organisation memeory!! LO27191

From: Nigel Vickers (
Date: 08/30/01

Replying to LO27174 --

The term 'organizational memory' or 'corporate memory' has returned to the
forefront of organizational learning under the umbrella of knowledge
management (as Gijs as described).

To talk a bit to Premal's question (whether data warehouse can be
considered as organization repository [/memory]?)

A data warehouse, in general, is just that -- a storehouse of historical
corporate data capturing and reflecting the results of business processes.

Ideally some of this data has been processed into rudimentary information
such as summarization entities or reports. This information is used to
guide or reinforce decision-making within the organization. However,
there is very little ability to reflect on cause-and-effect (e.g., why
didn't our last sales campaign generate the expected leads and revenue?).
Reflection is a key capability in learning.

Enter "Business Intelligence" tools, or BI for short. BI tools either
overlay, or in many cases pull data from the data warehouse and provide a
means of looking at it across multiple dimensions.

BI tools allow you to "mine" information out of all this data you have.
It's still not knowledge or learning per se, as that conversion is a
human-centred activity. However it does support reflection.

Gijs has essentially captured the KM slant on corporate memory. However,
let me add a downside, what I call the 'we have always done it like this'

Corporate memory is often *unquestioned* tacit and explicit organizational
knowledge about processes, procedures, traditions and values.
Strategically this knowledge is important. However, the resistance to
change that often comes with it is a potential inhibitor to corporate
flexibility. This is where your link to the OL and KM programs comes into

Nigel Vickers
Knowledge Management Alliance

Gijs Houtzagers wrote:

> Hi Premal,
> Below is some text on organizational memory. It is part of one of my
> article that was publshed in 1999 on knowledge management. The article is
> available on my website.


Nigel Vickers <>

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <>

"Learning-org" and the format of our message identifiers (LO1234, etc.) are trademarks of Richard Karash.