chapter  5
22 Pages

Building bridges – identifying generational communication characteristics to facilitate engineering collaboration and knowledge transfer across field-practicing engineers

WithMary Pilotte, Demetra Evangelou

The oldest engineering professionals of the Baby Boom generation are beginning to retire from their career posts. Their retirement will clear a pathway for a fresh group of young and energetic engineers to enter the workplace at significant rates. The scale of this generational shift raises concerns. Findings from an informal field study conducted in 20061 punctuate the urgency and the need to understand and address the issue of embedded institutional knowledge transfer. Two hundred thirty-nine executives, primarily from across North America, cited corporate knowledge transfer associated with changes in workforce demographics as one of the most pressing issues directly facing their firm.2