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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Definitional and contextual issues in organizational and group memories


Organizations are looking to augment their memories through information technologies. Organizational and group memories can include a wide variety of materials, including documents, rationales for decisions, formal descriptions of procedures, and so on. This paper discusses findings from case studies of six organizations using or attempting to use the Answer Garden, a type of organizational memory system. Two major issues in the implementation of such systems are examined: (1) the gap between the idealized definition of organizational memory and the constrained realities of organizational life, and (2) the effects of reducing contextual information in computer-based memory.

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