NASA Knowledge Management Crisis

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Business Finance

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Review Case Incident – NASA’s Knowledge Management Crisis on page 57 of your text. Conduct scholarly research to answer the assigned questions. Formulate your response in a 2-3 page APA formatted report

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CASE NCIDENT NASA'S KOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT CRISIS In the 1990s, NASA's lunar program lost critical knowledge as a result of downsizing when Saturn 5 engineers were encouraged to take early retirement Commenting on the early retirements, one NASA manager said, “If we want to go to the moon again, we'll be starting from scratch.... All of that knowledge has disappeared. It would take at least as long and cost at least as much to go back.” Now NASA wants to ensure that the expertise of other senior engineers isn't lost when they retire. QUESTIONS 1. What kind of knowledge and intellectual capital is NASA losing, and what effect does this have on the organization? 2. What should NASA do to prevent the loss of knowledge when senior engi- neers retire? What do they need to do to ensure that the expertise of other senior engineers isn't lost when they retire? 3. What does this case tell us about knowledge management and the role it plays in organizations? What advice would you give other organizations? Sources: J. Foord Kirk, “The cost of disappearing knowledge," Toronto Star, Dec. 3, 2005, p. D10; M. Weinstein, “NASA training program blasts off,” Training, Dec. 2005, Vol. 42 (12), pp. 8-9. munnARTON SECURITY SERVICES
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KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT NASA

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Knowledge management has become an essential aspect of organizations competitive
advantage this is because people are the most important assets an organization can have. The
human resources also referred to as human capital entails shared skills, experiences, and
networks. Knowledge and intellectual capital that resides in people is difficult to replace because
it takes time to build experience and skills that jointly contribute to organizations tacit
knowledge. The organizational skills of the NASA engineers developed over time while
working, solving problems, innovating and being creative contribute to creativity, innovation,
and productivity of NASA as an organization.
The downside of the NASA engineers taking early retirement means all the
organizational skills, tacit knowledge and organizations competitive advantage derived from
these specific human resources lost. Five senior engineers leav...


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