In the field of organizational learning and development, various challenges make it difficult to actualize knowledge retention in an organization, these challenges include the inability to fully recognize and articulate the tacit knowledge idea. This becomes a challenge especially when the company is unable to identify specific highly intuitive competencies possessed by an individual that actually need to be captured and transferred to another person.
Some organization normally possesses limited information and communication technologies that are essential in tapping and supporting knowledge transfer. For instance, some organization lack essential tools necessary for video recording of retiring employees in order to document their expertise, so that it can passed over to the future employees. This issue is usually aggravated by lack of organizational motivation to the new employees to learn and gain new experience and skill from the outgoing professionals.
Another challenge in the organization is usually the presence of internal conflict, this make it difficult to have a well-coordinated knowledge capturing and retention program. This is often an issue when there is professional territoriality, a situation where some individual avert any attempt to tap their knowledge and experience in order to advance and prolong their domination in their area of specialization.
Generational differences pose another challenge in the process of knowledge capturing and retention in an organization. Aged employees who actually possess a lot knowledge and experience usually tend to be conservative, and in most cases actually tend to be reluctant in sharing their experiences and skills with the new employees. This make it difficult for the new employees who are usually relatively young to work along with them, This open a path for the retiring employee to walk away without sharing the wealth of knowledge and experience acquired after many years of work.
Other challenges include; problems with sharing beliefs, cultural norms and assumptions, previous negative exposure in a certain professional, lack of shared social identity and presence of organizational culture that is non-conducive to knowledge sharing among others. All these obstacles make difficult for any organization to capture and retaining knowledge and expertise from the retiring employees.
Transformation of the organization calls for change in the business environment, and lasting solution to the challenges that limit effective knowledge transfer. This is because it has become widely accepted that businesses today compete on the basis of knowledge. Therefore, retention of knowledge is a sustainable source of competitive advantage that needs to be fully exploited by companies and organization targeting greater heights. This is because knowledge represents an invisible but substantial component of a firm market value.