Étudiant-chercheur étoile November 2012

Jean-François Harvey

PhD student in Management and organizational management
HEC Montréal

Award-winning publication: Managing organizational memory with intergenerational knowledge transfer

Published in: Journal of Knowledge Management 16 (3), 400-417, (2012)


"This case study of Québec nurses examines intergenerational tacit knowledge transfer. The literature affirms that personal knowledge (mental models, procedural knowledge, skills) is the most difficult type of knowledge to transfer. The prevailing belief is that knowledge may be codified and manipulated for transfer, and the interactions between individuals are seldom explored. This study aims to understand how close relationships between individuals of different generations are created and how the interactions stemming from these relationships enable tacit knowledge transfer."


Jean-François Harvey's research is focused on a current issue. According to Statistics Canada, seniors aged 65 years and older will account for 23-25% of the population in 2036, as compared to 14% in 2009. The wave of retirements will inevitably lead to a considerable loss of knowledge. Intergenerational knowledge transfer is therefore a matter of survival in order to avoid corporate amnesia. However, there are very few examples of successful initiatives, and only one out of five organizations has set out an intergenerational knowledge transfer plan. The case study developed by Jean-François Harvey will certainly incite organizations to redefine the work of late career employees and bring about reflection and social interactions with younger colleagues.