived are higher than the costs they would undertake. Still looking at Szulanki’s work, this research includes further factors that would influence the transfer of knowledge. As defined in the implementation phase enablers could be “effective planning, coordination and mutual adjustments, which would depend on the quality of the relationship between the source and the recipient” (Szulanski, 1999, p.12), but also a friendly setting, a respectful attitude, having enough time, as well as appropriate methods preferred by different generational cohorts to transfer the knowledge, like face-to-face interactions or tutoring programs. This study also adds insights to the work in the Project Management literature by underlying the importance of generational differences in the process of Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 190 of 300


knowledge transfer. Xers and Boomers showed a higher concern in transferring human dynamics, context (risks, objectives, reasons behind decisions, stakeholders commitments), and their own intuitions and opinions within a project setting. Based on the interviews, we assume that, thanks to the extended body of knowledge in project management, Xers and Boomers have higher mastery of PM processes, procedures and standards, and focus on the more intangible and personal part of a project environment, and on their know-how and experience, as a Xer interviewee stated “the most difficult thing in project management is the human side, so once you know what needs to be done on a technical side, you need to understand how to deal with people” (I2X). This is also supported by the perceived cognitive style of the participants to the study, where Millennials are mostly “Planning”, so worried about keeping the triple constraint of “time, schedule, and budget” and modeling their thoughts in a structured, planed, organized and systematic manner, in order to avoid uncertainties and establish routines, which are the basis for trust and security (Giddens, 1984). On the other hand, Boomers are mostly “Creative” having overcome the worries of technical processes, and organizing their thoughts so to remain open to possibilities, novelties and inventive approaches. This study adds further insights to the wok of Turner, Keegan and Crawford (2000) that considered “Experiential learning is a key contributor to the competence development of both individuals and organizations” (Turner et al., 2000). The perceived learning styles of project management professionals within this study are Pragmatists and Activist, both in line with the learning-by-doing and learning-by-experience approaches, as they prefer to apply new learning to actual practice, they value involvement with others, feedback and coaching. Finally we found an interesting relationship between Nonaka’s knowledge creation theory and Honey & Munford’s Learning Styles models: both processes deal with the transformation of knowledge from tacit to explicit to tacit, through the SECI spiral or from concrete experience, to reflective observation, to abstract conceptualization and active experimentation; both aim at explaining how to Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 191 of 300


enhance learning and create new knowledge. Although this point was not within the scope of this research, we argue that knowledge creation would find its starting point, not necessarily in the Originating BA (as stated by Nonaka & Konno, 1998), but this would depend on the learning style of the individual, whether the information is received by “doing” or “reflecting” and whether the information is processed by “experiencing” or “thinking” (Kolb, 1984). This could be the basis of new studies, which could bring together knowledge creation and experiential learning, based on individuals’ learning styles.

5.4 Recommendations for Future Research This study in its exploratory nature, focused on a large span of factors, theories, and items, which might be of interest to study individually, by category, and by Cohort, in order to clarify individual factors. This study focused on French professionals, extending this study to other countries, or comparing several countries, will surely raise interesting questions linked to cultural diversity among generational cohorts, but also how cultural differences may influence methods, inhibitors and enablers, and motivators to transferring tacit knowledge. We would suggest further investigations on intrinsic motivators, both hedonic and normative, to further streamline those motivators by generational cohort, as motivation is the trigger to the decision of transferring knowledge. We would also drill down into different methods of knowledge transfer, specifically in a virtual environment: with the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies, verify which methods might be suitable for synchronous and asynchronous communication, how a rapport between sender and receiver could be facilitated in a virtual environment, and what would enable a distant tutoring relationship.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 192 of 300


Although we would not recommend further study on the relationship between generational cohorts and cognitive and learning styles, we would consider of interest a comparison of cognitive and learning styles between different professions (consultants, HR practitioners, sales professionals etc). We expect different patterns to be found within each profession, so it would be interesting to explore if learning styles are the trigger or the result of an individual career choice.

5.5 Conclusions This chapter concludes this exploratory study: we reviewed the research objectives and questions, we proposed a framework to facilitate tacit knowledge transfer, and finally we gave recommendations for future research.

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 193 of 300


REFERENCES Ackoff, R. L. (1989). From Data to Wisdom. Journal Of Applied Systems Analysis, 16(1), 3– 9. Retrieved from http://www.citeulike.org/group/8357/article/6930744 Allinson, C. W., & Hayes, J. (1988). THE LEARNING STYLES QUESTIONNAIRE - AN ALTERNATIVE TO KOLBS INVENTORY. Journal of Management Studies, 25(3), 269– 281. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6486.1988.tb00036.x Alquier, A., & Tignol, M. H. (1998). A METHOD FOR KNOWLEDGE CAPITALISATION IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT: APPLICATION TO A DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR BIDDING. esi2.us.es. Retrieved from http://www.esi2.us.es/prima/Papers/ipma98.pdf Argote, L. (2000). Knowledge Transfer: A Basis for Competitive Advantage in Firms. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 82(1), 150–169. doi:10.1006/obhd.2000.2893 Arnone, W. J. (2006). Are Employers Prepared for the Aging of the U.S.Workforce? Benefits Quarterly, 7–13. Bartol, K. M., & Srivastava, a. (2002). Encouraging Knowledge Sharing: The Role of Organizational Reward Systems. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 9(1), 64–76. doi:10.1177/107179190200900105 Bellinger, G., Castro, D., & Mills, A. (2000). Data , Information , Knowledge , and Wisdom. Systems Thinking : A journey in the realm of systems". Retrieved from http://www.systems-thinking.org/dikw/dikw.htm Blackler, F. (1995). Knowledge, knowledge work and organizations: an overview and interpretation. Organization studies. Boughzala, I, & Dudezert, A. (2012). Knowledge Management 2.0 : Organizationals Models and Enterprise Strategies. Knowledge Management (1st ed.). Hershey PA 17033: Information Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global). Boughzala, Imed, & Ermine, J. (2004). Trends in Enterprise Knowledge Management. Knowledge Creation Diffusion Utilization (pp. 1–296). London: ISTE Ltd. Brown, J., Denning, S., Groh, K., & Pruzak, L. (2000). Storytelling in organizations: how narrative and storytellin are transforming twenty-first century management. Retrieved from http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&btnG=Search&q=intitle:Storytelling+in+ organizations#0 Buahene, A. A. K., & Kovary, G. (2003). The Road to Performance Success : Understanding and Managing the Generational Divide by n-gen People Performance Inc . n-gen People Performance Inc., 2–18. Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 194 of 300


Cabrera, A., & Cabrera, E. F. (2002). Knowledge-Sharing Dilemmas. Organization Studies, 23(5), 687–710. doi:10.1177/0170840602235001 Calo, B. T. J. (2008a). Talent Management in the Era of the Aging Workforce : The Critical Transfer. Public Personnel Management, 37(4), 403–417. Calo, B. T. J. (2008b). Talent Management in the Era of the Aging Workforce : The Critical Transfer. Public Personnel Management, 37(4), 403–417. Cavanagh, S. J., Hogan, K., & Ramgopal, T. (1995). The assessment of student nurse learning styles using the Kolb Learning Styles Inventory. Nurse Education Today, 15(3), 177–183. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7616940 Chan, S. C. H., & Mak, W. (2010). The use of Learning Styles Questionnaire in Macao. Industrial and Commercial Training, 42(1), 41–46. doi:10.1108/00197851011013706 Chauvel, L. (2006). Social Generations , Life Chances and Welfare Regime Sustainability. In P. D. & B. Culpepper, Peter A. Hall, Bruno Palier (Eds.), Changing France : the politics that markets make (Palgrave M., pp. 1–32). New York. Choo, C. W. (2010). Working With Knowledge : How Information Professionals Help Organizations Manage What They Know. Library management, 21(8), 1–12. Cohen, W. M., & Levinthal, D. A. (1990). Absorptive Capacity : A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation. administrative science quarlerly, 35(1), 128–152. Cools, E., & Van den Broeck, H. (2007). Development and validation of the cognitive style indicator. The Journal of psychology, 141(4), 359–87. doi:10.3200/JRLP.141.5.539560 Cools, E., & van Den Broeck, H. (2008). Cognitive styles and managerial behaviour: a qualitative study. Education + Training, 50(2), 103–114. doi:10.1108/00400910810862092 Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2011). Business Research Methods (Eleventh E., pp. 1– 758). McGraw-Hill/Irwing. Crawford, L. (2000). Profiling the Competent Project Manager. Management, 3–15. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.102.3969&amp;rep=re p1&amp;type=pdf Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. (V. Knight, S. Connelly, S. K. Quesenberry, & M. P. Scott, Eds.)Research Design qualitative quantitative and mixed methods approaches (Vol. 3rd, p. 260). Sage Publications. doi:10.1016/j.math.2010.09.003

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 195 of 300


Curry, L. (1983). An Organization of Learning Styles Theory and Constructs. Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (67th, Montreal, Quebec, April 11-15, 1983). DESA. (2001). WORLD POPULATION AGEING : 1950-2050 - United Nations - New York. Population (English Edition) (pp. 1–40). DESA - United Nations. (2009). World Population Ageing. Population (English Edition) (pp. 1–66). Davenport, T H, De Long, D. W., & Beers, M. C. (1998). Successful Knowledge Management Projects. Sloan Management Review, 39(2), 43–57. doi:10.1016/j.ygeno.2009.01.004 Davenport, T. (1997). information Ecology : Mastering the information and knowledge environment. Notes. Oxford University Press, USA. Davenport, Thomas H, & Prusak, L. (1997). Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know. Boston MA (p. 224). Harvard Business School Press. Retrieved from http://www.amazon.co.uk/Working-Knowledge-OrganizationsManage-What/dp/1578513014 De Meuse, K., & Mlodzik, K. (2010). A Second Look at Generational Differences in the Workforce: Implications for HR and Talent Management. People and Strategy, 33(2), 50–58. R Deltour, F., Plé, L., & Sargis Roussel, C. (2012). Knowledge Sharing in the Age of Web 2.0 : A social Capital Perspective. Knowledge Management 2.0 - Organizatonal Models and Enterprise Strategies (pp. 122–142). Hershey PA 17033: Information Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global). Denning, S. (2006). Effective storytelling: strategic business narrative techniques. Strategy Leadership, 34(1), 42–48. doi:10.1108/10878570610637885 Despres, C., & Chauvel, D. (2000). Knowledge horizons: The present and the promise of knowledge management. Knowledge Creation Diffusion Utilization. ButterworthHeinemann. Retrieved from http://en.scientificcommons.org/6918783 Despres, Charles, Remenyi, D., & Chauvel, D. (2012). Measures and Metrics in Knowledge Management. In L. Dibiaggio & P.-X. Meschi (Eds.), Management in the Knowlede Economy (pp. 287–316). PARIS: Pearson France. Dieng, R., Corby, O., Giboin, A., & Ribière, M. (1998). Methods and Tools for Corporate Knowledge Management. Sophia (pp. 1–42). Sophia-Antipolis. Dinur, A. (2011). Tacit Knowledge Taxonomy and Transfer: Case-Based Research. Institute of Behavioral and Applied Management, (c), 246–281.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 196 of 300


Drucker, P. (2001). The next society. The economist, 52. Retrieved from http://enviableworkplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/The-Next-Society-byPeter-Drucker.pdf Duff, A., & Duffy, T. (2002). Psychometric properties of Honey & Mumford’s Learning Styles Questionnaire (LSQ). Personality and Individual Differences, 33(1), 147–163. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(01)00141-6 D’Aprix, R. (2010). LEADERSHIP IN A MULTI-GENERATIONAL WORKPLACE. Strategic Communication Management, 14(2), 13. Eide, B. J., Geiger, M. A., & Schwartz, B. N. (2001). Learning Styles Inventory:An Assessment of Its Usefulness in Accounting Education Research. Issues in Accounting Education, 7(3), 3–365. doi:10.2308/iace.2001.16.3.341 Ermine, J., Boughzala, I., & Tounkara, T. (2006). Critical Knowledge Map as a Decision Tool for Knowledge Transfer Actions. Journal of Knowledge Management, 4(2), 129–140. Evans, C. (2003). Managing for knowledge: HR’s strategic role. Butterworth-Heinemann. R Furnham, A. (1992). Personality and learning style: A study of three instruments. Personality and Individual Differences, 13(4), 429–438. doi:10.1016/01918869(92)90071-V Gandhi, A. (2008). The Social Enterprise : Using Social Enterprise Applications to Enable the Next Wave of Knowledge Worker Productivity (pp. 1–13). Giancola, F. (2006). The Generation Gap : More Myth than Reality. Human Resource Planning, 29(4), 32–37. Retrieved from http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&btnG=Search&q=intitle:The+Generation +Gap+:+More+Myth+than+Reality#0 Giannakouris, K. (2010). Ageing characterises the demographic perspectives of the European societies. Statistics (pp. 1–11). Giddens, A. (1984). The Constitution of Society: Outline ofthe Theory of Structuration. Berkeley: U of California P. Retrieved from h Gottschalg, O., & Zollo, M. (2006). Motivation and the Theory of the Firm, 1–43. Grundstein, M. (2004). From Capitalizing on Company Knowledge to Knowledge Management. Avances in Knowledge Management. Grundstein, M., Rosenthal-Sabroux, C., & Pachulski, A. (2003). Reinforcing decision aid by capitalizing on company’s knowledge: Future prospects. European Journal of Operational Research, 145(2), 256–272. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377221702005337 Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 197 of 300


