Knowledge Loss: Causes, consequences, measurement and solutions

Document Type : مقالات مروری


1 PhD Student in KIS, Shiraz University

2 Associate Professor, Knowledge and Information Science, Shiraz University



Purpose: When employees leave a company or organization, they take all their knowledge with them, and if there is no plan to preserve that knowledge before the employee leaves, the organization will face knowledge loss. This is when a company or organization no longer has access to the knowledge previously had. Today's organizations face the serious challenge of employee knowledge loss, which is often undocumented and requires a lot of time to regain through training and experience. Therefore, the present research was conducted to identify and familiarize with the reasons, consequences, methods of measurement and strategies to prevent or reduce the knowledge loss.

Method: Since no study has been done in Persian texts in this field, the present study analyzed the papers related to the topic of knowledge loss and extracted and discussed the categories considered in the purpose of the research.

Findings: Knowledge loss is closely related to work flow and aging and consequently retirement. Its consequences sometimes lead to irreparable risks or lead to heavy costs. Evaluating and calculating this risk in order to prevent it is one of the important measures in the field of knowledge management and risk management; therefore, based on the conducted studies, methods have been proposed to measure the amount of knowledge loss, which are: the network approach and the use of social network analysis, a graphic approach and the use of information or knowledge mapping, an engineering approach, the approach of creating a risk map to identify knowledge forces and try to preserve their knowledge, and finally, checking the level of job sensitivity and predicting time for evaluation. Despite the risks of knowledge loss; if correct preventive strategies are used, suitable opportunities for knowledge retention can be created. Building the institutional repositories, identifying key employees, different methods of documentation, establishing a knowledge management system are among these strategies.

Conclusion: In discussing the knowledge loss, the value that employees create in each field and the conditions that arise after they leave the organization become important. The present study, by identifying the causes and consequences of knowledge loss and methods of evaluating and calculating this organizational threat, along with introducing preventive strategies that focus on knowledge preservation, created a general perspective on the issue of knowledge loss that can inform organizations about it.


Main Subjects


Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 11 March 2024
  • Receive Date: 15 May 2023
  • Revise Date: 06 August 2023
  • Accept Date: 11 November 2023