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Title: Managing Knowledge through Conversation Support Your Bottom Line

Author(s): Dr. Cindy Young, McKean Defense


If leadership of the ship repair industry does not incorporate knowledge sharing and innovation into their daily business practices, knowledge will be lost during employee departures and turnover of teams from project-to-project, resulting in decreasing firm performance within their organizations. In 2014, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the largest concentration of the U.S. labor force consists of workers aged 25 to 54 years, who represented 71.4% of the labor force in 1992 and decreased to 65.3% in 2012 with an expected reduction of labor forces to fall to 63.1% in 2022. Overall, this is a decrease of 8.3% in the labor forces aged 25 to 54. This was a study to determine if there was a correlation between knowledge management, innovation, and firm performance.

Data was collected from 69 CEO/Presidents, Human Resource personnel, or members in leadership positions of the Virginia Ship Repair Association in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States through an online survey. This study results predicted a positive relationship of 34.4% between knowledge management and innovation on firm performance. Knowledge was more influential than innovation in predicting firm performance. Increasing knowledge sharing and innovation practices provides for positive social change for the personnel of these organizations, since the skills they learn within their organizations are immediately usable in their personal endeavors in their churches, neighborhoods, and family relationships and are transferrable to those they interact with outside of their organizations.