Hammer, M. L. (2005). THE ROLE OF TACIT KNOWLEDGE NETWORKS IN A STATE AGENCY : AN ANALYSIS BASED ON A GROUNDED THEORY APPROACH by Maureen L . Hammer A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy Capella University. Networks. Hansen, M. T., Nohria, N., & Tierney, T. (1999). What’s your strategy for managing knowledge? Harvard Business Review, 77(2), 106–116, 187. Helm Stevens, R. (2010). Managing Human Capital : How to Use Knowledge Management to Transfer Knowledge in Today ’ s Multi-Generational Workforce. International Business, 3(3), 77–84. Hendriks, P. (1999). Why share knowledge? The influence of ICT on the motivation for knowledge sharing. Knowledge and Process Management, 6(2), 91–100. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1441(199906)6:2<91::AID-KPM54>3.0.CO;2-M Holden, N. J., & Kortzfleisch, H. F. O. V. (2004). Why cross-cultural knowledge transfer is a form of translation in more ways than you think. Knowledge and Process Management, 11(2), 127–136. Holste, J. S., & Fields, D. (2010). Trust and tacit knowledge sharing and use. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(1), 128–140. doi:10.1108/13673271011015615 Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1986). Learning styles questionnaire. Organisational Design and Development, 9(3), 1–10. doi:10.1111/1468-2389.00174 Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1999). Understanding Your Learning Style. Style (DeKalb, IL). Hunt, D. P. (2003). The concept of knowledge and how to measure it. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 4(1), 100–113. doi:10.1108/14691930310455414 Jensen, M., Johnson, B., Lorenz, E., & Lundvall, B. (2007). Forms of knowledge and modes of innovation. Research Policy, 36(5), 680–693. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2007.01.006 Kayes, D. C., & Christopher, D. (2012). Internal Validity and Reliability of Kolb ’ s Learning Style Inventory Version 3 ( 1999 ) INTERNAL VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF KOLB ' S LEARNING STYLE INVENTORY VERSION 3 ( 1999 ). Journal of Business, 20(2), 249–257. Kim, D. H. (1993). The link between individual and organizational learning. Sloan Management Review, 36. Knowledge Management at NASA. (2012).http://www.km.nasa.gov/home/index.html. Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2005a). The Kolb Learning Style Inventory — Version 3 . 1 2005 Technical Specifi cations. Education, 1–72.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 198 of 300


Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2005b). The Kolb Learning Style Inventory — Version 3 . 1 2005 Technical Specifi cations. Education, 1–72. Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning : experience as the source of learning and development, (1984). Kyprianidou, M., Demetriadis, S., & Pombortsis, A. (2008). Learning styles inventory as a tool for supporting technology-enhanced person-centred learning. Psychology of Education Review, 32(1), 28–37 ST – Learning styles inventory as a tool fo. Retrieved from http://elinks.dialog.com/servlet/LinkManager.StarLinksDirector?issn=02624087&vol=32&issue=1&page=28&epage=37&year=2008&lm=false&rel=v3&userid =AABAIY Lagacé, M., Boissonneault, M.-E., & Armstrong, T. (2010). La cohabitation intergénérationnelle au travail : des questions de perceptions intergroupes et de transfert des connaissances. Télescope, 16(1), 193–207. Lam, A. (2000). Tacit knowledge and organizational learning Integrated framework. Organization studies, (21), 487–513. Lam, A., & Lambermont-Ford, J.-P. (2010). Knowledge sharing in organisational contexts: a motivation-based perspective. Journal of Knowledge Management, 14(1), 51–66. doi:10.1108/13673271011015561 Lamari, M. (2012). Le transfert intergénérationnel des connaissances tacites : les concepts utilisés et les évidences empiriques démontrées. Télescope, 16(1), 39–46. Lancaster, L, & Stillman, D. (2002). When Generations Collide: Who They Are. Why They Clash. How to Solve the Generational Puzzle at Work. The Management Forum Series (pp. 1–352). HarperCollins Publishers Inc. Lancaster, Lynne, & Stillman, D. (2010). The M-Factor (pp. 1–294). New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc. Lesser, E., & Riviera, R. (2006). Closing the generational divide. IBM (pp. 1–20). Levin, D. Z., & Cross, R. (2004). The Strength of Weak in of Trust Mediating Role Knowledge Transfer. Management Science, 50(11), 1477–1490. doi:10.1287/mnsc.1030.0 Lewis, A. P., & Bolden, K. J. (1989). General practitioners and their learning styles. The Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 39(322), 187–189. Liebowitz, J. (2009). Knowledge retention : Strategies and Solutions. Organization Science. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/4135158

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 199 of 300


Liebowitz, J., Ayyavoo, N., Nguyen, H., Carran, D., & Simien, J. (2007). Cross-generational knowledge flows in edge organizations. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 107(8), 1123–1153. doi:10.1108/02635570710822787 Liyanage, C., Elhag, T., Ballal, T., & Li, Q. (2009). Knowledge communication and translation – a knowledge transfer model. Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(3), 118–131. doi:10.1108/13673270910962914 Lopez-Nicolas, C., & Meroño-Cerdán, Á. L. (2009). The impact of organizational culture on the use of ICT for knowledge management. Electronic Markets, 19(4), 211–219. doi:10.1007/s12525-009-0020-4 Mannheim, K. (1952). The problem of generations. In P. Kecskemeti (Ed.), Essays on the Sociology of Knowledge (Vol. 57, pp. 276–320). Routledge & Kegan Paul. Retrieved from http://www.pep-web.org/document.php?id=PSAR.057.0378A McAdam, R., Mason, B., & McCrory, J. (2007). Exploring the dichotomies within the tacit knowledge literature: towards a process of tacit knowing in organizations. Journal of Knowledge Management, 11(2), 43–59. doi:10.1108/13673270710738906 McAdams, D. P., & De St Aubin, E. (1992). Theory of Generativity and its assessment through self-report. Journal of Pernality and Social Psychology, 62(6), 1003–1015. Meredith, G., & Schewe, C. (2009). The Power of Cohorts. American Demographics, 16(12), 1–7. Müller, R., & Turner, R. (2010). Leadership competency profiles of successful project managers. International Journal of Project Management, 28(5), 437–448. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2009.09.003 Nonaka, I, & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The Knowledge Creating Company. How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation (p. 284). Oxford University Press. Nonaka, I, Toyama, R., & Konno, N. (2000). SECI, Ba and Leadership: a Unified Model of Dynamic Knowledge Creation. (Ikujiro Nonaka & D. J. Teece, Eds.)Long Range Planning, 33(1), 5–34. doi:10.1016/S0024-6301(99)00115-6 Nonaka, Ikujiro. (1994). A Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation. Organization Science, 5(1), 14–37. Nonaka, Ikujiro. (2007). The Knowledge-Creating Company. Harvard Business Review, (August). Nonaka, Ikujiro, Konno, N., & Toyama, R. (2000). Emergence of “Ba”: A conceptual framework for the continuous and self-transcending process of knowledge creation. In Ikujir¯o Nonaka & T. Nishiguchi (Eds.), Knowledge emergence (pp. 13– 29). Oxford University Press,.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 200 of 300


Nonaka, Ikujiro, & Reinmoeller, P. (2000). Dynamic Business Systems for Knowledge Creation and Utilization. Knowledge Horizons : the present and the promise of knowledge management (pp. 89–112). Butterworth-Heinemann. Nonaka, Ikujiro, & Toyama, R. (2003). The knowledge-creating theory revisited: knowledge creation as a synthesizing process. Knowledge Management Research Practice, 1(1), 2–10. doi:10.1057/palgrave.kmrp.8500001 Oracle. (2010). Cultivating and Formalizing a Culture of Knowledge Capitalization, (May). Paghaleh, morteza jamai, Shafiezadeh, E., & Mahammadi, M. (2011). Information Technology and its Deficiencies in Sharing Organizational Knowledge. Journal of Business and social sience, 2(8), 192–199. Polanyi, M. (1998). Personal knowledge: Towards a post-critical philosophy. Retrieved from http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&btnG=Search&q=intitle:personal+knowl edge#0 Pruzak, L. (1997). Knowledge in organizations. Review of Policy Research (Butterwort.). Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.15411338.1986.tb00643.x/abstract Rasovska, I., Chebel-Morello, B., & Zerhouni, N. (2008). A mix method of knowledge capitalization in maintenance. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, 19(3), 347– 359. doi:10.1007/s10845-008-0087-3 Rastogi, P. N. (2002). Knowledge management and intellectual capital as a paradigm of value creation. Human Systems Management, 21, 229–240. Reich, B. H. (2007). IT PROJEGTS : A CONGEPTUAL FRAMEWORK. Management, (June). Riding, R. J., & Sadler-Smith, E. (1997). Cognitive Style and Learning Strategies: Some Implications for Training Design. International Journal of Training and Development, 1(3), 199–208. doi:10.1111/1468-2419.00020 Ringberg, T., & Reihlen, M. (2008). Towards a Socio-Cognitive Approach to Knowledge Transfer. Journal of Management Studies, 45(5), 912–935. doi:10.1111/j.14676486.2007.00757.x Rowling, J. (2006). Where is the wisdom that we have lost in knowledge ? Journal of Documentation, 251. Ryder, N. B. (1965). The Cohort as a Concept in the Study of Social Change. American Sociological Review, 30(6), 843–861. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2090964

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 201 of 300


Sadler-smith, E. (1999). Intuition-analysis cognitive style and learning preferences of business and management students A UK exploratory study. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 14(14), 26–39. Sadler-smith, E., & Riding, R. (1999). Cognitive style and instructional preferences. Instructional Science, 162691, 355–371. Schewe, C. D., Meredith, G. E., & Noble, S. M. (2000). Defining moments: Segmenting by cohorts. Marketing Management, 9(3), 48–53. Retrieved from http://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=3978932 Sharratt, M., & Usoro, A. (2003). Understanding Knowledge-Sharing in Online Communities of Practice. Knowledge Creation Diffusion Utilization. Slagter, F. (2007). Knowledge management among the older workforce. Journal of Knowledge Management, 11(4), 82–96. doi:10.1108/13673270710762738 Spender, J. C. (1996). Organizational knowledge, learning and memory: three concepts in search of a theory. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 9(1), 63–78. doi:10.1108/09534819610156813 Stam, C. (2009). Knowledge and the Ageing Employee : A Research Agenda. European Conference on Intellectual Capital is the property of Academic Conferences, Ltd. and (pp. 435–442). Stiftung, R. B., & Monte, F. (2008). Europe’s Demographic Future. Imprint (pp. 1–368). Retrieved from www.earthprint.com or www.berlin-institut.org Sveiby, K., & Simons, R. (2002). Collaborative Climate and Effectiveness. Knowledge Creation Diffusion Utilization, 6(5). Sveiby, K.-E. (2001). A knowledge-based theory of the firm to guide in strategy formulation. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 2(4), 344–358. Szulanski, G. (1999). THE PROCESS OF KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER : A DIACHRONIC ANALYSIS OF STICKINESS THE PROCESS OF KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER : A DIACHRONIC ANALYSIS OF STICKINESS. Knowledge Creation Diffusion Utilization. Teddlie, C., & Tashakkori, A. (2009). Foundations of Mixed Methods Research. SAGE (pp. 1–404). Sage Publications. Retrieved from Tsoukas, H. (2002). Do we really understand tacit knowledge ? Economy and Society, 1– 18. Turner, J R, Grude, K. V., & Thurloway, L. (2002). The project manager as change agent. AIPM Seminar Presentation, (July). Turner, J Rodney, Keegan, A., & Crawford, L. (2000). Learning by Experience in the Project-Based Organization. Architecture, 445–457. Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 202 of 300


Turner, J Rodney, Müller, R., & Dulewicz, V. (2009). Comparing the leadership styles of functional and project managers. (H. Knoepfel, D. Scheifele, M. Staeuble, & U. Witschi, Eds.)International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 2(2), 198–216. doi:10.1108/17538370910949266 Unequal, T. I. (2006). Professional renewal through cross-generational mentoring and research Barbara Kamler , Deakin University Australian Association for Research in Education , Adelaide. Critique, 1–11. Viale, R. (2010). Knowledge driven capitalization of knowledge. The Capitalization of Knowledge-A Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government. Von Glasesfeld, E. (1982). An Interpretation of Piaget ’ s Constructivism. Revue internationale de Philosophie, 36(4), 1–18. Wenger, E. (2000). Communities of Practice_The Organizational Frontier.pdf. Harvard Business Review, 139–145. Wey Smola, K., & Sutton, C. D. (2002). Generational differences: revisiting generational work values for the new millennium. (J. M. Spector, Ed.)Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23(4), 363–382. doi:10.1002/job.147 Wiig, K. M. (1997). Knowledge Management: An Introduction and Perspective. Journal of Knowledge Management, 1(1), 6–14. doi:10.1108/13673279710800682 Zack, M. H. (1999a). Managing Codified Knowledge. Sloan Management Review, 40(4), 45–58. Retrieved from http://web.cba.neu.edu/~mzack/articles/kmarch/kmarch.htm Zack, M. H. (1999b). Developing a Knowledge Strategy. (D. Morey, M. Maybury, & B. Thuraisingham, Eds.)California Management Review, 41(3), 125–145. Retrieved from http://web.cba.neu.edu/~mzack/articles/kstrat/kstrat.htm Zemke, R., Raines, C., & Filipczak, B. (1999). Generations at work: Managing the clash of veterans, boomers, xers, and nexters in your workplace. New York. Amacom Books.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 203 of 300


