A Manifesto for the Preservation of Organizational Memory Associated with the Emergence of Knowledge Management Educational Programs

A Manifesto for the Preservation of Organizational Memory Associated with the Emergence of Knowledge Management Educational Programs

Michael JD Sutton (Westminster College, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-540-5.ch015
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This chapter introduces the research domain of knowledge management educational programs and issues associated with the preservation of knowledge about these programs. The chapter comprises a preliminary literature review of the academic and research perspectives along with the broader educational perspectives associated with knowledge management educational programs in the academy and in the workplace. The manifesto concludes with an imperative suggesting the critical need to immediately collect and preserve all significant knowledge artifacts comprising curriculum, courses, and instruction associated with past, current, and future knowledge management educational programs. Since knowledge management is continuing to grow as an emerging field, future educators will need access to the preserved organizational memory associated with instructional successes and failures in this new field.
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Knowledge Management (KM) has been widely accepted as an emergent phenomenon, although minorities of academics, pundits, and practitioners have proposed that KM has already reached the status of a discipline. The following review of the literature demonstrates that research on the nature of the emerging field of KM education is plentiful, but still in its infancy. Research on KM educational programs appears, at the most, to be conceptual, although concrete programs have been designed, developed, deployed, and occasionally decommissioned. Preserving the institutional memory surrounding the development of KM educational programs could prove useful for future research about KM and KM education. Eventually a need may arise to understand how KM education evolved and why certain perspectives of KM were taught while others have disappeared from the curriculum. In order to anticipate this educational imperative, care must be taken now to preserve the organizational memory associated with KM education. This chapter is an attempt to bring together disparate material about KM education in order to initiate an historical repository of the programs, curricula, and courses that purport to teach KM.

I sought material in my review of the literature that would help us to explore the phenomenon of KM, but more specifically KM within the context of an educational program of learning. This investigation was based upon earlier work in organizational memory management (Sutton, 1996) and my recently completed doctoral research where I studied two specific cases of KM educational program design and development in the academy (Sutton, 2007). The following preliminary review of the literature will be presented in three major categories that provide structure for this chapter:

  • 1.

    Knowledge Management in the academy—the academic perspective.

  • 2.

    Knowledge Management in educational programs—a research perspective.

  • 3.

    Knowledge Management educational programs—the broader educational perspective.



Before I discuss the different perspectives of the literature encompassing the concepts of KM and education I need to provide some context by means of a definition. My initial review of the literature turned up at least fifty definitions of KM, and it is not yet an exhaustive list. Dalkir (2005, p. 4) reported that she had discovered over 100 disparate definitions. Most academics as well as practitioners agree that the term was poorly defined and ambiguously described (Den Hertog & Huizenga, 2000; Dixon, 2000). This situation likely parallels the circumstances surrounding the emergence of other fields that have become prominent over the last two decades, for example, Astrobiology, Information Science, Information Systems, MIS, Space Science, and Women and Gender Studies.

The explosion of homegrown definitions along with the development of well-founded and well-formulated definitions suggests that the field of KM is still emerging (Despres & Chauvel, 2002). The multidisciplinary roots of KM (Dalkir, 2005, p. 6–7) constrain the capability of both practitioners and academics to agree on one definition for the emerging field. I synthesized three widely accepted definitions I discovered during my research (Dalkir, 2005, p. 3; Becerra-Fernandez, Gonzalez, & Sabherwal, 2004, p. 30; Bennet & Bennet, 2004, p. 227) into one definition for my research study:

