Expert Knowledge: Does it Help or Hinder Idea Generation and Creativity for Innovation?

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Kannan, Selvi ORCID: 0000-0002-0973-7864 (2011) Expert Knowledge: Does it Help or Hinder Idea Generation and Creativity for Innovation? In: Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Knowledge Management. Lehner, Franz and Bredl, K, eds. Academic Publishing Limited, Reading, UK, pp. 488-495.


Managing a diverse multigenerational workforce of ageing experts and young talented entrants is becoming a challenge for organisations. Current research acknowledges that experience and expertise will walk out the door with the retiring workforce and little replaced with new entrants coming into the organisations who have little or no experience. This leaves organisations in a susceptible position. One key challenge facing organisations today is to manage the knowledge and talent for sustained competitive performance and innovation in this workforce shift. Innovation is crucial for economic performance globally. Drucker (1985) as quoted by Tidd et al (2005) identified demographic change as one of the common sources of opportunities in managing innovation. Was Drucker (1985) really seeding waves of thinking that the new organisational order to continue to sustain and innovate, an organisation has to manage knowledge towards innovation of a diverse workforce? Can experts really help? Or do the novices consider them to be a hindrance?. This paper focuses by questioning: Is an expert's knowledge and expertise, especially those veteran experts, critical in idea generation and creativity towards innovation or more of a hindrance? There is clearly a lack of scholarly and empirical work in linking knowledge management and innovation. Furthermore there is definitely lack of studies focussing on experts, talents and experience contribution in the innovation process. This conceptual paper attempts to conceptualize a knowledge exchange and barrier model within a typified innovation process. It takes the view that knowledge is valued resource and the perspectives and experiences of young talents versus veteran experts on working together to generate creative ideas and ultimately start up innovative projects in an organisation can be challenging. The expert's knowledge and experience in applying to an organisation's innovation process looks at tacit exchange and barriers of a case organisation in Australia. This paper may benefit two primary groups - researchers and academics who are interested in the link between innovation process and knowledge management. Secondly it may benefit managers in an organisation to understand better as to how to manage knowledge for idea generation and creativity and sustain innovation with a multigenerational workforce.

Additional Information

Conference held at the University of Passau, Passau, Germany on the 1-2 September 2011

Item type Book Section
Official URL
ISBN 9781908272102 (CD-ROM) 97819082721065 (print)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Management and Information Systems
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Historical > SEO Classification > 9104 Management and Productivity
Keywords ResPubID23770, multigenerational workforce, creativity, knowledge management, innovation process, barriers
Citations in Scopus 0 - View on Scopus
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