Exploring older workers' full employee engagement in knowledge sharing in federal sector success: An exploratory qualitative inquiry

by Mosby, Angela D., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2012, 175 pages; 3548975


One of the challenges the federal government faces, as the largest employer in the United States is an ageing workforce that has not been fully engaged in knowledge sharing prior to retirement. The problem addressed in this study was to understand full employee engagement in knowledge sharing in federal sector success. This study offered the opportunity to increase the understanding of the factors affecting full employee engagement in knowledge sharing. The research was guided by Scharmer's (2009) theory U, leading from the future as it emerges relative to transformational change; emphasizing the need to do things differently and Gharajedaghi (2011) systems thinking theory, recognizing the ability to generate and disseminate knowledge through the adeptness to learn, unlearn and re-learn. The research question asked, "How do older workers describe their experiences of full employee engagement in knowledge sharing, affecting federal sector success?" The study utilized an exploratory qualitative inquiry which allowed access to the personal experiences of 20 federal employees from various federal agencies, ages 50 and older. Inductive analysis was used to focus on identifiable themes and patterns across a data set supported by direct quotes. Overall, the findings were consistent with the literature reviewed for this study. Results strongly indicated older workers are fully engaged and willing to share knowledge in the federal sector. The data analysis revealed factors impeding knowledge sharing, new learning, mentoring, and feeling valued and appreciated were driven by the lack of leaderships' influence and support of knowledge sharing. The results reinforce a sense of urgency for leaders to truncate their contentment with the status quo and explore the need for a transformative change in practice, before older experienced workers retire from the federal sector.

AdviserMarilyn E. Harris
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Public administration
Publication Number3548975

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