Knowledge Management and Succession Planning: case study in a food industry from the state of Paraná, Brazil

Susanne Durst, Paula Regina Zarelli, Caroline Rodrigues Vaz, Carla Bazzanella Muran, Paulo Maurício Selig


This study approached the topic of knowledge management (KM) from the application of the study of Durst and Wilhelm (2012) in the context of succession planning and aimed at obtaining a better understanding of how the Brazilian food industry deals with the danger of knowledge loss because of quitting or long-term absence of the organization’s members. The differential of the study consists in the inclusion of the GC perspective in the succession planning matter, and the realisation of an empirical research made as a case study in a family-owned food industry located in the state of Paraná, Brazil. The exploratory research followed by a qualitative approach and semi-structured interview were elected for seeming appropriate methodological outlines for the present case study. The analysis focused in the identification of the critical personal of the firm; in the effects of knowledge loss perceived by the interviewees; and in the used means to store and share knowledge. The main results demonstrated similarities with the original study in the German context, such as lack of standardisation and documentation of the firm’s processes; and also divergences, such as favourable culture for succession planning and knowledge management in the German firm and lack of understanding about the global view that involve the subject in the Brazilian firm.


Knowledge Management; Succession Planning; Food Industry

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