APPENDIX

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 204 of 300


APPENDIX A – Letter requesting Authorization to pursue study

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 205 of 300


Participant Consent Form

You are invited to participate in a research study that explores the way that knowledge is transferred among generational cohorts within the Project Management (PM) profession. You were selected as a possible participant given your status as a current member of PMI France-Sud. I assume you have transferred or received PM knowledge from members of the association and/or other PM professionals in your work environment, within or outside of your generational cohort. If true, this provides an excellent opportunity to study the “transfer of PM knowledge” as it relates to different contexts. Please read this form and ask any questions you may have before acting on this invitation to participate in the study. This study is being conducted by Gabriella Colombo, a PhD candidate at Skema Business School. Background information The purpose of this study is to better understand how knowledge is transferred within and among generational cohorts in the Project Management profession. The focus is on what is defined as “tacit knowledge” … the experience and knowhow acquired through experience. This study also considers individual preferences concerning learning and cognitive styles, as well as motivational and barriers for transferring knowledge. Signing this consent form indicates agreement to participation in the study and the procedures outlined herein. Procedure If you agree, you will be asked to participate in a recorded interview focused on how you transfer or receive knowledge in your professional PM activities. The interview will also explore your preferred methods for doing so. This interview will last 90 minutes or less. All interview data will be held as private, confidential and anonymous. Please see the Confidentiality paragraph for complete information. Privacy and confidentiality will be discussed and reviewed prior to each individual interview. Voluntary nature of the study Your participation in this study is strictly voluntary. Your decision whether or not to participate will not affect your current or future relations with PMI FranceSud. There will be no consequence, and no information exchanged between the Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 206 of 300


researcher and any other individual or institution – except the PhD student’s supervisor – if you initially decide to participate but later prefer to withdraw from the study. Risks and benefits of participating in the study The risks of participating in this study are limited to the time thus invested: 90 minutes or less for the interview. The principal benefit of participating in this study lies in helping to develop a better understanding of the knowledge transfer process among generational cohorts in the PM profession. This will hopefully improve communication within the profession, encourage more efficient problem solving, strengthen the PM profession itself and improve the effectiveness of client organizations. You may terminate your participation in the study at any time. You are also free to refuse to answer any questions. Conflicts of interest The researcher conducting this study is an active member of PMI France-Sud and a certified project Management Professional. She is also, now, a full time PhD student. Exchanges with participants during the research process will focus solely on the research topic. The information collected will be held by the researcher, with confidentiality and anonymity guaranteed. The President of PMI France-Sud has been fully informed of this study and authorized this contact with you as a member of PMI France-Sud. Compensation No compensation is provided for participation in this study. Confidentiality Your anonymity is guaranteed. As well, all data collected for this study will be held in private and considered confidential. The results of this study may be published in scholarly or professional media (journals, websites, newsletters, etc.). In any report of this type the researcher guarantees that it will be impossible to identify an individual participant. Research records will be kept in a password protected file; only the researcher and her supervisor will have access to the records. Tape recordings of, and transcriptions from, individual interviews will be kept in password protected files

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 207 of 300


accessible only by the researcher and her supervisor. These recordings and transcripts will be destroyed five years after the completion of this study.

Contacts and questions The researcher conducting this study is Gabriella Colombo. The researcherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supervisor is Charles Despres. You may ask any question you have of either individual, now or at a future date. Contact information for so doing is: Gabriella Colombo gabriella.colombo@skema.edu Phone : +33 679 432 614

Charles Despres charles.despres@skema.edu Phone: +33 611 223 005

Statement of Consent: I have read the above information, and asked any questions I may have and received appropriate answers. I consent to participate in this study.

Printed name of the participant: Signature: Date:

Signature of researcher: Date:

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 208 of 300


APPENDIX B â&#x20AC;&#x201C; SEMI-DIRECTED INTERVIEWS Interview Script Researcher: Gabriella COLOMBO Dissertation Title: Capitalizing tacit knowledge through intergenerational Knowledge transfer : an exploratory study in the Project Management Profession Interview setting: interviews are conducted face-to-face in a quiet and neutral setting chosen by the interviewee so that he/she can feel at ease during the interview (this can be a private office in their workplace, a private office at SKEMA business school, their own private setting (home)) Materials for interview: (on iPad) this interview script, a page with an iceberg graphic, a page with cognitive styles keywords, a page with learning styles short description, scenario and list of questions; voice recorder; printed Consent form to be signed before the interview Interview method: There is a mix of demographic close-ended questions, and open-ended questions based on scenarios from which the interviewee can build from his/her own experience. Open-ended questions are also used during the interview in order to address specific topics or to clarify the interviewees responses. During the interview the participant will be encouraged to discuss his/her interpretations of their experiences related to tacit knowledge transfer, and to freely explicit any personal views, beliefs and motives.

Starting the Interview : After signing the consent form, the interviewer explains the subject of the research, what is meant by tacit knowledge, and gives indications on the structure of the interview (demographics first, scenario and structured questions). The interviewer answers questions the participant might have. The interview lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. Interviews are conducted in French or English (according to the preference of the interviewee)

Closing the interview : The interviewer thanks the participant and answers all questions the interviewee might have about the interview. If the interviewee requests it, the interviewer might give some information about learning and cognitive styles.

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 209 of 300


Introduction Tout d’abord je souhaite te préciser le sujet de la rechercher et te donner le cadre de l’interview. Le sujet de ma recherche se porte sur la transmission des savoirs entre les générations, et le but est de vérifier quels sont les moyens, les barrières, les motivations ou les facteurs de succès de la transmission des savoirs entre les générations. Mon champ de recherche est celui des professionnels de la gestion de projets. Une précision sur les savoirs : comme tu sais il y a des savoirs et des connaissances que nous arrivons à bien expliciter et soit transcrire dans des documents ou corpus de connaissances (comme le PM BoK) ou dans les bonnes pratiques documentées pendant et après chaque projet. Cela dit, il y toute une partie de savoirs qui sont plus implicites, que nous avons en nous, acquis par notre expérience, dépendants de notre contexte environnemental, de nos valeurs, de notre vision du contexte et de la vie. C’est comme un iceberg dont nous voyons clairement la partie émergée mais nous ne savons pas exactement la taille ni la forme de la partie submergée. Cette partie submergée est celle qui m’intéresse dans ma recherche, les savoir-faire, les savoir être, les intuitions, l’expérience accumulée qui permet de bien gérer un projet, de prendre des décisions.

L’interview se déroule de la façon suivante : d’abord je te poserai des questions précises sur ton age, ta formation, ton travail, tes responsabilité professionnelles etc, puis je vais te proposer des scenarios à partir desquels tu pourras m’expliquer comment tu perçois la transmission des savoirs, et tu peux t’appuyer sur ta propre expérience, de ce que tu as vécu, ressentis, ou entendu. Je m’appuierai sur tes propres mots et définitions pour clarifier quelques points et je te poserai des questions plus précises sur les méthodes et motivation du transfer de connaissances. Tu peux t’exprimer en toute liberté, il n’y a aucun jugement de ma part, je ne fais que recueillir des données, donc sens toi libre de me dire réellement ce que tu penses, me raconter tes expériences et partager tes points de vue.

As-tu des questions ? Es-tu prêt pour commencer ?

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 210 of 300


introduction First of all, I’d like to introduce the subject of my research and then give you some information about the interview itself. The subject of my research is knowledge transfer amongst generations and the research aim is to clarify which are the methods, inhibitors, facilitators, motivators, and success factors for intergenerational knowledge transfer. My field of study is the project management professionals. I would like to clarify something about knowledge : as you know there is knowledge that we can easily explicit, verbally or in writings, this is the case for example of the PM Book of Knowledge or any best practices that we document during or after a project. Beside this knowledge, there is a huge amount of knowledge which is more implicit, knowledge that we possess, that we have acquired through our experiences, knowledge which is often personal, linked to a specific environment, our values and vision of context and even life. It is often represented like an iceberg, where the visible part is explicit knowledge, but the biggest part of the iceberg is hidden, so we compare it to implicit or tacit knowledge. This hidden part of knowledge is what I’m interested in in my research, the know-how, the intuitions, the experience that one has acquired and which allows taking decisions, and successfully managing a project, for example.

As for the interview, it will be structured in two parts : first I will ask you some specific questions on your age, your education background, your position, your professional responsibilities etc, second, I will propose a couple of scenarios from which you can explain how you perceive knowledge transfer, based on your personal experience, what you have seen, felt or heard about it. I will use your terms and definitions to clarify some items, and I will ask more precise questions about Knowledge transfer motivations and methods. You can freely express yourself, there is judgment from my side, just information gathering, so feel free to tell me what you really think, tell me about your experiences and share you point of view.

Do you have any questions at this point? Are you ready to start?

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 211 of 300


Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 212 of 300


Interview Questions/Scenarii:

Demographics

G Cohort : Male/Female: Nationality: Education Level/Background: Industry: Company size : Location: Position (N – xx / Number of people in project / Project Budget) : People manager ? how many people managed? Years In PM profession : Years in PMI : PMI Certified: International exposure: Y/N

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 213 of 300


Perceived Cognitive Styles and Learning Styles 1. In your professional life which of the following sets of keywords best describes your natural approach? Please classify them from 1 to 3, 1 being the most natural, 3 being the least natural for you Dans ta vie professionnelle, parmi ces trois lots de définitions, lequel décrit ton approche naturelle ? Donne-moi une classification de 1 à 3, 1 étant le plus naturel, 3 étant le moins naturel pour toi ?

(A) Facts Details Logical Reflective Objective Impersonal Rational Precision Methodical

(B) Sequential Structured Conventional Conformity Planned Organized Systematic Routine

(C) Possibilities Meanings Ideas Impulsive Flexible Open-ended Novelty Subjective Inventive Creative

(A)

(B)

(C)

Faits

Séquentiel

Possibilités

Détails

Structuré

Sense

Logique

Conventionnel

Idées

Réfléchit

Conformité

Impulsif

Objectif

Planifié

Flexible

Impersonnel

Organisé

Ouvert

Rationnel

Systématique

Nouveautés

Précision

Routines

Subjectif

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Méthodique

Page 214 of 300

Inventif


2. When you have to learn something new, you surely have a preferred way of approaching a learning experience. I will show you 4 different descriptions, please read them carefully and tell me which one best reflects your most natural approach, and classify them form 1 to 4, as 1 being the most natural for you, 4 being the least natural for you. Quand tu apprends quelque chose de nouveau, tu as surement un moyen d’apprentissage que tu préfères. Je vais te montrer 4 descriptions différentes, après les avoir lues, dis-moi quelle liste représente au mieux ta façon naturelle d’apprendre et classifies-les de 1 à 4, 1 étant le plus naturel pour toi, 4 étant le moins naturel pour toi ?

(A)

(B)

J’apprends par les activités, je

J’aime réfléchir aux problèmes

regarde, je réfléchis et je révise –

pas-à-pas

j’aime avoir le temps de raisonner

J’apprécie prendre des cours et

J’aime les journaux

j’aime lire

J’aime les remue-méninges

J’aime les analogies

(brainstorming) Je suis intéressé(e) par les cours si ceux-ci me donnent des explications d’experts et des

J’apprends le mieux avec des études de cas J’apprécie les systèmes et les modèles

analyses

(C )

(D)

J’aime appliquer ce que j’ai appris pour voir si cela fonctionne.

Je préfère les défis des nouvelles expériences, j’aime les nouveautés

J’aime le travail pratique. J’aime l’observation

J’apprécie être impliqué dans un travail avec les autres, et j’aime travailler en petits groupes

J’apprécie le retour d’information (feedback) et le coaching

J’aime les jeux de rôles et la résolution de problèmes

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 215 of 300


(A)

(B)

I learn from activities, I watch,

I like to think problems in a

I think, and I review – I like to

step-by-step manner.

have time to think things over. I like using journals. I like brainstorming I’m interested in lectures if they provide expert

I like lectures and readings I like analogies I learn best through case studies I like systems and models

explanations and analysis.

(C )

(D)

I like to apply new learning to actual practice to see if they work.

I prefer the challenges of new experiences, I like anything new

I like field work and observations

I like to be involved with others, and work in small groups

I’m keen on feedback and coaching

I like role-playing and problem solving

3. Tell me about a situation when you learned something new and you felt the learning experience was effective for you

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 216 of 300


Knowledge transfer Process / Methods / Motivators Inhibitors/ Success Factors – Scenario 1 You are in your company and you have been in a position for a while, you are being assigned to a new project, leaving the project you’re managing at the moment. You will move within a few weeks, and the person replacing you is ready for you to hand over your actual project. The newcomer is PMI certified, and has access to PMO and to the company’s databases and to the project’s documents. This person is younger/older than you (depending on the interviewee’s demographics) How do you transfer to this person your know-how, your experience, you knowledge about the project’s organization, the who’s who, and the tips to manage correctly the project? Questions : a) b) c) d) e)

Which methods would you use to transfer your tacit knowledge? What motivates you to transfer your tacit knowledge? What would prevent you from transferring your knowledge? What could help you in transferring your knowledge? What if this person is younger/older than you (depending on the previous narrative and demographics) f) What should happen for you to feel that the experience was successful? g) How should this experience be to allow the person putting into practice the new knowledge acquired? h) What would you improve in how you transferred your knowledge and experience?

