Organizational Memory in Institutions of Higher Education: A Case Study

By Kimiz Dalkir.

Published by Knowledge Management: An International Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

As institutions of higher education, universities appear to be a logical place for the implementation of key knowledge management (KM) practices such as organizational learning and knowledge transfer (Kidwell et al, 2000). It is therefore surprising that universities are in fact lagging in knowledge transfer and retention strategies (Rowley, 2000). Loh et al (2003) studied KM processes for university research at the Singapore Management University. This study looked at one unit within a University to better understand how knowledge related not only to research but also teaching and service activities were transferred and preserved.
A representative section of faculty, librarians archival personnel were interviewed in order to better understand how knowledge pertaining to research, teaching and service objectives, the fundamental nature of academic duties, were being carried out. Twelve participants were asked to describe how they transferred knowledge, preserved knowledge and collaborated with their peers.
Some of the key findings indicated that there was a definite lack of clarity over roles and responsibilities. While there was a consensus on the importance of preserving valuable teaching, research and service knowledge, there was no notion of how this was supposed to be done. Each participant had developed their own personal KM systems (PKM) to better collaborate with peers and preserve the knowledge they would access to in the future. This study contributes to the ultimate goal of constructing a KM model for institutions of higher education.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Organizational Learning, Organizational Memory, Higher Education

Knowledge Management: An International Journal, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp.43-56. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.064MB).

Dr. Kimiz Dalkir

Associate Professor, School of Information Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Dr. Dalkir is currently an Associate Professor in the McGill School of Information Studies, and has developed a specialization stream in Knowledge Management courses. She teaches Master’s level courses in Knowledge Management Foundations, Knowledge Taxonomies, Intellectual Capital Management and Communities of Practice. She has published “Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice” (June 2005, Butterworth-Heineman, Second Edition, 2012, MIT Press). Dr. Dalkir pursues research on the effectiveness of knowledge processing in both profit and non-profit organizations, learning in peer networks and measurement frameworks for assessing knowledge management success. Prior to joining McGill University, Dr. Dalkir was Director of Global KM Services at DMR Consulting where she was actively involved in the transfer of knowledge management (KM) and electronic performance support systems (EPSS) to clients in Europe, Japan and North America.