How Well do Organizations Understand the Knowledge that Could be Lost


  • Marta Mancilla International School for Social and Business Studies



Knowledge at-risk, Critical knowledge, Organizational memory, institutional knowledge.


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify the type of knowledge considered the most critical knowledge available in each organizational management level, as well as the knowledge at-risk in Mexican organizations by the different management levels.

Study design/methodology/approach: Data were collected by a structured questionnaire to employees of various organizations in different sectors established in Mexico, either SMEs or transnational companies established in Mexican territory. Our research includes more than 200 responses as a result of our survey. 

Findings: The findings of our research highlight that strategic/critical knowledge is considered one of the most important types of knowledge an organization has, also considered as being the knowledge with higher risk to be lost. Surprisingly most of the respondents in any organizational management level didn’t consider institutional knowledge to be important, which was unexcepted since many competitive advantages are based on this knowledge.

Originality/value: There has been a lack of studies focused on the knowledge identification, transference, and leakage of the different types of knowledge the organizations have, specially the most critical and at-risk knowledge that could affect their productivity and efficiency. Therefore, our study seeks to identify the knowledge that could be at risk in each organizational management level as well as raise awareness of the knowledge that needs to be preserved in the organizations.