Senior workers retirement and inter-generational transfer of competencies: critical issues and opportunities for italian smes

Domenico Berdicchia

Abstract


This article concerns the intergenerational transfer of competencies in the SMEs withinthe traditional “Made in Italy” sector, with a specific focus on the clothing and footwear industries. These companies based their competitiveness on a relevant set of competencies which is becoming increasingly at danger because of the imminent retirement of the baby boomer generation of workers. In this contribution work we report some of the outcomes of a European research project, with a specific attention on the critical aspects and difficulties that SMEs are facing in order to manage senior workers’ competencies and the possible advantages that a more focused effort toward such direction might bring. With a typical action-research approach, we first describe the risks that the retirement of senior workers may imply for the companies in terms of depletion of their competencies; then, with a specific reference to the relevant literature, we examine some possible managerial and organizational interventions that companies might activate in order to reduce such risks. Some of these interventions were successfully implemented by partner companies in the context of the research project.

Keywords


Senior workers; age management; intergenerational competencies transfer

Full Text:

PDF (Italiano)

References


Allwood J.M., Lee W.L. (2004), The impact of job rotation on problem solving skills, in “International Journal of Production Research”, vol. 42, n. 5, pp. 865-881.

Antonacopoulou E., FitzGerald L. (1996), Reframing competency in management development,in “Human Resource Management Journal”, vol. 6, n. 1, pp. 27-49.

Aylen J. (2012), Starting and Running a Small Business For Canadians For Dummies All-in-One, John Wiley & Sons, Canada.

Barley S.R. (1986), Technology as an occasion for structuring: evidence from observations of ICT scanners and the social order of radiology departments, in “Administrative Science Quarterly”,

vol. 31, n. 1, pp. 78-108.

Boyatzis R.E. (1982), The Competent Manager: A Model for Effective Performance, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Brown J.S., Duguid P. (2001), Knowledge and Organization: A Social-Practice Perspective, in “Organization Science”, vol. 12, n. 2, pp. 198-213.

Brown J.S., Duguid P. (2002), Local knowledge: Innovation in the networked age, in “Management Learning”, vol. 33, n. 4, pp. 427-437.

Campion M.A., Fink A.A., Ruggeberg B.J., Carr L., Geneva P.M., Ronald O.B. (2011), Doing competencies well: best practices in competency modeling, in “Personnel Psychology”, vol. 64, n. 1, pp. 225–262.

Collins A., Brown J.S., Newman S. (1989), Cognitive Apprenticeship: Teaching the Crafts of Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, in Resnick L.B. (ed), Knowing, Learning and Instruction. Essay in Honor of Robert Glaser, 1995 ed, Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 181-231.

Cook S.N., Brown J.S. (1999), Bridging epistemologies: The generative dance between organizational knowledge and organizational knowing, in “Organization Science”, vol. 10, n. 4, pp. 382-400.

Cosgel M.M., Miceli T.J. (1999), Job rotation: cost, benefits and stylized facts, in “Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics”, vol. 155, pp. 301–320.

DeLong D. (2004), Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an AgingWorkforce, Oxford University Press, New York.

DeSanctis G., Poole M.S. (1994), Caturing the Complexity in Advanced Technology Use: Adaptive Structuration Theory, in “Organization Science”, vol. 5, n. 2, pp. 121-147.

Eriksson T., Ortega J. (2006), The adoption of job rotation: Testing the theories, in “Industrial nd Labor Relations Review”, vol. 59, n. 4, pp. 653-666.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION (2012) An Agenda for Adequate, Safe and Sustainable Pensions. WHITE PAPER, COM(2012) 55 final. Brussels.

Fægri T.E., Dybå T., Dingsøyr T. (2010), Introducing knowledge redundancy practice in software development: Experiences with job rotation in support work, in “Information and Software

Technology”, vol. 52, n. 10, pp. 1118-1132.

Farinelli D., Gubitta P. (2007), Il lavoro in età matura: come è fatto, come si può gestire, in Il mercato del lavoro in Friuli Venezia-Giulia. Rapporto (2007), AGENZIA REGIONALE

DEL LAVORO E DELLA FORMAZIONE PROFESSIONALE, Franco Angeli, Milano, pp. 335-352.

Finch-Lees T., Mabey C., Liefooghe A. (2005), In the name of capability: a critical discursive evaluation of competency-based management development, in “Human Relations”, vol. 58, n. 9,

pp. 1185-1222.

Ford J., Harding N. (2007), Move over Management: we’re all leaders now, in “Management Learning”, vol. 38, n. 5, pp. 475-493.

Gray D.E. (2007), Facilitating Management Learning: Developing Critical Reflection Through Reflective Tools, in “Management Learning”, vol. 38, n. 5, pp. 495-517.

Håland E., Tjora A. (2006), Between asset and process: developing competence by implementing a learning management system, in “Human Relations”, vol. 59, n. 7, pp. 993–1016.

