Co-ordinating Distributed Knowledge: A Study into the Use of an Organisational Memory

M. J. Perry, R. Fruchter, D. Rosenberg
1999 Cognition, Technology & Work  
This paper presents an ethnographically informed investigation into the use of an organisational memory, focusing in particular on how information was used in the performance of work. We argue that understanding how people make use of distributed knowledge is crucial to the design of an organisational memory. However, we take the perspective that an 'organisational memory' is not technology dependant, but is an emergent property of group interaction. In this sense, the technology does not form
more » ... he organisational memory, but provides a novel means of augmenting the co-ordination of collaborative action. The study examines the generation, development and maintenance of knowledge repositories and archives. The knowledge and information captured in the organisational memory enabled the team members to establish a common understanding of the design and to gain an appreciation of the issues and concerns of the other disciplines. The study demonstrates why technology should not be thought of in isolation from its contexts of use, but also how designers can make use of the creative flexibility that people employ in their everyday activities. The findings of the study are therefore of direct relevance to both the design of knowledge archives and to the management of this information within organisations.
doi:10.1007/s101110050012 fatcat:qcnuhczhbfa3xbp77sqi26j53a