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 217 of 300


Tu es dans ton organisation et dans ta position depuis quelques temps déjà, et on te donne la responsabilité d’un nouveau projet, à la place ce celui que tu conduis actuellement. Tu changes donc de projet dans quelques semaines, et la personne qui te replace est déjà disponible pour que tu lui passes le projet. Le nouvel arrivant est certifié PMI, a accès aux bases de données et documents du projet et au PMO. Cette personne est plus jeune/senior par rapport à toi (cela dépend de l’âge de l’interviewé). Comment vas-tu transférer à cette personne ton expérience, savoir-faire, connaissances de l’organisation du projet, du qui-est-qui, et tes astuces pour bien gérer ce projet ? Questions a) b) c) d) e) f)

Quelles méthodes vas-tu utiliser pour transférer tes savoirs tacites ? Qu’est-ce qui te motive à transférer tes savoirs tacites ? Que peut t’empêcher de transférer tes savoirs tacites ? Que peut t’aider à transférer tes savoirs tacites ? Et comment cela se passerait si la personne est (plus jeune/plus agé) que toi ? Que devrait-il se passer pour que tu considères que cette expérience est réussie? g) Comment devrait être ce transfert de connaissances pour permettre à la personne de mettre en application ses connaissances nouvellement acquises ? h) Que pourrais-tu améliorer dans ta façon de transférer ton savoir ?

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 218 of 300


Knowledge transfer Process / Methods / Motivators Inhibitors/ Success – Scenario 2 You are fairly new in your company and you have been assigned to manage an existing project. You will move tomorrow, as the person you replace is moving within a few weeks and has time to hand over the project to you. You are well aware about the PM processes and you have access to the PMO and to the company’s databases and the project documents. How would you like this person to transfer to you his know-how, his experience, his knowledge about the project organization, the who’s who, and his/her tips to manage correctly the project? Questions : a) b) c) d) e)

Which methods would you prefer this person to use with you? What motivates you in this knowledge transfer process? What would prevent you from accepting this person’s knowledge/experience? What would help you in this transfer of someone else’s knowledge? What if this person is younger/older than you (depending on the previous narrative and demographics)? f) How would you know that this experience has been effective and successful for you? g) How should this experience be to allow you putting into practice the new knowledge? h) What would you improve in how you transferred your knowledge and experience? Tu es plutôt nouveau dans l’organisation, et on vient de te donner la responsabilité d’un projet en cours. Tu prends te responsabilités dès demain. La personne que tu vas remplacer quitte ce projet dans les prochaines semaines et a du temps pour te passer le projet. Tu as déjà accès au PMO, aux bases de données de la société et aux documents relatifs au projet. Comment voudrais-tu que cette personne te transmette son savoir-faire, son expérience, ses connaissances sur l’organisation du projet, qui-est-qui, et ses astuces pour mener à bien ce projet ? Questions: a) Quelles méthodes préférais-tu que cette personne utilise? b) Que te motive dans ce processus de transfer de connaissances? c) Que pourrait t’empêcher d’accepter les connaissances/savoir-faire de cette personne? d) Que pourrait t’aider dans ce transfer de connaissances? e) Comment se passerait ce transfer si la personne est plus jeune/âgé que toi? f) Comment pourrais-tu percevoir que ce transfer de connaissance a été réussi ? g) Comment devrait être ce transfert de connaissances pour te permettre de mettre en application tes connaissances nouvellement acquises ?

h) Que souhaiterais-tu améliorer dans ce processus de transfer de connaissances ? Technology Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 219 of 300


In your professional experience, you may have been using online tools (blogs, CoP, Vitual Teamrooms, Distant messaging or others), could you confirm this ? How does the online environment differ from face-to-face knowledge transfer experience? And how comfortable do you feel in using it? Dans ton expérience professionnelle, tu as surement utilisé des outils en ligne (des blogs, messagerie instantanée, salle de réunions virtuelles, wikis, etc) … peux-tu me le confirmer ? Comment pour toi cet environnement en ligne est différent d’un environnement en présentiel quand il s’agit de transférer tes expériences ? et comment te sens tu à l’aise avec ces cela ?

Closing Is there anything else you would like to add about the ways you experienced knowledge transfer ?

Y a-t-il d’autres éléments que tu voudrais partager concernant tes expériences de Transfer de connaissances?

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 220 of 300


APPENDIX C – SURVEY

PARTICIPANT CONSENT FORM Title of the study: An exploratory study of intergenerational Knowledge transfer within the Project Management profession The purpose of this study is to better understand how knowledge is transferred within and among generational cohorts in the Project Management profession. The focus is on what is defined as “tacit knowledge" (the experience and knowhow acquired through experience). This study also considers individual preferences concerning learning and cognitive styles, as well as motivations and barriers for transferring knowledge. This study is being conducted by Gabriella Colombo, a PhD candidate at SKEMA Business School. You are invited to participate in a research study that explores the way that knowledge is transferred among generational cohorts within the Project Management (PM) profession. If you agree, you will be asked to fill in a web-based questionnaire (it will take you 15 mns). Your participation in this study is strictly voluntary, your anonymity is guaranteed and all data collected for this study will be considered confidential. The principal benefit of participation lies in helping to develop a better understanding of the knowledge transfer process among generational cohorts in the PM profession. This will hopefully improve communication within the profession, encourage more efficient problem solving, strengthen the PM profession itself and improve the effectiveness of management practices. I have read the statement above and I agree in participating in this study : Y/N

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 221 of 300


DEMOGRAPHIC SECTION e-mail address (optional) Company name (optional) G Cohort : 20-31 / 32-47 / 48-65 / > 65 Gender : M / F Nationality : (Comment Field) Location/City : (Comment Field) Education Level : Bac+2 / Bac +3 / Bac +4 / Bac +5 / Master / PhD / Other : (Comment Field) Education background : Computer Science / IT / Electronics / Business / Economics / Social Science / Other : : (Comment Field) Position : Project Manager / Project Member / Program Manager / PMO Manager / PMO Member / Other : (Comment Field) Industry : Manufacturing / IT / Services / Electronics / Telecommunication / Education / Other : (Comment Field) People Management responsibilities : NO / Less than 10 / More than 10 / More than 20 Are you a PMI Member ? : Y / N Are you a certified PMI professional? : Y / N Are you member of other Project Management associations ? : Y / N If yes, please specify : (Comment Field) Do you have other Project Management Certifications? : Y / N If yes, please specify : (Comment field)

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 222 of 300


SURVEY QUESTIONS : All people have a preferred way for reasoning and thinking. There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ way of doing so, simply different personal preferences. Read the following statements. Choose the statement that most closely matches your preferred way of reasoning and thinking. •

K: I look for facts and data. I want to know exactly the way things are and I tend to retain many facts and details. I like complex problems if I can find a clear and rational solution

P: I have a need for structure. I like to organize and control and I prefer a wellstructured work environment. I attach importance to preparation and planning to reach my objectives

C: I tend to be creative and I like experimentation. I see problems as opportunities and challenges, and I like uncertainty and freedom

All people have a preferred way for learning. There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ way of doing so, simply different personal preferences. Read the following statements. Choose the statement that most closely matches your preferred way of learning. •

A: I learn best from activities where I can develop myself in short here-and-now activities such as : business games and competitive teamwork tasks - I like to work with a task that I think is difficult I learn less well from activities where learning involves a passive role, (listening to lectures, reading or theoretical statements like explanation of cause or background)

R: I learn best from activities where I am able to stand back from events and listen and observe where I am asked to produce carefully considered analyses and reports I learn less well from activities where I am involved in situations which require action without planning; or where I am worried by time pressures or being rushed from one activity to another.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 223 of 300


T : I learn best from activities where what is being offered is part of a system, model, concept or theory; where I am offered interesting ideas and concepts even though they are not immediately relevant I learn less well from activities where they are involved in unstructured activities where ambiguity and uncertainty are great or where I feel out of tune with other participants, especially when of a lower intellectual caliber

P : I learn best from activities where there is an obvious link between the subject matter and the problem or opportunity on the job, where I am exposed to a model I can emulate, e.g. respected boss, a film showing how it is done I learn less well from activities where the learning event seems distant from reality or there is no practice or clear guidelines on how to do it.

Likert Scale : Strongly Disagree to Strongly agree

Please read each of the statements below. Indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with a statement in terms of your personal experience when transferring and/or receiving "know-how" (the term knowhow can be defined in French as a combination of your "savoir-faire" and your "savoirêtre"). Consider that this knowledge transfer occurs in a professional, project-related situation (e.g.: project hand-over, new hire enablement, departure).

4. When I transfer and/or receive know-how, information about the project’s context (i.e. risks, objectives, reasons behind decisions, stakeholder’s commitment) is important 5. For me, it’s important to transfer my intuitions and opinions about the situation of the project 6. I prefer to transfer only facts that are specific to the project (i.e. project history, stakeholders’ impediments, levels of expertise inside the project, links to sites and databases relevant to the project) 7. When I transfer and/or receive know-how, information about team members (i.e. their characters, attitudes, strengths and weaknesses) is important

8. (optional) Please specify here which elements are for you essential to transfer in a project setting

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 224 of 300


Please read each of the statements below. Indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with a statement in terms of your personal experience when transferring and/or receiving "know-how" (the term knowhow can be defined in French as a combination of your "savoir-faire" and your "savoirêtre"). Consider that this knowledge transfer occurs in a professional, project-related situation (e.g.: project hand-over, new hire enablement, departure).

9. I transfer my know-how to support the business objectives of my organization 10. I feel personal satisfaction when the person to whom I’ve transferred my knowhow succeeds 11. I believe the organization should formally recognize my knowledge transfer efforts 12. I transfer my know-how to avoid disruptions for the team and for the project 13. I believe that a financial reward is the best way to insure know-how is passed on to others 14. I feel a sense of accomplishment and self-satisfaction when I transfer my knowhow 15. I transfer my know-how because it’s my professional duty 16. If I leave a project, my sense of commitment, for the project and the team, leads me to transfer my know-how to make sure the project succeeds 17. I transfer my know-how because I like being recognized as a subject matter expert

18. (optional) Please specify which factors motivate you to transfer your know-how in a project setting : Please read each of the statements below. Indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with a statement in terms of your personal experience when transferring and/or receiving "know-how" (the term knowhow can be defined in French as a combination of your "savoir-faire" and your "savoirêtre"). Consider that this knowledge transfer occurs in a professional, project-related situation (e.g.: project hand-over, new hire enablement, departure).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 225 of 300


19. When I sense the other person is operating with hidden agendas, I don’t transfer my know-how 20. I’m often in time-stressed situations that don’t offer the time to transfer my know-how 21. I feel more inclined to transfer my know-how if the other person has a respectful attitude 22. A friendly and open-minded setting facilitates the transfer of my know-how 23. Overall, I don’t feel like I have much know-how that would be useful for others 24. When I sense that the other person may use my know-how to negatively impact the project or the organization, I don’t transfer my know-how 25. It’s easier for me to transfer and/or receive know-how through stories and examples. 26. When I sense that the other person is not interested in my experience, I’m not inclined to transfer my know-how

27. (optional) Please specify which factors inhibit you to transferring your knowhow in a project setting : 28. (optional) Please specify which factors enable you to transferring your knowhow in a project setting:

Please read each of the statements below. Indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with a statement in terms of your personal experience when transferring and/or receiving "know-how" (the term knowhow can be defined in French as a combination of your "savoir-faire" and your "savoirêtre"). Consider that this knowledge transfer occurs in a professional, project-related situation (e.g.: project hand-over, new hire enablement, departure).

29. I prefer to transfer my know-how in an informal setting, like at the coffee machine or during an informal lunch 30. The best way for me to transfer my know-how is to write it down in a clear, structured way Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 226 of 300


31. For me, having enough time is important for transferring my know-how 32. I think that face-to-face interaction is essential for transferring know-how 33. I think it’s my responsibility to adapt my communication methods (e.g. face-toface, instant messaging, written documents, open discussions, etc) to the needs or style of the person to whom I’m transferring my know-how 34. The best way for me to transfer or receive know-how is through tutoring and coaching 35. I feel comfortable transferring my know-how and experience in virtual team environments: by phone, video conference, and email 36. I think that older professionals prefer would rather transfer their know-how in a formal (as opposed to informal) setting (i.e. structured, scheduled meetings)

37. (optional) Please specify which are your preferred methods for transferring your know-how in a project setting :

Please read each of the statements below. Indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with a statement in terms of your personal experience when transferring and/or receiving "know-how" (the term knowhow can be defined in French as a combination of your "savoir-faire" and your "savoirêtre"). Consider that this knowledge transfer occurs in a professional, project-related situation (e.g.: project hand-over, new hire enablement, departure).

38. Getting feedback from the other person helps me transfer my know-how more effectively 39. I believe the best way to transfer and/or receive know-how is through hands-on exercises and practical experience 40. I believe that the transfer of know-how is more efficient if people can put into action what they have learned 41. I think that blogs and forums are effective means for transferring know-how 42. I feel comfortable using new technologies for transferring know-how (e.g. : instant messaging, wikis, blogs, video conferencing, etc.).

