The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management aims to publish perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of knowledge management
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Journal Article

Let's Learn Unlearning: How Top Managers Conceive and Implement Knowledge Active Forgetting  pp605-614

Mehdi Bagherzadeh Niri, Mohammad Hosein Rezazade Mehrizi

© Jan 2010 Volume 7 Issue 5, Editor: Kimiz Dalkir, pp535 - 662

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Abstract

Regarding the influential role of top managers in the process of unlearning, the main question in this paper is "how top managers understand and approach unlearning" in their managerial activities. Toward this aim, based on several case studies with top managers who have recently been involved in the process of knowledge based changes, we realized that top managers are more apt to focus on technical and concrete types of knowledge such as knowledge which resides in systems and procedures. Moreover, among all different possible approaches toward unlearning, they mainly make sense of this it as a process of "pushing by new knowledge", and "abandoning old knowledge" that both of them are radical approaches toward unlearning. The main lesson drawn in this study is that researchers who interact with managers in their inquiry about unlearning must be aware about the natural orientations of top managers and how this might affect the validity of their field inquiry. Above all, the insights gained in this study shows that field study about unlearning based on the opinions of managers is easy to start with, as managers can make sense about this process easily, but is difficult to focus on, because managers easily shift from unlearning old knowledge to learning new knowledge in their thoughts.

 

Keywords: Knowledge Management, KM, Knowledge Active Forgetting, KAF, creative destruction, unlearning

 

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Journal Article

Linking Unlearning with Innovation through Organizational Memory and Technology  pp1-10

Juan-Gabriel Cegarra-Navarro

© Jan 2010 Volume 8 Issue 1, Editor: Ettore Bolisani, Enrico Scarso, pp1 - 180

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Abstract

While the information technologies provide organizational members with explicit concepts, such as writing instruction manuals, the 'organizational memory' provides individuals with tacit knowledge, such as systematic sets, routines and shared visions. This means that individuals within an organization learn by using both the organizational memory and the information technologies. They interact to reduce organizational information needs contributing to improve organizational innovativeness. However, the utilization of the organization memory or the technology infrastructure does not guarantee that appropriate information is used in appropriate circumstances or that information is appropriately updated. In other words, previous memories reflect a world that is only partially understood and assimilated, which might lead individuals to doing the wrong things right or the right things wrong. This paper examines the relative importance and significance of the existence of unlearning to the presence and nature of 'organizational memory and technology'. We further examine the effect of the existence of organizational memory and information technology on conditions that promote organizational innovativeness. These relationships are examined through an empirical investigation of 291 large Spanish companies. Our analysis found that if the organization considers the establishment of an unlearning culture as a prior step in the utilization of organization memory or the technology infrastructure through organizational innovativeness, then organization memory and technology have a positive influence on the conditions that stimulate organizational innovativeness.

 

Keywords: unlearning, technology, organizational memory, and innovation

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 7 Issue 5 / Dec 2009  pp535‑662

Editor: Kimiz Dalkir

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Editorial

The 9th ICICKM conference, held at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, was well attended by participants representing over 20 different countries. The international flavor of the conference continues to ensure a diverse range of papers as well as opportunities for valuable networking. As with all ICICKM gatherings, researchers, practitioners and students of KM were brought together to discuss the KM crossroads we find ourselves at in the year 2009.

Some of the key issues that emerged from the two days included a consensus that KM has evolved so we no longer need to convince people it is needed. We now need now to know how to “do KM” – that is, how to implement knowledge management in organizations in a more informed manner. In particular, the need for more how‑to guides, detailed rules, good validated practices and an overall quasi‑standard approach to KM implementation were noted as priority needs for the KM community. In addition, particular guidance is required concerning the KM teams (who should do what?) and how best to address tacit knowledge. Other issues concerned the specific components that should be present in a KM workspace and how this workspace can address the needs of different users who need to accomplish different sorts of tasks

While participants felt that we still have to convince some senior managers, we now also need to better address how to align KM processes so as to not create overhead. For example, what is the impact of KM on other parts of the organization such as training and IT units? How can we change peoples’ behaviours and how they think about the work they do? What are the new skills/competencies needed? How can they acquire them? How to integrate KM into business processes? How to integrate KM roles within existing jobs?

The good news is that the discipline and practice of KM has evolved – the bad news is that we still have a long way to go. The focus is now on how to do KM well. Educators need to focus on student competencies, skills and roles and responsibilities. Researchers need to focus on more evidence‑based and theory‑based KM. Practitioners need to focus on feedback from users and best practices.

The collection of papers in this special conference edition address the multitude of issues we currently face, and will continue to face, in the future. There is an excellent mix of practical case studies, practical tools such as intellectual capital measurement models in addition to more conceptual and theoretical approaches to solving crucial KM problems.

 

Keywords: academic education, avatars, ba, BRIC, competitive intelligence, complexity of choice, creative destruction, decision-making, developing countries, discipline, emerging markets, experiment, financial crisis, group interaction, growth drivers, human capital, Indian economy, Information Technology sector, intangible assets, Intellectual capital, intellectual value, KM in interconnected power systems, Knowledge Active Forgetting (KAF), knowledge capital, knowledge management implementation, management support systems, measurement, methods of assessment, paradigm, SET KM model, stakeholders, strategy, sustainable competitive advantage, technology, theoretical framework, UK car manufacturing industry, undergraduate degree program in Turkey, unlearning, virtual environments

 

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