Purdue University Graduate School
Addressing Corporate Knowledge Loss in a University Utility Plant.pdf (1.05 MB)


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posted on 2020-12-16, 03:16 authored by Kelly A McFallKelly A McFall

This research was a pilot study in a larger project that focused on how to retrieve knowledge from retiring long-term employees of a small university utility plant, incorporate that material into their existing training program, and during the process reduce the training time for current and future employees. Wade utility plant faced the retirement of eight employees with nearly 200 years of corporate knowledge within three years, but their current training program required seven to nine years to complete. The study utilized interviews, first-hand observation and partnership with current employees to explore how best to obtain the corporate knowledge that would be lost when the proletarian workers retired. The study revealed that the training program needed to be updated, and communication, trust and training evaluation continuity needed to be addressed. Due to these issues, trust was built through transparency by the researcher, and suggestions were made to management for moving forward. This study adds to the body of knowledge by utilizing knowledge capture techniques in a utility plant, highlighting effective knowledge capture techniques for proletarian workers, the importance of corporate planning for the effect of group retirements, and how incorporating proletarian workers into training creation can make a positive impact on company relationships.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Technology

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dr. Anne M. Lucietto

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Dr. Kathryne A. Newton

Additional Committee Member 2

Dr. Frederick Berry

Additional Committee Member 3

Dr. John Sheffield

Additional Committee Member 4

Dr. Robin M. Ridgway