Corporate memory

Corporate Memory (CM) can be defined as the total body of data, information and knowledge required to deliver the strategic aims and objectives of an organization. A corporate memory is the combination of a "repository" - the space where objects and artifacts are stored, and the "community" - the people that interact with those objects to learn, make decisions, understand context or find colleagues.

Corporate Memory can be subdivided into the following types:

* Professional (Reference material, documentation, tools, methodologies)
* Company (Organizational structure, activities, products, participants)
* Individual (Status, competencies, know-how, activities)
* Project (Definition, activities, histories, results)

Key decisions when exploring CM are:

* What knowledge representation to use (stories, patterns, cases, rules, predicate logic...)
* Who will be the users - what are their information and learning needs?
* How to ensure security and who will be granted access
* How to best integrate with existing sources, stores and systems
* What to do to ensure the current content is correct, applicable, timely and weeded
* How to motivate experts to contribute
* What to do about ephemeral insights, how to capture informal scripts e.g. e-mail and IM instant messenger posts.

Alternative & related terms are: organizational memory, group memory, knowledge base, and knowledge repository.

Most commercial knowledge management efforts have included building some form of corporate memory to capture expertise, speed learning, help the organization remember, record decision rationale, document achievements or learn from past failures.

See also

* Corporate culture
* Institutional memory

References

* Brooking, A., 1999. Corporate Memory. Strategies for knowledge management. Thompson Business Press. ISBN 1-86152-268-1
* March, J. “Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning,” Organization Science (2:1), 1991, pp. 71-87.

External links

* http://denham.typepad.com/km/2003/09/corporate_memor.html - Corporate memory - the hard way blog post 23 September 2003
* http://www.knowledgeboard.com/item/858/ - Ontology and corporate memory - bibliography Tsui, E 2002
* http://www.insightknowledge.com/ - InsightKnowledge Inc. offers consulting on Organizational Intelligence
* National Library for Health [http://www.library.nhs.uk/knowledgemanagement/SearchResults.aspx?searchText=memory&tabID=289 Knowledge Management Specialist Library] - collection of resources about corporate memory.


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