Hansen M., Nohria N., Tierney T. (1999), What’s your strategy for managing knowledge, in “Harvard Business Review”, vol. 77, n. 2, pp. 106–116.

Hedge J.W., Borman W.C., Lammlein S.E. (2006), The Aging Workforce: Realities, Myths, And Implications For Organizations, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Hislop D. (2002), Mission impossible? Communicating and sharing knowledge via information technology, in “Journal of Information Technology”, vol. 17, n. 3, pp. 165–177.

Jackson S.E., Schuler R.S., Werner S. (2012), Managing Human Resources, Cengage, Mason, OH.

Johannessen J.-A., Olaisen J., Olsen B. (2001), Mismanagement of tacit knowledge: the importance of tacit knowledge, the danger of information technology, and what to do about it, in

“International Journal of Information Management”, vol. 21, n. 1, pp. 3-20.

Johnston R., Sampson M. (1993), The Acceptable Face of Competence, in “Management Learning”, vol. 24, n. 3, pp. 216-224.

Kanungo R.N., Misra S. (1992), Managerial resourcefulness: a reconceptualization of management skills, in “Human Relations”, vol. 45, n. 12, pp. 1311-1322

Lave J., Wenger E. (1991), Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Cambridge University Press, New York.

Lucia A.D., Lepsinger R. (1999), The Art and science of competency models: Pinpointing critical success factors in organizations, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, San Francisco, CA.

Maggi B. (2003), De l’agir organisationnel. Un point de vue sur le travail, le bien-être, l’apprentissage, Octarès, Toulouse.

Masino G., Zamarian M. (2003), Information technology artefacts as structuring devices in rganizations: design, appropriation and use issues in “Interacting with Computers”, vol. 15, n. 5, pp. 693-707.

McClelland D.C. (1973), Testing for competence rather than intelligence, in “American Psychologist”, vol. 14, n. 1, pp. 1-14.

Minelli E., Rebora G. (2008), Il valore della differenza. Le politiche di age management alla prova delle esperienze aziendali, paper presented at IX Workshop dei Docenti e dei Ricercatori di Organizzazione Aziendale, L’ORGANIZZAZIONE FA LA DIFFERENZA?, 7 – 8 Febbraio 2008, Venezia, Italia.

Oka M., Kimura T. (2005), Gestire l’invecchiamento della forza lavoro: l’interazione tra politiche pubbliche e linee di condotta aziendali — il caso del Giappone, in “Quaderni Europei sul nuovo Welfare”, vol. 2, pp. 144-159.

Ortega J. (2001), Job rotation as a learning mechanism, in “Management Science”, vol. 47, n. 10, pp. 1361-1370.

Resnick L.B. (1987), Learning in school and out, in “Educational Researcher”, vol. 16, n. 9, pp. 13-20.

Roberts J. (2000), From Know-how to Show-how? Questioning the Role of. Information and Communication Technologies in

Knowledge Transfer, in “Technology Analysis & Strategic

Management”, vol. 12, n. 4, pp. 429-443.

Sanchez J.I., Levine E.L. (2009), What is (or should be) the difference between competency modeling and traditional job analysis?, in “Human Resource Management Review”, vol. 19,

n. 2, pp. 53-63.

Sandberg J. (2000), Understanding Human Competence at Work: An Interpretative Approach, in “The Academy of Management Journal”, vol. 43, n. 1, pp. 9-25.

Sandberg J., Pinnington A.H. (2009), Professional Competence as Ways of Being: An Existential Ontological Perspective, in “Journal of Management Studies”, vol. 46, n. 7, pp.1138- 1170.

Shephard R.J. (2000), Aging and productivity: some physiological issues, in “International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics”, vol. 25, pp. 535-545.

Spencer L.M., Spencer S.M. (1993), Competence at Work: Models for Superior Performance, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

Symon G. (2000), Information and communication technologies and the network organization: A critical analysis, in “Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology”, vol. 73, n.4, pp. 389-414.

Thurk J., Fine G.A. (2003), The Problem of Tools: Technology and the Sharing of Knowledge, in “Acta Sociologica”, vol. 46, n. 2, pp. 107-117.

Townsend P., Cairns L. (2003), Developing the Global Manager Using a Capability Framework, in “Management Learning”, vol. 34, n. 3, pp. 313-327.

Walsham G. (2001), Knowledge Management: The Benefits and Limitations of Computer Systems, in “European Management Journal”, vol. 19, n. 6, pp. 599–608.

Zemke R., Raines C., Filipczak B. (2000), Generations at work: Managing the Clash of

Veterans, Boomers, Xers, and Nexters in Your Workplace, AMACOM, New York, NY.

Znidarsic J., Dimovski V. (2010), Reluctance Towards Older Workers In Slovenia, in “The International Business & Economics Research Journal”, vol. 9, n. 2, pp. 83-100.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14596/pisb.139

Refbacks