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Knowledge creation connects to creativity and its relationship to experience. Dimensions of experience are aspects of experience that impact the form and function of knowledge creation. Knowledge transfer concerns the mechanisms by which experience spreads and embeds itself within the organization. Knowledge transfer can be evaluated using various metrics, including learning curves that demonstrate process improvements over time by comparing the decrease in labor hours to complete a unit of production with the cumulative units produced over time.

Wright's identification of organizational learning curves preceded more complex outcome considerations [4] that now inform measures of knowledge transfer.

While knowledge may transfer tacitly and explicitly as direct experience, organizations can introduce processes and knowledge management systems that facilitate this transfer. Researchers investigate the context of various factors and mechanisms affecting knowledge transfer to determine their beneficial and detrimental effects. Factors on knowledge transfer include the dimensions of the knowledge described in the prior section, as well as the contexts in which it occurs and mechanisms through which it can occur:. Knowledge retention concerns the behavior of knowledge that has been embedded within the organization, characterized by the organizational memory.

Organizational memory, quantified by measures such as cumulative knowledge and the rate of decay over time, is impacted by experience, processes and knowledge repositories that affect knowledge retention. Repositories can include the organization's rules and routines, [81] altered by the processes of routine development [82] and routine modification. In a study of organizational learning in the automotive and fast food industries, Argote found that high turn over rates lead to lower productivity and decreased organizational memory.

Applications of organizational learning research and contexts for organizational learning facilitation and practices are numerous. Experience curves can be used to make projections of production costs, compare performance across units, identify the effects of various processes and practices, and make informed financial decisions about how to allocate resources.

Utilizing knowledge transfer and retention concepts to recognize, maintain, and reclaim embedded knowledge can help organizations become more efficient with their knowledge. Organizational learning theories and knowledge management practices can be applied to organizational design and leadership decisions.

Various knowledge management concepts and practices are the relevant products of organizational learning research. Work on knowledge transfer applies to knowledge retention and contributes to many of the applications listed below, including the practices of building learning organizations , implementing knowledge management systems, and its context for inter organizational learning and the diffusion of innovations. Learning organizations are organizations that actively work to optimize learning.

Learning organizations use the active process of knowledge management to design organizational processes and systems that concretely facilitate knowledge creation, transfer, and retention. Organizational metacognition is used to refer to the processes by which the organization 'knows what it knows'. The study of organizational learning and other fields of research such as organizational development , System theory , and cognitive science provide the theoretical basis for specifically prescribing these interventions. Army's use of a formally structured de-brief process called an after-action review AAR to analyze what happened, why it happened, and how it could be improved immediately after a mission.

Learning laboratories are a type or learning organization dedicate to knowledge creation, collection, and control. Learning organizations also address organizational climate by creating a supportive learning environment and practicing leadership that reinforces learning. Leaders can create learning opportunities by facilitating environments that include learning activities, establishing a culture of learning via norms, behaviors, and rules, and lead processes of discourse by listening, asking questions, and providing feedback.

Leaders must practice the individual learning they advocate for by remaining open to new perspectives, being aware of personal biases, seeking exposure to unfiltered and contradictory sources of information, and developing a sense of humility. While learning processes depend on the context for optimizing knowledge transfer, the implementation of knowledge management systems incorporates technology into these processes.

Knowledge management systems are technologies that serve as a repository, communication, or collaboration tool for transferring and retaining knowledge. Knowledge management systems alone are not necessarily successful, but as a communication tool they tangibly reinforce individuals' ability to spread and reinforce their knowledge. Organizational learning is important to consider in relation to innovation , entrepreneurship , technological change , and economic growth , specifically within the contexts of knowledge sharing and inter organizational learning.

As one of the key dynamics behind the knowledge economy , organizational learning informs our understanding of knowledge transfer between organizations. Heterogeneous experience yields better learning outcomes than homogenous experience, and knowledge diffusion spreads heterogeneous experience across organizations. It may be seen as a subset of the anthropological concept of diffusion and can help to explain how ideas are spread by individuals, social networks, and organizations.

Innovation policy, economic development initiatives, educational program endeavors, and entrepreneurial incubation and acceleration could all be informed by organizational learning practices. In case no systematic approach has been applied when creating organizational memory systems, there is a risk of corporate amnesia.

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Environment of organizational amnesia leads to avoiding mistakes at all cost. Companies should create an environment where learning from mistakes is allowed in order to avoid them happening again. Organizations need to have an organizational memory, a documentation of their milestone events.

That documentation needs to be accessible for all involved to have the ability to learn as an organization. Individual learning is the first level in OL. Transfer process to OL is synthesized by "what people learn know-what and how they understand and apply this learning know-how. Memory plays an active role in a learning process. In a transfer mechanism, mental models are an excellent way to share knowledge and to make it independent from individuals.

Organizational memory is an agglomerate of individual's memory, composed by data, information and knowledge. For those three levels of learning, five retention facilities are available: [97]. The big deal of organizational memory is its availability to be used and re-used. It could represent a competitive advantage but its value is often underestimated because of the complexity to calculate it, even though sometimes employee's, customer's, supplier's, capital's and top management's memory values are budgeted.

Organization's memory needs technological solutions on its side. Technology is often associated with information or communication technology IT which relates to different software solutions that support the organization's memory and ease the transfer of knowledge. Technology can open for example new ways of communicating, but it is different to find a shared acceptance for its utilization.


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IT is an enabler for codifying and distributing data and information as well as both tacit and explicit knowledge. Different repositories are used within organization to store corporate knowledge as an extension for the memory.

On Organizational Becoming: Rethinking Organizational Change

Maintaining organizational memory is enabler for efficient and effective processes and routines but most of all for profitable business. Culture is considered as the holding strength between members of an organization. Culture brings a representation of past learning and an instrument to communicate it through the organization. Finding shared vision is important to enable the adaptation of new systems and technologies that can be accepted by the organization and its members.

Sharing a culture and encouraging knowledge sharing allows more efficient transfer of knowledge in organization between its levels.

Rethinking Information Systems in Organizations - CERN Document Server

Willingness to inquire can also be related to differences between culture groups or culture of multicultural organizations in general. Status, modesty, fear of embarrassment, etc. When the information is not shared due to hoarding based on cultural differences it becomes a major barrier in business. Different influential factors regarding characteristics of an organizational culture especially in knowledge-centered cultures affect the processes of knowledge management. Organizations are evolving, which is sometimes causing interpretation of experiences more complex.

Team members that are geographically apart, [] : may only have an option to learn virtually through electronic devices instead of face-to-face. Technology in this case affects the identity and learning patterns of the community. Developed by Crossan, Lane and White the 4I framework of organizational learning consists of four social processes; intuiting, interpreting, integrating and institutionalizing. It is proposed by Crossan et al.

A pivotal characteristic of the framework is the relationship and interplay between action and cognition that it assumes and portrays.

Systems Approach to Problem Solving

It is a framework that was developed to specifically address the phenomenon of strategic renewal. Schilling and A.