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 227 of 300


43. I do not contribute to blogs or forums in my professional life 44. Professional social networks â&#x20AC;&#x201C; like LinkedIn and Viadeo - are important and worthwhile for my work 45. (optional) Do you have any comments on the tacit knowledge transfer process in a project setting? Please add them here :

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 228 of 300


APPENDIX D – ANALYSIS OF DATA Demographics G Cohort

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

47

17%

17%

141

51%

51%

87

32%

32%

275

100%

100%

Effectifs Valide

Millennials Xers Boomers Total

32%

17% Millennials X Gen 51%

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Boomers

Page 229 of 300


Gender

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

69

25%

25%

Men

206

75%

75%

Total

275

100%

100%

Effectifs Valide

Women

25%

Women Men

75%

Cross-Table G Cohort * Gender Sex Men G Cohort

Millennials

Effectif % compris dans G Cohort

Xers

Effectif % compris dans G Cohort

Boomers

Effectif % compris dans G Cohort

Total

Effectif % compris dans G Cohort

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Women

Total

35

12

47

74,5%

25,5%

100,0%

103

38

141

73,0%

27,0%

100,0%

68

19

87

78,2%

21,8%

100,0%

206

69

275

74,9%

25,1%

100,0%

Page 230 of 300


Nationality

Effectifs Valide

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

OTHER

37

13%

13%

FRENCH

238

87%

87%

Total

275

100%

100%

13%

OTHER FRENCH 87%

Tableau croisé Nationality * G Cohort G Cohort Millennials Effectif FRENCH

% compris dans G Cohort

Xers

Total Boomers

40

120

78

238

85,1%

85,1%

89,7%

86,5%

7

21

9

37

14,9%

14,9%

10,3%

13,5%

47

141

87

275

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Nationality Effectif OTHER

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Total

% compris dans G Cohort

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 231 of 300


Education Level

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

32

12%

12%

200

73%

73%

BAC+4

20

7%

7%

BAC+3

7

3%

3%

BAC+2

15

5%

5%

Other

1

0%

0%

275

100%

100%

Effectifs Valide

PhD Masters

Total

PhD Masters BAC+4 BAC+3 BAC+2 Other

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 232 of 300


Cross-table Gender * Education Level Education Level Other Sex

Men

BAC+4

Masters

PhD

Total

1

14

5

14

154

18

206

Effectif théorique

,7

11,2

5,2

15,0

149,8

24,0

206,0

,5%

6,8%

2,4%

6,8%

74,8%

8,7%

100,0%

Effectif

0

1

2

6

46

14

69

Effectif théorique

,3

3,8

1,8

5,0

50,2

8,0

69,0

0,0%

1,4%

2,9%

8,7%

66,7%

20,3%

100,0%

1

15

7

20

200

32

275

Effectif théorique

1,0

15,0

7,0

20,0

200,0

32,0

275,0

% compris dans Sex

,4%

5,5%

2,5%

7,3%

72,7%

11,6%

100,0%

% compris dans Sex Total

BAC+3

Effectif

% compris dans Sex Women

BAC+2

Effectif

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 233 of 300


Cross-table G Cohort * Education Level Education Level Other G Cohort

Millennials

Effectif % compris dans G Cohort

Xers

Effectif % compris dans G Cohort

Boomers

Effectif % compris dans G Cohort

Total

Effectif % compris dans G Cohort

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

BAC+2

BAC+3

BAC+4

Masters

PhD

Total

0

1

0

3

43

0

47

0,0%

2,1%

0,0%

6,4%

91,5%

0,0%

100,0%

1

2

5

11

105

17

141

,7%

1,4%

3,5%

7,8%

74,5%

12,1%

100,0%

0

12

2

6

52

15

87

0,0%

13,8%

2,3%

6,9%

59,8%

17,2%

100,0%

1

15

7

20

200

32

275

,4%

5,5%

2,5%

7,3%

72,7%

11,6%

100,0%

Page 234 of 300


Education Background

Effectifs Valide

3%

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

Computer Science

67

24%

24%

IT

47

17%

17%

Electronics

42

15%

15%

Business & Economics

39

14%

14%

Engineering

27

10%

10%

Physics

10

4%

4%

Project Management

7

3%

3%

Social Science/Education

9

3%

3%

Other

27

10%

10%

Total

275

100%

100%

Computer Science

3% 10%

4%

IT

24%

Electronics 10%

Business & Economics 17%

14% 15%

Engineering Physics Project Management Social Science Other

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 235 of 300


Position Pourcenta Pourcentage ge valide

Effectifs Valide

Project Manager

152

55%

55%

Program manager

28

10%

10%

CEO / CTO / Managerial position

23

8%

8%

PMO Manager

19

7%

7%

Projet Member

15

5%

5%

Consultant

13

5%

5%

PMO Member

10

4%

4%

Blank

15

5%

5%

Total

275

100%

100%

4% 5%

Project Manager

5%

5%

Program manager

7% 55%

8% 10%

CEO / CTO / Managerial position PMO Manager Projet Member Consultant

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 236 of 300


Tableau croisĂŠ Position * G Cohort G Cohort Millennials Effectif

Total

Xers

Boomers

9

4

2

15

60,0%

26,7%

13,3%

100,0%

18

91

43

152

11,8%

59,9%

28,3%

100,0%

1

11

7

19

5,3%

57,9%

36,8%

100,0%

10

4

1

15

66,7%

26,7%

6,7%

100,0%

3

3

4

10

30,0%

30,0%

40,0%

100,0%

2

16

10

28

7,1%

57,1%

35,7%

100,0%

1

10

12

23

4,3%

43,5%

52,2%

100,0%

3

2

8

13

23,1%

15,4%

61,5%

100,0%

47

141

87

275

17,1%

51,3%

31,6%

100,0%

Blank % compris dans Position Project

Effectif

Manager

% compris dans Position Effectif

PMO Manager % compris dans Position Effectif Projet Member % compris dans Position Position

Effectif PMO Member % compris dans Position Program

Effectif

manager

% compris dans Position

CEO / CTO /

Effectif

Managerial position

% compris dans Position Effectif

Consultant % compris dans Position Effectif Total % compris dans Position

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 237 of 300


People management responsibilities

Effectifs Valide

NO

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

128

47%

47%

Less 10

90

33%

33%

More 10

33

12%

12%

More 20

24

9%

9%

275

100%

100%

Total

9% 12% 47%

33%

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

NO

Less 10

More 10

More 20

Page 238 of 300


Industry

Effectifs Valide

5%

3%

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

IT

89

32%

32%

Services

43

16%

16%

Manufacturing

38

14%

14%

Telecommunication

29

11%

11%

Electronics

28

10%

10%

Education

15

5%

5%

Healthcare

8

3%

3%

Aerospace

6

2%

2%

Energy

9

3%

3%

Other

10

4%

4%

Total

275

100%

100%

2%

3% 4% 32%

10% 11% 14%

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

16%

IT Services Manufacturing Telecommunication Electronics Education Healthcare Aerospace Energy Other

Page 239 of 300


PMI Membership

Effectifs Valide

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

YES

212

77%

77%

NO

63

23%

23%

275

100%

100%

Total

23%

YES

NO

77%

PMI Certified

Effectifs Valide

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

YES

148

54%

54%

NO

127

46%

46%

Total

275

100%

100%

46% 54%

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

YES

NO

Page 240 of 300


Tableau croisé PMI Member * G Cohort G Cohort Millennials Effectif YES

% compris dans G Cohort

Xers

Total Boomers

35

106

71

212

74,5%

75,2%

81,6%

77,1%

12

35

16

63

25,5%

24,8%

18,4%

22,9%

47

141

87

275

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

PMI Member Effectif NO

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Total

% compris dans G Cohort

Tableau croisé PMI Certified * G Cohort G Cohort Millennials Effectif YES

% compris dans G Cohort

Xers

Total Boomers

9

85

54

148

19,1%

60,3%

62,1%

53,8%

38

56

33

127

80,9%

39,7%

37,9%

46,2%

47

141

87

275

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

PMI Certified Effectif NO

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Total

% compris dans G Cohort

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 241 of 300


Other PM Membership

Effectifs Valide

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

NO

255

93%

93%

YES

20

7%

7%

275

100%

100%

Total

7%

NO

YES

93%

Other PM Certifications

Effectifs Valide

Pourcentage

Pourcentage valide

NO

222

81%

81%

YES

53

19%

19%

275

100%

100%

Total

19%

NO

YES

Cognitive Styles and Learning Styles 81%

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 242 of 300


TEST CHI-SQUARE To analyze categorical data with more than one variable, contingency tables are used to analyze the results. Those tables provide a foundation for statistical inference, when questioning the relationship between the variables of the data observed. Chi-square test provides a method for testing the association between row and column variables in a two-way table. Chi-square is used to test the Null hypothesis H0 which assumes that there is no relationship between the variables that is to say that one variable does not vary according to the other variable). The researcher hypothesis (alternative hypothesis) asserts that this relationship exists. The chi-square is based on the differences between the observed values and the expected value if the null hypothesis was not rejected so if there is no association of variables. The calculated Chi-square test value needs to be compared to the chi-square table, to find the chi-square critical value based on the calculated degrees of freedom and alpha of the chosen value (generally 0,05). If the calculated value is equal or greater to the table critical value, the null hypothesis is rejected: there is a relationship between the data set. If the calculated value is smaller than the table critical value, the null hypothesis cannot be rejected: there is no relationship between the data set. The chi-square table also give the value of P, or asymptotique signification, and if social science if p > 0,05 the null hypothesis is not rejected, but if p < 0,05 the null hypothesis is rejected. Two additional measures (Phi and Cramerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s V), based on chi-square, give the indication of the strength of the relationship or dependency between the variables..

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 243 of 300


Cognitive Styles and G Cohort

Cognitive style Effectifs

Pourcentage

Pourcentage

Pourcentage

valide

cumulé

Knowing

85

30,9

30,9

30,9

Planning

109

39,6

39,6

70,5

Creating

81

29,5

29,5

100,0

275

100,0

100,0

Valide Total

Récapitulatif du traitement des observations Valide N Cognitive style * G Cohort

275

Pourcent 100,0%

Observations Manquante N

Total

Pourcent 0 0,0%

N Pourcent 275 100,0%

Tableau croisé Cognitive style * G Cohort G Cohort Cognitive style

Knowing

Planning

Creating

Total

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Effectif Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort

Millennials 16 14,5 34,0%

Xers Boomers 48 21 43,6 26,9 34,0% 24,1%

Total 85 85,0 30,9%

22 18,6 46,8%

56 55,9 39,7%

31 34,5 35,6%

109 109,0 39,6%

9 13,8 19,1%

37 41,5 26,2%

35 25,6 40,2%

81 81,0 29,5%

47 47,0 100,0%

141 141,0 100,0%

87 87,0 100,0%

275 275,0 100,0%

Page 244 of 300


Tests du Khi-deux

Khi-deux de Pearson Rapport de vraisemblance Association linéaire par linéaire Nombre d'observations valides

Valeur 8,468a 8,439

ddl

6,000

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale) 4 ,076 4 ,077 1

,014

275

Mesures symétriques

Nominal par Nominal

Phi V de Cramer

Nombre d'observations valides

Signification Valeur approximée ,175 ,076 ,124 ,076 275

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 8,468 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9.49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is not rejected. So we can conclude that there is no relationship between G Cohort and Cognitive Styles.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 245 of 300


Tableau croisé Cognitive style * Gender Gender Men Effectif Knowing

% compris dans Gender Effectif

Cognitive style

Planning

% compris dans Gender Effectif

Creating

% compris dans Gender Effectif

Total

% compris dans Gender

Total

Women 68

17

85

33,0%

24,6%

30,9%

79

30

109

38,3%

43,5%

39,6%

59

22

81

28,6%

31,9%

29,5%

206

69

275

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

Khi-deux de Pearson

a

2

,427

1,749

2

,417

1,151

1

,283

1,700

Rapport de vraisemblance Association linéaire par linéaire Nombre d'observations

275

valides

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,079

,427

V de Cramer

,079

,427

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

275

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 1,700 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 5.99 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is not rejected. So we can conclude that there is no relationship between Gender and Cognitive Styles.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 246 of 300


Learning Styles and G Cohort Learning Style

Valide

Pourcentage Pourcentage valide cumulé 33,5 33,5

Effectifs 92

Pourcentage 33,5

Reflector

49

17,8

17,8

51,3

Thinking

56

20,4

20,4

71,6

Pragmatist

78

28,4

28,4

100,0

275

100,0

100,0

Activist

Total

Récapitulatif du traitement des observations Observations Valide N Learning Style * G Cohort

275

Manquante Pourcent 100,0%

N

Total

Pourcent 0,0%

0

N 275

Pourcent 100,0%

Tableau croisé Learning Style * G Cohort G Cohort Learning Style Activist

Effectif Effectif théorique

Reflector

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique

Thinking

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique

% compris dans G Cohort Pragmatist Effectif Effectif théorique

Total

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Millennials 14

Xers 44

Boomers 34

Total

15,7

47,2

29,1

92,0

29,8%

31,2%

39,1%

33,5%

10

25

14

49

8,4

25,1

15,5

49,0

21,3%

17,7%

16,1%

17,8%

6

35

15

56

9,6

28,7

17,7

56,0

12,8%

24,8%

17,2%

20,4%

17

37

24

78

13,3

40,0

24,7

78,0

36,2%

26,2%

27,6%

28,4%

47

141

87

275

47,0

141,0

87,0

275,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

92

Page 247 of 300


Tests du Khi-deux

Valeur a 6,065

Khi-deux de Pearson

6

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale) ,416

ddl

Rapport de vraisemblance

6,083

6

,414

Association linéaire par linéaire

1,096

1

,295

Nombre d'observations valides

275

Valeur ,149

Signification approximée ,416

,105

,416

Mesures symétriques

Nominal par Nominal

Phi V de Cramer

Nombre d'observations valides

275

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 6,065 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 12.59 for 6 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between G Cohort and Learning Styles

