Organization memory: Review of concepts and recommendations for management

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243 Scopus citations


The notion of corporate or organizational memory has been discussed for over a quarter of a century. A major objective of this work is to review the conceptual foundations of organizational memory drawing from information systems research, management science, economics, systems theory, political theory, organizational behavior, decision making, and communication theory. The paper provides the reader with a working definition of organizational memory, identifies ways to distinguish the contents of organizational memory, and explicates the processes of memory including knowledge acquisition, retention, maintenance and retrieval. Recommendations are made throughout the work regarding ways information managers can assess and control the effects of organizational memory. While this work does not represent the last word on organizational memory, it provides a conceptual road map to the many different and seemingly contradictory perspectives on the topic. As a practical guide, this work is valuable to managers struggling to compete using, and in spite of, organizational memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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