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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.
- See any of the books from the MIS books section
- Davenport T. and Prusak L. Working knowledge: how organizations manage what they know. Boston Massachusetts: Harvard Business School Press, 1998
- Haeckel S and Nolan R (1993), Managing by Wire, in Harvard Business Review September-October, pp 122-132
- Abecker, A., Bernardi, A., Hinkelmann, K., Kuhn, O. and Sintek, M. (1998), Towards a Technology for Organizational Memories, IEEE Intelligent Systems, 13(3) pp. 30-34.
- Kuhn, O. and Abecker, A. (1997) Corporate Memories for Knowledge Management in Industrial Practice: Prospects and Challenges, Journal of Universal Computer Science, 3(8), pp. 929-954.
- Buckingham Shum, S, (1998) Negotiating the Construction of Organizational Memories, In U.M. Borghoff and R. Pareschi (Ed.), Information Technology for Knowledge Management, pp. 55-78, Berlin: Springer.
- Stein, E. and Zwass, V. (1995) Actualizing Organizational Memory with Information Technology, Information Systems Research, 6(2),
- If you wish to search for additional sources of information, use the MIS links page
- Managing Codified Knowledge
To remain competitive, organizations must efficiently and effectively create, locate, capture, and share their organization's knowledge and expertise. This increasingly requires making the organization's knowledge explicit and recording it for easier distribution and reuse. This article provides a framework for configuring a firm's organizational and technical resources to leverage its codified knowledge.
- Knowledge Management: Facilitating Organizational Learning Within the Construction Industry
This paper describes an action research project, Building a High Value Construction Environment (B-Hive), involving: two major construction clients, a privatised utility company (Thames Water) and a major leisure services provider (Whitbread Hotels); a large construction company (Taylor Woodrow); two leading construction consultancy firms; and London School of Economics and Leeds Metropolitan University. The research promoted learning and understanding through action and reflection culminating in the production of an approach that facilitates organizational learning.
- Collaborative Information Environments for Innovative Communities of Practice
In the information age, lifelong learning and collaboration are essential aspects of most innovative work. Fortunately, the computer technology which drives the information explosion also has the potential to help individuals and teams to learn much of what they need to know on demand. In particular, computer-based systems on the Internet can be designed to capture knowledge as it is generated within a community of practice and to deliver relevant knowledge when it is useful.
- Information Management for the Intelligent Organization
Organizational learning depends on a cycle of processes that support the organization's activities: identifying information needs, acquiring information, organizing and storing information, developing information products and services, distributing information, and using information.
- Groupware and Organizational Learning
Groupware is synergistic with the Learning Organization concepts. The principles and disciplines of the Learning Organization can substantially help achieve the change involved in today's technology projects. If Groupware can truly support communication, collaboration, and coordination, then it will play an important enabling role for the Learning Organization.
- Designing Organizational Memory
A central assumption of this paper is that most knowledge work happens in groups, and that group work is largely conversations. It provides examples of some of the challenges for the construction of organizational memories, e.g. (1) The knowledge acquisition problem (such as the capture of informal knowledge); (2) context preservation; and (3) issues relating to temporal knowledge (such as relevance vs. time).
- An Organizational Memory Information System using Ontologies
This paper presents ontologies as a design approach to represent organizational knowledge. This approach acknowledges the dynamics of the organizational environments in contrast to the traditional approach to the design of information systems which does not.
- The Link between Organizational Memory and Cooperative Awareness
Organizational memory and cooperative awareness are two abstract notions that currently have considerable currency within CSCW. Organizational memory is the attempt to capture a residue of the processes and rationale occurring in an organization, for later use; cooperative awareness is the concept of what other people are doing at a particular time, or indeed just who is around in whatever space is under consideration.
- Scholarly Web Sites as Organizational Memory System
Organizational Memory Systems enable organizations to exploit knowledge that resides in the collective memories of their employees and is not found in any of the formal documents produced by the organization.
- Asynchronous, Distributed Apprenticeship using a Hypermedia based Group Memory System
... organizational / group memory is currently defined in such a nebulous way that it is harder to find out what is not within the system than what is. This site provides some theoretical ideas for the creation of Organizational (Group) memories using multimedia and hypermedia technologies.
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