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 248 of 300


Cognitive Styles and Gender

Récapitulatif du traitement des observations Observations Valide N Cognitive style *

Pourcent 275

Gender

Manquante

100,0%

N

Total

Pourcent 0

N

0,0%

Pourcent 275

100,0%

Tableau croisé Cognitive style * Gender Gender Men Effectif Knowing

Effectif théorique % compris dans Sex Effectif

Cognitive style

Planning

Effectif théorique % compris dans Sex Effectif

Creating

Effectif théorique % compris dans Sex Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Sex

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Total

Women 68

17

85

63,7

21,3

85,0

33,0%

24,6%

30,9%

79

30

109

81,7

27,3

109,0

38,3%

43,5%

39,6%

59

22

81

60,7

20,3

81,0

28,6%

31,9%

29,5%

206

69

275

206,0

69,0

275,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Page 249 of 300


Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

Khi-deux de Pearson

1,700

2

,427

Rapport de vraisemblance

1,749

2

,417

1,151

1

,283

Association linéaire par linéaire Nombre d'observations

275

valides

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,079

,427

V de Cramer

,079

,427

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

275

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 1,700 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 5.99 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between Gender and Cognitive Styles.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 250 of 300


Learning Styles and Gender

Récapitulatif du traitement des observations Observations Valide N Learning Style * Sex

Manquante

Pourcent 275

100,0%

N

Total

Pourcent 0

N

0,0%

Pourcent 275

100,0%

Tableau croisé Learning Style * Sex Gender Men Effectif Activist

Effectif théorique % compris dans Sex Effectif

Reflector

Effectif théorique % compris dans Sex

Total

Women 67

25

92

68,9

23,1

92,0

32,5%

36,2%

33,5%

40

9

49

36,7

12,3

49,0

19,4%

13,0%

17,8%

40

16

56

41,9

14,1

56,0

19,4%

23,2%

20,4%

59

19

78

58,4

19,6

78,0

28,6%

27,5%

28,4%

206

69

275

206,0

69,0

275,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Learning Style Effectif Thinking

Effectif théorique % compris dans Sex Effectif

Pragmatist

Effectif théorique % compris dans Sex Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Sex

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 251 of 300


Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

3

,621

1,843

3

,606

Association linéaire par linéaire

,016

1

,899

Nombre d'observations valides

275

Khi-deux de Pearson

1,774

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques

Nominal par Nominal

Phi V de Cramer

Nombre d'observations valides

Valeur ,080

Signification approximée ,621

,080

,621

275

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 1,774 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 7.82 for 3 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is not rejected. So we can conclude that there is no relationship between Gender and Learning Styles.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 252 of 300


TEST CHI-SQUARE

To analyze categorical data with more than one variable, contingency tables are used to analyze the results. Those tables provide a foundation for statistical interence, when questioning the relationship between the variables of the data observed. Chi-square test provides a method for testing the association between row and column variables in a two-way table. Chi-square is used to test the Null hypothesis H0 which assumes that there is no relationship between the variables that is to say that one variable does not vary according to the other variable). The researcher hypothesis (alterantive hypothesis) asserts that this relationship exists. The chi-square is based on the differences between the observed values and the expected value if the null hypothesis was not rejected, so if there is no association of variables. The calculated Chi-square test value needs to be compared to the chi-square table, to find the chi-square critical value based on the calculated degrees of freedom and alpha of the chosen value (generally 0,05). If the calculated value is equal or greater to the table critical vaule, the nul hypothesis is rejected : there is a relationship between the data set. If the calculated value is smaller than the table critical value, the nul hypothesis cannot be rejected : there is no relationship between the data set. The chi-square table also give the value of P, or asymptotique signification, and if social science if p > 0,05 the null hypothesis is not rejected, but if p < 0,05 the null hypothesis is rejected. Two additional measures (Phi and Cramerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s V), based on chi-square, give the indication of the strength of the relationship or dependency between the variables. As this test does not add specific significance to the chi-square test in this study, we are not focusing on the interpretation of this test.

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 253 of 300


CONTENT

RĂŠcapitulatif du traitement des observations Observations Valide N Content : Context * G Cohort

Manquante

Pourcent

N

Pourcent

Total N

Pourcent

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

Content : Team members * G Cohort

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

Content : Only facts * G Cohort

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

Content : Intuitions and opinions * G Cohort

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 254 of 300


Content : Context * G Cohort Tableau croisé Gen Cohort Millennials Effectif Disagree

Neutral

1

1

6

1,0

3,1

1,9

6,0

8,7%

0,7%

1,2%

2,2%

Effectif

1

2

1

4

Effectif théorique

,7

2,1

1,3

4,0

2,2%

1,4%

1,2%

1,5%

41

137

83

261

44,3

134,8

81,9

261,0

89,1%

97,9%

97,6%

96,3%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

Effectif théorique

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique

Total

Boomers

4

% compris dans G Cohort

Content : Context

Xers

Total

% compris dans G Cohort

100,0%

100,0 %

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,026

Rapport de vraisemblance

7,910

4

,095

Association linéaire par linéaire

5,486

1

,019

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

11,067

. Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,202

,026

V de Cramer

,143

,026

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 11,067 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between G Cohort and the variable CONTEXT.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 255 of 300


Content : Intuitions and opinions * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millennials Effectif Disagree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Content : Intuitions and

Neutral

Effectif théorique

opinions

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort

Xers

Total Boomers

4

6

5

15

2,5

7,7

4,7

15,0

8,7%

4,3%

5,9%

5,5%

13

32

18

63

10,7

32,5

19,8

63,0

28,3%

22,9%

21,2%

23,2%

29

102

62

193

32,8

99,7

60,5

193,0

63,0%

72,9%

72,9%

71,2%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,658

2,325

4

,676

Association linéaire par linéaire

,963

1

,326

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

2,427

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Nominal par

Phi

,095

,658

Nominal

V de Cramer

,067

,658

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 2,427 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between G Cohort and the variable INTUITIONS and OPINIONS.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 256 of 300


Content : Team members * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millen

Xers

Total Boomers

nials Effectif

5

6

5

16

2,7

8,3

5,0

16,0

10,9%

4,3%

5,9%

5,9%

Effectif

13

20

6

39

Effectif théorique

6,6

20,1

12,2

39,0

28,3%

14,3%

7,1%

14,4%

28

114

74

216

36,7

111,6

67,7

216,0

60,9%

81,4%

87,1%

79,7%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Disagree Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Content : Team members

Neutral

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique

100,0

% compris dans G Cohort

%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,006

13,769

4

,008

Association linéaire par linéaire

7,564

1

,006

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

14,544

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,232

,006

V de Cramer

,164

,006

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 14,544 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a relationship between G Cohort and the variable TEAM Members.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 257 of 300


Content : Only facts * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millennial

Xers

Total Boomers

s Effectif Disagree Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif Content : Only facts

Neutral

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique

Total

% compris dans G Cohort

17

60

24

101

17,1

52,2

31,7

101,0

37,0%

42,9%

28,2%

37,3%

5

28

27

60

10,2

31,0

18,8

60,0

10,9%

20,0%

31,8%

22,1%

24

52

34

110

18,7

56,8

34,5

110,0

52,2%

37,1%

40,0%

40,6%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0 %

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,022

11,660

4

,020

Association linéaire par linéaire

,030

1

,863

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

11,458

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,206

,022

V de Cramer

,145

,022

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 11,458 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a relationship between G Cohort and the variable FACTS Only

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 258 of 300


Comments from comment field : 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46.

political context with key stakeholders, management/sponsor commitment, customer feelings about the project stakes beyond the project Explicit and implicit objectives, stakeholder attituted to them, most promising lines of progress context and stakes Good understanding of all customers demands and performance targets scope, risks, people project exposure within the company, risks & challenges, stakeholder mapping, team dedication Context, constraints, threats and opportunities scope, budget, stakeholders identification (including sponsor!), governance bodies Objectives context Context, rationale, scope and objectives, business need, alignment with company strategy lessons learned and information on people involved (skills, behavior) Global knowledge on all elements that are linked to the project: in example, in an IS/IT project which aims at improving a web-application, it is of utmost importance to understand the structure of this application, how it works....before going to the project itself risks, issues. Stakeholders working style / interaction preferences All above should be part of the transfert CBA objectives and reasons behind decisions big picture there is always informal tips can help to avoid some problems, to have faster decision about some key points ..... The vision, the goal, the status context environments & key contacts All direct & indirect stakeholders and how they can influe on the project, main risks, main objectives, team organization (roles & responsibilities) Transfer a objective vision of the project situation goals, controls, schedule, responsability Project objectives, sponsors, risks, KPIs give them all project charter background, network, tips, tools, past, history first then the objectives of the project Contract Obligations Facts that are specific to the project project context and content stakeholderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s commitment; risks; levels of expertise inside the project scope, target, current situation, constraints (time, finance, ressource) Project status, lesson learned Project's context and history, Project's stakeholders, coming challenge Issues and way to resolve technical AND human-being information about stakeholders stakeholders' expectations, stakeholders' perceptions, knowledge about project opponents & political force, risks, technical constraints) best communication channels/organization or stakeholders Knowledge background, timeline, profil of stakeholders Stakeholders, Risks and people management

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 259 of 300


47. history, competitive position, stakeholders confidence, self-confidence and availability, impacts on system 48. context, people relationship, objectives 49. real undesrtanding of project requirement, scope, risk and constraint for efficient planning and execution 50. cultural behaviour that relate to the environment 51. Schedule/Activity status, budget details, current and potential issues 52. PROJECT STATUS TQM AND EV AGAINST THE SCHEDULE AND OUTSTANDING RISKS 53. BUSINESS CONTEXT, RISKS, MAJOR PROBLEMS 54. Lessons learned 55. Objectives, Context, Status, Budget, Lessons learned, 56. Lessons Learned; Objectives and Targets 57. Relationships between events, facts with explanations -might be incomplete be inc 58. the project eco-system 59. organisation and communications 60. context stakeholders delivrables 61. know-how and information about the project’s context 62. Project priority, Business case , Sponsor ,dependencies.. 63. Cultural things or behavior 64. to transfer only facts that are specific to the project 65. Vision, achievability, team spirit and engagement, sponsor engagement 66. Team membres details 67. risks 68. context and global vision 69. people, techncial status, risks & issues, stakeholders' positions on project, purpose for project and objectives to achieve 70. Key project's documentation (project charter, organization, project sharepoint,...) 71. Information and data 72. objectives, context and history 73. Risks, objectives, timelines and costs 74. to transfer facts and kpi of the project at first then the characteristics of the team members. 75. stakeholders: who they are, what's their attitude towards the projet, how is the political dynamics between them 76. scope, quality, stakeholders, budget and of course the hidden tricks 77. Risks 78. All elements (risk, objectives, attitudes, history, etc.) that will prevent/avoid the gap of the project 79. context, scope, shakeholders needs, relationship between shakehohders, end users needs, pratical know how 80. risks, planning, work to be done, aleas 81. specific knowledge and peripheral knowledge 82. The team spirit, how much people are motivated and how well they work together to meet the objectives 83. explained and unexplained goals (or individual motivations) 84. completing previous elements : project culture, deadlines and contingency, costs and budget 85. background - history-environment, current status, role and function of stake holders, scope, main milestones, objectives, specificities of the projects 86. Risks, Opportunities, Ongoing Tasks and Difficulties 87. When I transfer and/or receive know-how, information about the project’s context (i.e. risks, objectives, reasons behind decisions, stakeholder’s commitment) is important. 88. Project context 89. Context, history, possible opportunities, analogies in similar projects or settings 90. the communication 91. Context, team, know-how 92. know-how, intuitions, beliefs 93. the plans (all started from there, although they may no longer be up to date) and records (status meeting

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 260 of 300


minutes, etc.) because they give a trend through snapshots 94. La plannification et l'avancement des taches 95. Stakeholders, context, strategic and operational aims 96. unexpected events occured during the project; best practices identified or implemented 97. risks and project status with factual information 98. scope, budget, stakeholders analysis, risks 99. objectives, risks, stakeholder's, team members iformation, status of current situation, documentation 100. Background elements 101. objectives, context, associated risk, stakes 102. Stakeholders, risks, team (organisation, characters etc. 103. goals, risks, reasons behind decisions, project setup and stakeholders' committment 104. the roots at the basis of the project (why/who...), the present of the project/product but also: the alternate decisions laying in front of the team with insight on the stakeholder's motives for them 105. objectives, action plan and communication plan 106. history, current project "temperature" , next 3 key actions to do 107. Project scope and lessons learn from similar projects 108. A mix of fact based information and analysis of the project context. 109. Context, objectives, current status and next activities, stakeholders, team members 110. Project Plan and Critical path and risks

