Dave Randall, John Hughes, Jon O'Brien, Mark Rouncefield, Peter Tolmie
''Memories Are Made Of This'': Explicating Organizational Memory. Dave Randall, John Hughes, Jon O''Brien, Mark Rouncefield and Peter Tolmie - in Edwards, J and Kidd, J. (eds) proceedings of KMAC2000 The Knowledge Management Conference, Aston, Birmingham. Operational Research Society. pp255-264. ISBN: 0 903440 21 0
It is a commonplace that in the ''Age of Information'', knowledge is the most important factor in the long-term
success of an organisation. Such an emphasis is increasingly important as businesses confront a series of
intransigent organisational problems connected with the retention and provision of organisational histories,
knowledge and skills. ''Organisational memory'' and its sister concept,''knowledge management'', are common
glosses for the analysis and treatment of these problems. In recent years there has been increasing interest
in ways of conceptualising the problem of ''memory'' and ''knowledge'' with a view to embedding these properties
in systems and the Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) community have embraced a variety of
techniques, methods and theories from the social sciences. Such conceptual and empirical stances have a
direct relevance to the problem of ''organisational knowledge/memory'' and provide a way through the confusions
inherent in the concepts. We are concerned with what needs to be known and remembered, and the
occasions that generate such activities. Exactly how and precisely when knowledge is remembered and used
is the critical issue for the concept of organisational knowledge. We analyse some of the conceptual and
empirical issues that must precede attempts to provide support for ''memory'' and ''knowledge'' in the wider
organisational context. The success of ''distributed'' solutions, through some structured knowledge base, will
in the main be a matter of not only making available to others what is individually known, but also what led to
the need for remembering in the first place.
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