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Nick Bontis
John P. Girard
John P. Girard
Chapter 1
Peter Stoyko
This chapter describes how organizational culture is both a “vessel” for preserving organizational memory and a force that conditions the way... Sample PDF
Organizational Culture and the Management of Organizational Memory
Chapter 2
Nicholas N. Bowersox
Recent business practices over the past decade have been tainted with corporate restructuring strategies such as downsizing, reorganizations, and... Sample PDF
Downsizing and Building Organizational Memory: A Paradoxical Relationship between “Brain-Drain” and “Brain-Gain”
Chapter 3
Nicholas P. Robinson, Prescott C. Ensign
This chapter argues that a trusting corporate culture predicated on values that emphasize sharing and encourage interactions amongst stakeholders at... Sample PDF
Effective Stakeholder Knowledge Sharing for Effective Organizational Memory
Chapter 4
Jerry Westfall
This chapter discusses the revision of the SECI model originally based on Japanese organizational culture into a model based on American... Sample PDF
Revising the SECI Model for American Organizational Culture
Chapter 5
Parissa Haghirian
A growing interest in the various aspects of knowledge transfer within multinational corporations has been evidenced by a recent surge in empirical... Sample PDF
Knowledge Transfer within Multinational Corporations: An Intercultural Challenge
Chapter 6
Patrice Dunckley, Suzanne Roff-Wexler
This chapter provides perspective and practical techniques that individuals and organizations can use to maximize knowledge transfer efforts. It... Sample PDF
Valuing a Multiplicity of Views: How to Tap Informal Networks to See the (W)hole
Chapter 7
Haris Papoutsakis
This chapter explores the ways that Knowledge Sharing Networks support the flow of organizational knowledge within a firm. Based on the assumption... Sample PDF
Organizational Knowledge Sharing Networks
Chapter 8
Raul M. Abril, Ralf Müller
This chapter suggests established research approaches to capture and validate project lessons learned. Past research indicates that due to the... Sample PDF
Lessons Learned as Organizational Project Memories
Chapter 9
Jerry Westfall
This chapter discusses employee recall due to training presentations. Recall is an employee’s ability to remember what they knew or have learned via... Sample PDF
Will You Recall What You Knew?
Chapter 10
Maria de los Angeles Martin, Luis Olsina
With the aim to manage and retrieve the organizational knowledge, in the last years numerous proposals of models and tools for knowledge management... Sample PDF
Added Value of Ontologies for Modeling an Organizational Memory
Chapter 11
Juha Kettunen
This study analyses how strategic management is integrated with budgeting in the cities using the Balanced Scorecard approach, which provides a... Sample PDF
The Collective Process and Memory of Strategic Management
Chapter 12
Kimiz Dalkir
Research on how organizational memories can be created, preserved and made available for future reuse in NPOs is presented. An initial review of the... Sample PDF
Organizational Memory Challenges Faced by Non-Profit Organizations
Chapter 13
Susan G. McIntyre
The case study of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI), a Canadian... Sample PDF
Creating and Sustaining Meta Organizational Memory: A Case Study
Chapter 14
David Bennet, Alex Bennet
This chapter begins with a brief discussion of the basic concepts related to the unconscious life of an organization, and then addresses specific... Sample PDF
Associative Patterning: The Unconscious Life of an Organization
Chapter 15
Michael JD Sutton
This chapter introduces the research domain of knowledge management educational programs and issues associated with the preservation of knowledge... Sample PDF
A Manifesto for the Preservation of Organizational Memory Associated with the Emergence of Knowledge Management Educational Programs
Chapter 16
Marie-Hélène Abel
Learning can be considered an outcome associated with acquiring new competencies (Sicilia, 2005) and adding new knowledge. A competence is a way to... Sample PDF
An Organizational Memory Tool for E-Learning
Chapter 17
Sajjad M. Jasimuddin, N.A.D. Connell, Jonathan H. Klein
It is generally recognized that Walsh and Ungson (1991) “provided the first integrative framework for thinking about organizational memory”... Sample PDF
Understanding Organizational Memory
Chapter 18
Les Miller, Sree Nilakanta, Yunan Song, Lei Zhu, Ming Hua
Organizational memories play a significant role in knowledge management, but several challenges confront their use. Artifacts of OM are many and... Sample PDF
Managing Knowledge in Organizational Memory Using Topic Maps
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