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Running head: CASE STUDY – HARPO

Case Study – Harpo
December 1, 2010

Case Background & Overview
Xerox and other companies are getting worried that they will lose valuable knowledge with the retirement of the older workers of the baby boomer generation (Colquitt, J. A., Lepine, J. A., & Wesson, M. J., pg.283). What are the possible solutions to retain the information and keep the company successful?
Case Study
Are communities of practice, which tend to be technology-based, likely to bridge the generation gap and allow knowledge sharing between the generations of employees at Xerox (Colquitt, J. A., Lepine, J. A., & Wesson, M. J., pg.283)? Bridging the generation gap in business seems to be a difficult task. For a company to remain competitive and be successful, it must learn how to close the communication gap between generations. Communities of Practice (CoP) are groups that form to share what they know and to learn from one another regarding some aspects of their work (Nickols, 2003). The success of a particular Communities of Practice depend upon the issue, process, or practice area around which it is organized and upon which it is focused. In general, however, the mission or outcomes encompass:
  * stimulating interaction
  * fostering learning
  * creating new knowledge
  * identifying and sharing best practices
Many young and energetic workers at Xerox are ready to take the reins from their older counterparts. Through technology and good communication, the Communities of Practice process will definitely help Xerox bridge the gap between generations and provide the younger group with the knowledge needed to keep the company successful.
Given these generational issues and the type of work life that Xerox employees tend to have, can you think of another possible way to encourage knowledge sharing within the organization (Colquitt, J. A., Lepine, J. A., & Wesson, M. J., pg.283)? The company could utilize Behavior Modeling...

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