Onboarding employees in a fast-growing and knowledge-intensive firm
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Management and economics of innovation (MPMEI), MSc
Purpose: The purpose was to gain insights into a previously unexplored niche in literature but, most importantly, facilitate and make practitioners aware of the challenges when introducing newcomers effectively during organizational growth. RQ: What are the challenges to decrease time to productivity when formalizing the onboarding process in a fast-growing and knowledge-intensive firm? Design/methodology/approach: We applied an interactive research approach, that led to the discovery of an increased time to productivity due to organizational growth. Uncertainty of causes directed the study towards the perception of newcomers. A qualitative research strategy was applied to answer the research question by collecting data from semi-structured interviews with participants who have experienced an onboarding process. The interactive approach allowed us to participate as newcomers during the execution of the study. Findings: Time to productivity was found to be two-sided, domain-specific and company-specific. The combination of these two seems to be the total time to productivity. Further results are presented in three factors affecting time to productivity. First, it was found that knowledge is becoming fragmented in domains, thereby challenging to obtain. Second, connection and social bonds cross-teams are weak leading to lower knowledge transfer between domains. Third, the difficulties of acquiring information and knowledge due to the organizational informality, i.e., lack of documentation and insufficient access to key person’s. Conclusion: When formalizing the onboarding process in a fast-growing and knowledge-intensive firm, it is important to cultivate and nurture the social exchange between employees and thereby maintain the organizational knowledge transfer.
Challenges , Communities of practice , Company-specific knowledge , Domain-specific knowledge , Formalization , Onboarding , Organizational growth , Organizational informality , Time to productivity