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Knowledge Repositories:
Organizational Learning and Organizational Memories

This section of the course will examine some of the issues associated with the use of organizational memories as part of a learning organization. In particular, it will examine the problems of capturing and managing the knowledge in an organizational memory.

An Organizational Memory or Knowledge Repository is a computer system that continuously captures and analyses the knowledge assets of an organization. It is a collaborative system where people can query and browse both structured and unstructured information in order to retrieve and preserve organizational knowledge assets and facilitate collaborative working.

The focus of such systems tends to be on storing unstructured, but nonetheless still explicit, forms of knowledge such as unwritten local rules and procedures. The aim is to be able to retrieve data in a context sensitive way rather than just through the use of simple keyword-based retrieval. Such systems might use techniques such as Social Network Analysis or collaborative filtering in order to provide the required "context" for the data.

By providing context sensitive retrieval of data these systems claim to move beyond simple information retrieval and to act like a true Knowledge Management System (KMS). The term KMS is also justified by the capacity of such systems to use inference mechanisms to (semi-automatically) generate new information by, for example, filling sections of a document, proposing hints or showing reasons "why" and "why not" a certain outcome should happen.

Some potential application areas for such systems are: (a) to identify relevant experts (b) to identify potential areas for collaboration (c) to identify Networks of Practice (d) to uncover hidden knowledge.






Organizational Learning Organizational Memory

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