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 261 of 300


MOTIVATIONS RĂŠcapitulatif du traitement des observations Observations Valide N Motivation : Business Objectives * G Cohort Motivation : Persons Success * G Cohort Motivation : Formal Recognition * G Cohort Motivation : No Disruption Team&Project * G Cohort Motivation : Financial Reward * G Cohort Mtotivation : Self Accomplishment * G Cohort Motivation : Professional Duty * G Cohort Motivation : Project Success * G Cohort Motivation : Recognized SME * G Cohort

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Pourcent

Manquante N

Pourcent

Total N

Pourcent

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

271

98,5%

4

1,5%

275

100,0%

Page 262 of 300


Motivation : Business Objectives * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millennials

Disagree

Business

2

1

1

4

Effectif théorique

,7

2,1

1,3

4,0

4,3%

0,7%

1,2%

1,5%

8

23

11

42

7,1

21,7

13,2

42,0

17,4%

16,4%

12,9%

15,5%

36

116

73

225

38,2

116,2

70,6

225,0

78,3%

82,9%

85,9%

83,0%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

% compris dans G

Effectif Neutral

Objectives

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Total

Boomers

Effectif

Cohort Motivation :

Xers

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,416

Rapport de vraisemblance

3,186

4

,527

Association linéaire par linéaire

1,695

1

,193

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

3,925

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,120

,416

V de Cramer

,085

,416

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 3,925 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between G Cohort and the variable Business Objectives.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 263 of 300


Motivation : Persons Success * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millennials

Disagree

: Persons Success

0

0

3

Effectif théorique

,5

1,5

,9

3,0

6,5%

0,0%

0,0%

1,1%

5

6

6

17

2,9

8,8

5,3

17,0

10,9%

4,3%

7,1%

6,3%

38

134

79

251

42,6

129,7

78,7

251,0

82,6%

95,7%

92,9%

92,6%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

% compris dans G

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique

Total

Boomers

3

Effectif Neutral

Xers

Effectif

Cohort Motivation

Total

% compris dans G Cohort Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,001

13,643

4

,009

Association linéaire par linéaire

5,498

1

,019

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

17,832

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Nominal par

Phi

,257

,001

Nominal

V de Cramer

,181

,001

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 17,832 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between G Cohort and the variable CONTEXT.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 264 of 300


Motivation : Formal Recognition * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millennials Effectif

1

11

1,9

5,7

3,5

11,0

4,3%

5,7%

1,2%

4,1%

10

43

24

77

13,1

39,8

24,2

77,0

21,7%

30,7%

28,2%

28,4%

34

89

60

183

31,1

94,5

57,4

183,0

73,9%

63,6%

70,6%

67,5%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Cohort

Formal

Effectif Effectif théorique

Neutral

% compris dans G

Recognition

Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique

Agree

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique

Total

% compris dans G Cohort

Boomers 8

% compris dans G

Motivation :

Xers 2

Effectif théorique

Disagree

Total

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,355

5,027

4

,284

Association linéaire par linéaire

,128

1

,720

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

4,398

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,127

,355

V de Cramer

,090

,355

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 4,398 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between G Cohort and the variable FORMAL RECOGNITION.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 265 of 300


Motivation : No Disruption Team&Project * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millen

Xers

Total Boomers

nials Effectif Disagree

1

5

2

8

1,4

4,1

2,5

8,0

2,2%

3,6%

2,4%

3,0%

Effectif

10

7

8

25

Effectif théorique

4,2

12,9

7,8

25,0

21,7%

5,0%

9,4%

9,2%

35

128

75

238

40,4

123,0

74,6

238,0

76,1%

91,4%

88,2%

87,8%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort

Motivation : No Disruption

Neutral

Team&Project

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique

Total

% compris dans G Cohort

100,0 %

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,019

10,237

4

,037

Association linéaire par linéaire

1,476

1

,224

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

11,831

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,209

,019

V de Cramer

,148

,019

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 11,831 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. The difference between the groups is statistically significant so we can conclude that there is a relationship between G Cohort and the variable NO DISRUPTION for TEAM and PROJECT.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 266 of 300


Motivation : Financial Reward * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millennials Effectif

81

41

145

24,6

74,9

45,5

145,0

50,0%

57,9%

48,2%

53,5%

13

36

30

79

13,4

40,8

24,8

79,0

28,3%

25,7%

35,3%

29,2%

Effectif

10

23

14

47

Effectif théorique

8,0

24,3

14,7

47,0

21,7%

16,4%

16,5%

17,3%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

% compris dans G Cohort

Financial

Effectif Neutral

Reward

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort

Agree

% compris dans G Cohort Effectif Total

Boomers

23

Disagree Effectif théorique

Motivation :

Xers

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,503

3,262

4

,515

Association linéaire par linéaire

,000

1

,990

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

3,340

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,111

,503

V de Cramer

,078

,503

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 3,340 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between G Cohort and the variable FINANCIAL REWARD.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 267 of 300


Motivation : Self Accomplishment * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millennials 3

0

1

4

Disagree Effectif théorique

,7

2,1

1,3

4,0

6,5%

0,0%

1,2%

1,5%

8

17

5

30

5,1

15,5

9,4

30,0

17,4%

12,1%

5,9%

11,1%

35

123

79

237

40,2

122,4

74,3

237,0

76,1%

87,9%

92,9%

87,5%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Effectif Accomplishment

Boomers

Effectif

% compris dans G Cohort Mtotivation : Self

Xers

Total

Neutral

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

Khi-deux de Pearson

a

4

,005

13,511

4

,009

8,231

1

,004

14,900

Rapport de vraisemblance Association linéaire par linéaire Nombre d'observations

271

valides

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,234

,005

V de Cramer

,166

,005

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 14,900 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a relationship between G Cohort and the variable SELF-ACCOMPLISHMENT

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 268 of 300


Motivation : Professional Duty * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millen

Xers

Total Boomers

nials Effectif Disagree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Motivation : Professional Duty

Neutral

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif Effectif théorique

Total

% compris dans G Cohort

3

14

14

31

5,3

16,0

9,7

31,0

6,5%

10,0%

16,5%

11,4%

16

28

16

60

10,2

31,0

18,8

60,0

34,8%

20,0%

18,8%

22,1%

27

98

55

180

30,6

93,0

56,5

180,0

58,7%

70,0%

64,7%

66,4%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0 %

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,097

7,373

4

,117

Association linéaire par linéaire

,329

1

,566

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

7,861

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Nominal par

Phi

,170

,097

Nominal

V de Cramer

,120

,097

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 7,861 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between G Cohort and the variable PROFESSIONAL DUTY.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 269 of 300


Motivation : Project Success * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millenn

Xers

Total Boomers

ials Effectif

4

1

2

7

1,2

3,6

2,2

7,0

8,7%

0,7%

2,4%

2,6%

3

9

7

19

3,2

9,8

6,0

19,0

6,5%

6,4%

8,2%

7,0%

39

130

76

245

41,6

126,6

76,8

245,0

84,8%

92,9%

89,4%

90,4%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Disagree Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Motivation : Project

Neutral

Success

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique

100,0

% compris dans G Cohort

%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,059

Rapport de vraisemblance

7,290

4

,121

Association linéaire par linéaire

1,130

1

,288

Nombre d'observations valides

271

Khi-deux de Pearson

9,093

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,183

,059

V de Cramer

,130

,059

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 9,093 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between G Cohort and the variable PROJECT SUCCESS.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 270 of 300


Motivation : Recognized SME * G Cohort Tableau croisé G Cohort Millennials Effectif Disagree Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Motivation : Recognized

Neutral

SME

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans G Cohort

Xers

Total Boomers

13

26

21

60

10,2

31,0

18,8

60,0

28,3%

18,6%

24,7%

22,1%

17

50

26

93

15,8

48,0

29,2

93,0

37,0%

35,7%

30,6%

34,3%

16

64

38

118

20,0

61,0

37,0

118,0

34,8%

45,7%

44,7%

43,5%

46

140

85

271

46,0

140,0

85,0

271,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

Khi-deux de Pearson

a

4

,502

3,385

4

,496

,416

1

,519

3,343

Rapport de vraisemblance Association linéaire par linéaire Nombre d'observations

271

valides

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,111

,502

V de Cramer

,079

,502

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

271

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 3,343 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO relationship between G Cohort and the variable RECOGNIZED as a SME.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 271 of 300


Information from the Comments field : 1. good project sponsorship, new PM collaborative attitude, contribution to my company results, expected satisfaction from the customers 2. Project success 3. Information and experience gained on a project is like gold! In fact, it's best to begin transferring knowledge and building on lessons learned very early in the project and not wait until the end. 4. knowledge isimpersonal 5. sustainable development of the company 6. to be sure project succeeds 7. overall project success, respect towards the team and the new pm 8. let others avoid mistakes, traps 9. no disruption on the project 10. act for project success and avoid redo 11. Principally ensuring a coherent approach to the project and reduction of risks due to the handover 12. To be recognize as an expert and be sure that the person who will have to handle the topic at the end of the project will not meet difficulties 13. committment to project success; sense that the project purpose is important. 14. The wish to help in the project success 15. Keep the ball rolling and get success 16. support to the project "life", self-satisfaction and because I'd like the others will do the same with me 17. project success 18. improvement of teammates 19. Team playing 20. Engagement, Self Recognition 21. Share information, share ideas, sharing is a motivation 22. sucess of project, facilitate others activities 23. I don't like leaving a project unfinished, this is my contribution for its smooth continuation 24. Success in the project objectives 25. business goal, experience, company culture, teaching, elevating skills of project members 26. Project success, no disruption on project 27. good relationship and project needs 28. contribute to a team effort the best I can 29. "teach and leave" 30. Very difficult question since whatever the level, France is giving too easily its knowledge, its patents, its intellectuel property - Transferring knowledge is a good thing but protection must be in place to protect our own jobs 31. When people involved in the project begin to understand that project methodology is an help for them and not a constraint ! 32. Ensure project success 33. to make sure the project succeeds 34. I transfer my know-how to avoid disruptions for the team and for the project 35. Project keeps going smoothly without disruption and towards its completion 36. I'm transferring 30 years' experience 37. My Professionalism and Duty 38. professionalism, duty, deployment of my know-how 39. my sense of commitment 40. My duty as PMO leader 41. Success of the project 42. pedagogy, perennity, stakeholder's accomplishment

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 272 of 300


43. to perform the project as a success 44. achieve project goal and personnal achievement getting more self satisfaction through very complex or trouble project 45. Transfering my know how can help members to improve their work qnd commitment to the project 46. Most of the time, know-how is transfered based on the relationship established with the receiving person 47. it is the professional thing to do 48. ensure my succesor will not ancountered same issue I already faced 49. succes of the project 50. Continuation, reproduceability 51. Be more efficient in the team 52. the success of the projects 53. ethics 54. helping people being more efficient 55. loyalty, meet the given floor 56. professional 57. I feel personal satisfaction when the person to whom I’ve transferred my know-how succeeds 58. To ensure the Project and the Team will succeed. 59. People feeling 60. project success 61. recognition 62. To ensure continuity and success at the end 63. for the project succeeds 64. expert 65. project success 66. make sure the project succeeds and meets the goals. 67. Can you transfer your know-how? I think it's an unusual question. The new PM may ask the old PM's know-how. 68. Be professional 69. the result of the project, to finish in good conditions the project even if I am not involved, to respect the cie and the team 70. my sense of commitment to the project and team, the pleasure to share, to transfer know how, the willing to help others 71. commitment, interest for the project 72. Help people saving time (not re-inventing the wheel), facilitate the teamwork. 73. doing my job completly and being recognized at it 74. Project continuity, next project manager's improvement 75. professional duty 76. sense of humanity and self accomplishment 77. Teach my skills and knowledge, make the other progress and capable to lead the project 78. I feel personal satisfaction when the person to whom I’ve transferred my know-how succeeds 79. responsibility, comittment, morale 80. Make sure project succeeds 81. recognition 82. to be successfull (but not personally, but the whole organization) 83. project succeds, personal satisfaction 84. If promoted to another project, I transfer my know-how actively, but when just "kicked-out" off a project, then it is just a duty, and therefore no so deep 85. j'aime enseigner 86. Depends in the project and the context 87. developing good practices within the team / company; improving increasing pm culture 88. professional duty

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 273 of 300


89. professional record, personal satisfaction, best interest of all 90. others people development, develop efficiency within team, enable coaching 91. smooth transition, success of the project, minimize impact on team 92. Project success 93. success of the team and company 94. Assume it is our duty first 95. Insure Project or Activity continuity and avoid information or knowledge loss 96. Project success, sense of duty 97. new engagement in more interesting projects, business objectives if properly incentivated 98. leaving the project and its team in an healthy situation where my 'heir' has all key information necessary to succeed 99. satisfaction of well done job 100. proejct to continue without any impact due to project manager change 101. ...do to better next time and share it. 102. It is a project deliverable, and condition for closure of the project - influences perception of project success on the long term 103. To achieve the objectives in an efficience way 104. To see other people how to use my experiences

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Page 274 of 300


ENABLERS and INHIBITORS

RĂŠcapitulatif du traitement des observations Observations Valide N Enabler : Respectful attitude * Gen Cohort Enabler : Friendly setting * Gen Cohort Enabler : Stories and examples * Gen Cohort Inhibitor : Hidden agendas * Gen Cohort Inhibitor : No Time * Gen Cohort Inhibitor : Don't know what to transfer * Gen Cohort Inhibitor : Unsecure transfer * Gen Cohort Inhibitor : Person no interest * Gen Cohort

