Considering an Organization's Memory

TitleConsidering an Organization's Memory
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsAckerman, MS, Halverson, CA
Conference NameProceedings of the 1998 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW'98)
Date Published11/1998
Keywordscollective memory, computer-supported cooperative work, distributed cognition, expertise sharing, group memory, information sharing, knowledge management, knowledge sharing, organizational memory

The term organizational memory is due for an overhaul. Memory appears to be everywhere in organizations; yet, the term has been limited to a few uses. In this paper we examine what memory in an organization really is. Based on an ethnographic study of a telephone hotline group, this paper presents a micro-level analysis of a hotline call, the work activity surrounding the call, and the memory used in the work activity. We do this analysis from the viewpoint of distributed cognition theory, finding it fruitful for an understanding of an organization’s memory.