Ramona-Diana Leon1, Raul Rodriguez-Rodriguez1 and Juan-Jose Alfaro-Saiz1

a Universitat Politècnica de València, CIGIP, Camino de Vera S/N, 46022 Valencia, Spain.

rleon@cigip.upv.es, raurodro@cigip.upv.es, jalfaro@cigip.upv.es


Keywords: Corporate amnesia, Knowledge sharing, Multi-criteria decision.

1. Corporate Amnesia in the context of the Industry 4.0

In 2004, Kevin Dorren, CEO of Orbital Software stated “the average person stays in a job between two and five years… When they move to a new company, their knowledge and experience is no longer accessible to their previous employer. The key is to invest in a system that captures this knowledge and also helps people become more efficient without decreasing their sense of importance in a company”. The Industry 4.0 paradigm tries to answer to this challenge, which is generally labeled as “corporate amnesia” [1]. Therefore, the efficiency of serious games and enterprise social networks is brought forward [2]. Nevertheless, the focus tends to be on the technological issues while the human nature of knowledge is neglected. On the other hand, others scholars focus exclusively on the human character and remain faithful to the classical professional development programs [3]; they neglect the faster pace of technological progress and the changes that occurred in employees’ learning style. Against this backdrop, the policy-makers are left without a viable tool for selecting the most appropriate strategy for avoiding knowledge loss and corporate amnesia.

Therefore, the current research aims to develop a methodology for selecting the best strategy to avoid corporate amnesia in the context of the Industry 4.0.

2. Proposed methodology

In order to identify the best strategy for avoiding corporate amnesia in the context of the Industry 4.0, a multi-phase methodology is proposed (Fig. 1).


Fig. 1. Proposed methodology

3.  Testing the proposed methodology and analysing the results

 The proposed methodology is tested in one of the biggest companies from the Romanian bakery industry. Data are collected form the management team and the ANP approach is followed. The results prove that the best strategy for avoiding corporate amnesia is represented by the development of communities of practice (Table 1).

Table 1. The overall synthesized priorities for the alternatives

Strategies Relative priority Normal Ideal
Communities of practice 0.1842 0.4316 1.000
Storytelling 0.1283 0.3007 0.6966
Mixed-aged teams 0.0628 0.1471 0.3409
Enterprise social networks 0.0514 0.1204 0.2790

Further, an influence and performance analysis is performed and this shows that the factors that have a strong influence on the ranking are commitment, work satisfaction, and organizational culture. If the importance of commitment increases, communities of practice and mixed-aged teams become the most suitable strategies. If the importance of work satisfaction or organizational culture increases, communities of practice and storytelling remain the most suitable strategies but enterprise social networks and mixed-aged teams switch positions.

4. Conclusions

This research has presented a four-step methodology, based on the application of the Analytic Network Process technique, for selecting the best strategy to avoid corporate amnesia in the context of the Industry 4.0. The main results obtained were: i) communities of practice and storytelling are the most suitable strategies for avoiding corporate amnesia; b) managers’ decisions are mainly influenced by employees’ commitment and satisfaction as well as by the organizational culture. From a practical point of view, this research has presented a decision-making tool for not only avoiding corporate amnesia but also for fostering knowledge sharing among different generations of employees.


  1. Davenport, T.H., Prusak, L.: Working Knowledge. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (1998).
  2. Leon, R.D., Rodriguez-Rodriguez, R., Gomez-Gasquet, P., Mula, J.: Business process improvement and the knowledge flows that cross a private online social network: An insurance supply chain case. Information Processing & Management 57(4), 102237 (2020).
  3. Kaše, R., Saksida, T., Mihelič, K.K.: Skill development in reverse mentoring: Motivational processes of mentors and learners. Human Resource Management 58(1), 57-69 (2018).


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Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Industrial Management and XXV Congreso de Ingeniería de Organización Copyright © by (Eds.) José Manuel Galán; Silvia Díaz-de la Fuente; Carlos Alonso de Armiño Pérez; Roberto Alcalde Delgado; Juan José Lavios Villahoz; Álvaro Herrero Cosío; Miguel Ángel Manzanedo del Campo; and Ricardo del Olmo Martínez is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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