Gabriella COLOMBO â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2012

Manquante

Pourcent

N

Pourcent

Total N

Pourcent

269

97,8%

6

2,2%

275

100,0%

269

97,8%

6

2,2%

275

100,0%

269

97,8%

6

2,2%

275

100,0%

269

97,8%

6

2,2%

275

100,0%

269

97,8%

6

2,2%

275

100,0%

269

97,8%

6

2,2%

275

100,0%

269

97,8%

6

2,2%

275

100,0%

269

97,8%

6

2,2%

275

100,0%

Page 275 of 300


Enabler : Respectful attitude * Gen Cohort Tableau croisé Gen Cohort Millennials Effectif Disagree Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Enabler :

Effectif

Respectful Neutral

Effectif théorique

attitude

% compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort

Xers

Total Boomers

4

5

5

14

2,3

7,3

4,4

14,0

8,9%

3,6%

6,0%

5,2%

2

8

13

23

3,8

12,0

7,2

23,0

4,4%

5,7%

15,5%

8,6%

39

127

66

232

38,8

120,7

72,4

232,0

86,7%

90,7%

78,6%

86,2%

45

140

84

269

45,0

140,0

84,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,044

9,133

4

,058

Association linéaire par linéaire

,985

1

,321

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

9,797

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,191

,044

V de Cramer

,135

,044

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

269

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 9,979 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between G Cohort and the variable RESPECTFUL ATTITUDE.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 276 of 300


Enabler : Friendly setting * Gen Cohort Tableau croisé Gen Cohort Millennials Effectif

1

7

1,2

3,6

2,2

7,0

11,1%

0,7%

1,2%

2,6%

2

4

4

10

1,7

5,2

3,1

10,0

4,4%

2,9%

4,8%

3,7%

38

135

79

252

42,2

131,2

78,7

252,0

84,4%

96,4%

94,0%

93,7%

45

140

84

269

45,0

140,0

84,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Effectif Neutral

setting

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort

Boomers 1

% compris dans Gen Cohort

Friendly

Xers

5

Disagree Effectif théorique

Enabler :

Total

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,003

11,492

4

,022

Association linéaire par linéaire

5,445

1

,020

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

16,194

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,245

,003

V de Cramer

,173

,003

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

269

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 16,194 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between G Cohort and the variable FRIENDLY SETTING.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 277 of 300


Enabler : Stories and examples * Gen Cohort Tableau croisé Gen Cohort Millennials Effectif

Neutral

examples

6

23

3,8

12,0

7,2

23,0

6,7%

10,0%

7,1%

8,6%

Effectif

14

30

13

57

Effectif théorique

9,5

29,7

17,8

57,0

31,1%

21,4%

15,5%

21,2%

28

96

65

189

31,6

98,4

59,0

189,0

62,2%

68,6%

77,4%

70,3%

45

140

84

269

45,0

140,0

84,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

% compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Total

Boomers

14

% compris dans Gen Cohort

Stories and

Xers

3

Disagree Effectif théorique

Enabler :

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,268

Rapport de vraisemblance

5,066

4

,281

Association linéaire par linéaire

1,957

1

,162

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

5,191

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,139

,268

V de Cramer

,098

,268

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

269

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 5,191 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between G Cohort and the variable STORIES and EXAMPLES.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 278 of 300


Enabler : Stories and examples * Gender Tableau croisé Gender Men Effectif Disagree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gender Effectif

Enabler : Stories and examples

Neutral

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gender Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gender Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gender

Total

Women 22

1

23

17,3

5,7

23,0

10,9%

1,5%

8,6%

40

17

57

42,8

14,2

57,0

19,8%

25,4%

21,2%

140

49

189

141,9

47,1

189,0

69,3%

73,1%

70,3%

202

67

269

202,0

67,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

2

,049

Rapport de vraisemblance

7,969

2

,019

Association linéaire par linéaire

2,153

1

,142

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

6,040

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,150

,049

V de Cramer

,150

,049

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

269

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 6,040 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 5,99 for 2 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between Gender and the variable STORIES and EXAMPLES.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 279 of 300


Inhibitor : Hidden agendas * Gen Cohort Tableau croisé Gen Cohort Millennials Effectif Disagree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Inhibitor : Hidden

Neutral

agendas

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort

Xers

Total Boomers

15

44

24

83

13,9

43,2

25,9

83,0

33,3%

31,4%

28,6%

30,9%

19

60

35

114

19,1

59,3

35,6

114,0

42,2%

42,9%

41,7%

42,4%

11

36

25

72

12,0

37,5

22,5

72,0

24,4%

25,7%

29,8%

26,8%

45

140

84

269

45,0

140,0

84,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,952

Rapport de vraisemblance

,689

4

,953

Association linéaire par linéaire

,611

1

,434

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

,694

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,051

,952

V de Cramer

,036

,952

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

269

Based on the calculated Chi-square of ,694 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between G Cohort and the variable HIDDEN AGENDAS.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 280 of 300


Inhibitor : Hidden agendas * Gender Tableau croisé Gender Men Effectif Disagree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gender Effectif

Inhibitor : Hidden

Neutral

Effectif théorique

agendas

% compris dans Gender Effectif Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gender Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gender

Total

Women 67

16

83

62,3

20,7

83,0

33,2%

23,9%

30,9%

77

37

114

85,6

28,4

114,0

38,1%

55,2%

42,4%

58

14

72

54,1

17,9

72,0

28,7%

20,9%

26,8%

202

67

269

202,0

67,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

2

,049

5,976

2

,050

Association linéaire par linéaire

,019

1

,891

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

6,029

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,150

,049

V de Cramer

,150

,049

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

269

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 6,029 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 5,99 for 2 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between Gender and the variable HIDDEN AGENDAS.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 281 of 300


Inhibitor : Hidden agendas * Learning Style Tableau croisé Learning Style Activist Effectif Disagree

Learning Style

Hidden

Neutral

17

33

83

27,5

14,5

17,0

24,1

83,0

23,6%

25,5%

30,9%

42,3%

30,9%

46

17

27

24

114

37,7

19,9

23,3

33,1

114,0

51,7%

36,2%

49,1%

30,8%

42,4%

22

18

11

21

72

23,8

12,6

14,7

20,9

72,0

24,7%

38,3%

20,0%

26,9%

26,8%

89

47

55

78

269

89,0

47,0

55,0

78,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Effectif théorique % compris dans

agendas

Learning Style Effectif Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Learning Style Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Learning Style

Pragmatist

12

Effectif Inhibitor :

Thinking

21

Effectif théorique % compris dans

Reflector

Total

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

6

,030

13,765

6

,032

Association linéaire par linéaire

2,928

1

,087

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson Rapport de vraisemblance

13,995

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 13,995 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 12,59 for 6 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is rejected. So we can conclude that there is a statistical relationship between Learning Styles and the variable HIDDEN AGENDAS.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 282 of 300


Inhibitor : Hidden agendas * Nationality Tableau croisé Nationality FRENCH Effectif Disagree

agendas

11

83

71,6

11,4

83,0

31,0%

29,7%

30,9%

Effectif

105

9

114

Effectif théorique

98,3

15,7

114,0

45,3%

24,3%

42,4%

55

17

72

62,1

9,9

72,0

23,7%

45,9%

26,8%

232

37

269

232,0

37,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Effectif théorique

Neutral

% compris dans Nationality Effectif Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Nationality Effectif

Total

OTHER

72

% compris dans Nationality Inhibitor : Hidden

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Nationality Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

2

,010

Rapport de vraisemblance

8,851

2

,012

Association linéaire par linéaire

3,067

1

,080

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

9,214

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,185

,010

V de Cramer

,185

,010

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

269

Page 283 of 300


Inhibitor : No Time * Gen Cohort Tableau croisé Gen Cohort Millennials Effectif

44

127

21,2

66,1

39,7

127,0

40,0%

46,4%

52,4%

47,2%

11

35

19

65

10,9

33,8

20,3

65,0

24,4%

25,0%

22,6%

24,2%

16

40

21

77

12,9

40,1

24,0

77,0

35,6%

28,6%

25,0%

28,6%

45

140

84

269

45,0

140,0

84,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Effectif Neutral

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort

Boomers

65

% compris dans Gen Cohort

No Time

Xers

18

Disagree Effectif théorique

Inhibitor :

Total

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,689

Rapport de vraisemblance

2,230

4

,693

Association linéaire par linéaire

2,110

1

,146

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

2,255

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,092

,689

V de Cramer

,065

,689

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

269

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 2,555 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between G Cohort and the variable NO TIME.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 284 of 300


Inhibitor : Not Knowing * Gen Cohort Tableau croisé Gen Cohort Millennials Effectif Disagree Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Inhibitor : Don't know what to

Neutral

transfer

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort

Xers

Total Boomers

23

100

52

175

29,3

91,1

54,6

175,0

51,1%

71,4%

61,9%

65,1%

17

34

26

77

12,9

40,1

24,0

77,0

37,8%

24,3%

31,0%

28,6%

5

6

6

17

2,8

8,8

5,3

17,0

11,1%

4,3%

7,1%

6,3%

45

140

84

269

45,0

140,0

84,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,117

7,203

4

,126

Association linéaire par linéaire

,568

1

,451

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

7,385

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,166

,117

V de Cramer

,117

,117

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

269

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 7,385 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between G Cohort and the variable NOT KNOWING.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 285 of 300


Inhibitor : Unsecure transfer * Gen Cohort Tableau croisé Gen Cohort Millennials Effectif

15

52

8,7

27,1

16,2

52,0

13,3%

22,1%

17,9%

19,3%

16

50

31

97

16,2

50,5

30,3

97,0

35,6%

35,7%

36,9%

36,1%

23

59

38

120

20,1

62,5

37,5

120,0

51,1%

42,1%

45,2%

44,6%

45

140

84

269

45,0

140,0

84,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Effectif Neutral

transfer

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort

Boomers

31

% compris dans Gen Cohort

Unsecure

Xers

6

Disagree Effectif théorique

Inhibitor :

Total

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,708

2,218

4

,696

Association linéaire par linéaire

,209

1

,648

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

2,154

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,089

,708

V de Cramer

,063

,708

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

269

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 2,154 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between G Cohort and the variable UNSECURE TRANSFER.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 286 of 300


Inhibitor : Person no interest * Gen Cohort Tableau croisé Gen Cohort Millennials Effectif Disagree Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Inhibitor : Person no

Neutral

interest

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Agree

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort Effectif

Total

Effectif théorique % compris dans Gen Cohort

Xers

Total Boomers

6

20

12

38

6,4

19,8

11,9

38,0

13,3%

14,3%

14,3%

14,1%

12

26

22

60

10,0

31,2

18,7

60,0

26,7%

18,6%

26,2%

22,3%

27

94

50

171

28,6

89,0

53,4

171,0

60,0%

67,1%

59,5%

63,6%

45

140

84

269

45,0

140,0

84,0

269,0

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

100,0%

Tests du Khi-deux Valeur

ddl

Signification asymptotique (bilatérale)

a

4

,656

2,441

4

,655

Association linéaire par linéaire

,079

1

,779

Nombre d'observations valides

269

Khi-deux de Pearson

2,439

Rapport de vraisemblance

Mesures symétriques Valeur

Signification approximée

Phi

,095

,656

V de Cramer

,067

,656

Nominal par Nominal Nombre d'observations valides

269

Based on the calculated Chi-square of 2,493 compared with the Chi-square critical value of 9,49 for 4 degrees of freedom and an alpha of 0.05, the null hypothesis is NOT rejected. So we can conclude that there is NO statistical relationship between G Cohort and the variable PERSON NO INTEREST.

Gabriella COLOMBO – 2012

Page 287 of 300


Information from the Comments field 1. receiver's attitude & willingness, sponsor's support to the transfer (importance in his eyes), impact for the organization 2. Transfer our know-how is a training opportunity ; and a PM's duty 3. It's always important to transfer the know-how, if the other person does not use it or misuses it then that is their professional responsibility. 4. open-mindedness 5. language 6. people may use it to negatively impact 7. enable: if new hire is dedicated, it is a key driver. If he is on top willing to share to understand how past project management style and new management style will both contribute - and so try to understand what are the key info / elements are needed - it favors a customized and optimal knowledge / know-how transfer 8. inhibit: no interest, no respect, no motivation to learn 9. I transfer know-how when it can help the other person to better comly its job. so it helps the proejct. 10. win win attitude is favorable 11. Lack of interest makes it more difficult, but as it still must be done it is not an inhibitor to the actions, but may be to the success 12. Enable: if it's part of the company culture and if people appreciate the know-how transfer 13. relationship 14. lack of interest 15. Even though this is a must, such transfer will be more effective if the other person is open and frank 16. Manipulation and miss respect 17. The reason for the transfer... evolution of the project, other job opportunities, etc. 18. negative use 19. Inhibits: Negative attitude of the other person - Enables: Planned time for transfer, shared objectives with the other person 20. Inhibition is when other people tell they know all and very well (even if they are not aware of the context ...) 21. poeple not being open minded 22. The use of my know how 23. no time left, negative impact to the project or organization 24. inhibit : when organization makes all individuals in a competition / enable