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Lost KnowledgeConfronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce$
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David W. DeLong

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195170979

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195170979.001.0001

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After the Knowledge Is Gone

After the Knowledge Is Gone

(p.143) 8 After the Knowledge Is Gone
Lost Knowledge

David W. DeLong (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes three strategies that managers can use when employees actually leave an organization with critical intellectual capital. One is effectively rehiring retirees or other ex-employees who return to work in the organization as contractors or consultants. The pros and cons of this increasingly common practice, which has led to the growth of a segment known as the “working retired”, are discussed. Another solution involves making smart outsourcing decisions about how to replace critical capabilities that a firm can no longer sustain internally. It is argued that outsourcing can actually accelerate the loss of essential knowledge and make organizations more vulnerable in the long term. When unique capabilities are lost, a detailed case study is presented with a suggested process for lost knowledge recovery.

Keywords:   retirees, rehiring, contractors, outsourcing decisions, capabilities lost, lost knowledge recovery, working retired

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