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Organizational Memory:
Issues in Design & Implementation
Sree Nilakanta
May 1, 2000
Organizational Memory
• Stored information from an organization’s
history that can be brought to bear on
present decisions. The information is stored
as a consequence of implementing decisions
to which they refer, by individual
recollections, and through shared
– Walsh and Ungson (1991), AMR, vol. 16.
Assumptions of OM
• Organizations functionally resemble
Information Processing Systems
• Organizations are Interpretative Systems
• Organizations have distinct Ontological
Imperatives for OM
• Retention Structure (Locus of OM)
– Individuals, Culture, Transformations,
Structures, Ecology
• Processing Architecture
– Acquisition, Retention, Retrieval
• Impact on Organizational Outcomes &
– Use, Misuse, Abuse
OM Research Suggestions
• Phase I
– Assess structure of OM
• Phase II
– Parse the Process
• Phase III
– Assess Consequences
Organizational Memory
Navigator &
Composer &
Enterprise Information Portal
A Vehicle for OM
Business intelligence
Content management
Data warehouse
Data management
Enterprise Information Portal
EIP Design Parameters
EIP Applications
Post Millenium Priorities
Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence
• Business Intelligence Applications
leverage enterprise database sources to
provide timely, accurate and targeted
information across the enterprise.
• Query, Reporting, On-Line Analytical
Processing (OLAP), Data Mining and
Analytical Applications.
Content Management
Content Management
• Content Management systems capture,
archive, index, manage, combine and
distribute internal and external information
to create a corporate knowledge repository.
Content Management
Case Study
Data Warehouse/Data Mart
• Data Warehouses and Marts create an
environment where data is stored, managed
and optimized for analysis.
Data Management
• Data Management systems perform
Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) tasks,
clean data and facilitate scheduling,
administration and metadata management
for Data Warehouses and Marts.
Document Workflow
Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management
Source: Communications of AIS Volume 1, 1999 Article 7 13
Knowledge Management Systems: Issues, Challenges, and Benefits by Alavi and Leidner
Knowledge Management
• Characterized as the problem of
identifying the personal and collective
knowledge existing in an organization
and making it available to the relevant
– Success depends on understanding unstructured
– Innovation depends on searching knowledge domain
Key Concerns Related to
Knowledge Management
Source: Communications of AIS Volume 1, 1999 Article 7 13
Knowledge Management Systems: Issues, Challenges, and Benefits by Alavi and Leidner
Market Opportunity
• Tools for Organizational Decision Support:
The Design and Development of an
Organizational Memory System
– Introduced a model for capturing and parsing
organizational memory
– HICSS 1997
Meeting Maker
Meeting Maker
Meeting Maker
• Design & Implementation of Data
Warehouses Using Metadata
– the paper presents a CASE tool designed to
generate the SQL queries necessary to build a
warehouse from a set of operational relational
– HICSS 1998, J of IST (review)
Data Warehouse Tool
• PROMIS: A Profiler of Organizational
Memory and Institutional Systems
– present an information retrieval model for
searching and retrieving distributed
– IRMA 1998
• Data Warehouse Generation: The Role of
Mobile Agents in Capturing Data from
Disparate and Multiple Sources.
– The topic of integrating data from multiple
heterogeneous sources has been studied in this
paper. A system based on the Voyager 2.0
mobile agent infrastructure is implemented in
– IRMA 1999
• Supporting Objects in the Data Warehouse
– we introduce a model for an object-oriented
data warehouse. The warehouse model is
based on materializing object views and the
current prototype has been implemented on top
of the POET object-oriented database system.
– IEEE 1998, JDB (revision)
• Supporting Organizational Knowledge
Management with Agents
– The present work is focused on making the vast
amount of unstructured text more useful to
committees. An agent environment has been
designed and implemented.
– IRMA 2000
• A Collaborative Work Group-Based Model
for Supporting Organizational Knowledge
– The present work looks at making corporate
knowledge more useful to organizations by
focusing on supporting collaborative work
groups. We focus on presenting our knowledge
model and briefly look at the prototypes used to
test the feasibility of our model.
Software and
Patent Disclosures
Meeting Capture (1997)
Meeting Playback (1997)
Information Extractor, PROMIS (1997)
Warehouse Query Translator (1999)
Meeting Analyzer (1999)
Knowledge Management & Discovery
Model of OM (1999)
Quo Vadis?
• OM/KM Center for Research & Support
• IT Leadership
• Technology Transfer