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What is Organizational Memory

Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
A learning history that tells an organization its own story that should help generate reflective conversations among organizational members. Operationally, an organizational memory has come to be a close partner of knowledge management, denoting the actual content that a knowledge management system purports to manage.
Published in Chapter:
OMIS-Based Collaboration with Service-Oriented Design
Kam Hou Vat (University of Macau, Macau)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch459
The success of today’s enterprises, measured in terms of their ability to learn and to apply lessons learned, is highly dependent on the inner workings and capabilities of their information technology (IT) function. This is largely due to the emergence of the digital economy (Ghosh, 2006; Turban, Leidner, McLean, & Wetherbe, 2005), characterized by a highly competitive and turbulent business environment, inextricably driven by the intra- and inter-organizational processes and the knowledge processing activities they support. One consequence is the increase in organizations’ efforts to deliberately manage knowledge (Tapscott, 1997), especially the intellectual capital (Stewart, 1997) of their employees (De Hoog, van Heijst, van der Spek, et al., 1999), which necessarily deals with the conceptualization, review, consolidation, and action phases of creating, securing, combining, coordinating, and retrieving knowledge. In fact, such efforts must be instrumental to creating an efficient organization model based on some innovative initiative, and then enable the organization to launch and learn. In a knowledge-creating organization (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995), employees are expected to continually improvise, and invent new methods to deal with unexpected problems and share these innovations with other employees through some effective channels of communications or knowledge transfer mechanisms. The key is collaboration, implying that organizational knowledge is created only when individuals keep modifying their knowledge through interactions with other organizational members. The challenge that organizations now face is how to devise suitable information systems (IS) support to enable such collaboration, namely, to turn the scattered, diverse knowledge of their people into welldocumented knowledge assets ready for reuse to benefit the whole organization. This article presents some service-oriented perspectives of employee-based collaboration through the design of specific IS support called the Organizational Memory Information System (OMIS) in light of the peculiar open-source development initiative of Wiki technology (Leuf & Cunningham, 2001).
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More Results
Knowledge for Communicating Knowledge
OM is a general term for the collection of information and knowledge “known” to the organization, as well as the KM necessary to acquire, store, and utilize this knowledge.
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Knowledge Management in Charities
Knowledge from the past that remains stored in the present within an individual or an information system (Stein & Zwass, 1995).
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IT Evaluation Issues in Australian Public-Sector Organizations
It is also called corporate knowledge. It refers to the repository where hard data and soft information are stored for future use. The soft information can be in the form of tacit know-how, expertise, biases, experiences, and anecdotes.
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Transactive Memory Systems
It refers to the implicit and explicit knowledge that the organization has gained along the time as a result of its business activities.
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