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Halmstad University, School of Business and Engineering (SET).
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Organizational memory is said to be one of the essential factors of organizational learning, particularly in a part that is concerned with knowledge flowing from an organization to its employees. Often viewed as a system of knowledge repositories, organizational memory is argued to be important in various contexts. The purpose of this study is to explore an impact of the organizational memory in two such contexts, namely in a situation of presence of new employees and organization involved in innovation activity. The importance of organizational memory for the new employees can be explained by the fact that it is through facing it they socialize in the organization. Organizational memory also influences innovative behaviour of employees.

This researched is performed in a form of a case study; where the object of study finds itself in a combined context – new employees of R&D department learn from different organizational memory systems. The data for this case study were collected through qualitative interviewing of both the newcomers and their supervisor.

The results show that new employees face a range of memory systems, and this range does not depend on the innovativeness of the work they are involved in. It was found possible to look separately into the systems and methods the newcomers accessed them. The most important access methods in this case turned out to be personal communication and IT-enabled means, however a number of other methods were also found relevant for the case.

Focusing on how this knowledge can support innovative behaviour of the new employees, this study has found several ways in which both incremental and radical innovations can be enhanced. The memory systems have been found to affect innovative behaviour of the newcomers by demonstrating expectance of this behaviour, by providing “old” knowledge, as well as hints where one can possibly find “old” and “new” knowledge.

In general, the findings suggest that looking into memory systems separately from the ways to access them might give valuable insights for rethinking how properties of the memory systems have been defined so far.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 30 p.
Keyword [en]
organizational learning, organizational memory, knowledge repositories, new employees, innovation, case study
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-19854OAI: diva2:561477
Subject / course
Business Management
2012-05-29, Halmstad, 10:00 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-10-22 Created: 2012-10-18 Last updated: 2012-10-22Bibliographically approved

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