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4 Types of Corporate Memory

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Corporate memory is the ability of an organization to retain information to improve strategy, decision making, problem solving, operations and design. An organization with low corporate memory is doomed to repeat the same mistakes and reinvent things repeatedly in a costly loop. The following are the basic components of corporate memory.


The abilities and knowledge of your employees. Generally speaking, when people leave corporate memory is lost. That is to say that there is always information that isn't transfered or retained such as tacit knowledge and situational knowledge. For example, a salesperson who has figured out an effective method for selling to a particular executive might be unlikely to communicate the approach to someone who could replicate it.


Data designed to be consumed by people. For example, a design document or a training video. It is common for knowledge workers to produce copious amounts of documentation that is archived in a tool such as a knowledge management platform. It is also common for such information to go to waste or for similar documentation efforts to be repeated many times.


Information designed to be consumed by machine. Automation and decision support based on databases is a type of corporate memory that survives employee turnover. In some cases, replacing systems and changing processes results in data going dark.

Organizational Culture

The norms, habits and expectations of a firm. As with the culture of a nation, this is rooted in history and serves as a stabilizing force that doesn't easily change.
Overview: Corporate Memory
The ability of an organization to retain information to improve and prevent duplication of effort.
Also Known As
Organizational Memory
Related Concepts

Knowledge Management

This is the complete list of articles we have written about knowledge management.
A Posteriori
A Priori
Anti Information
Artificial Knowledge
Body Of Knowledge
Corporate Memory
Dispersed Knowledge
Document Control
Document Quality
Domain Knowledge
Information Asymmetry
Information Management
Information Pollution
Knowledge Analysis
Knowledge Audit
Knowledge Discovery
Knowledge Loss
Knowledge Measurement
Knowledge Processes
Knowledge Quality
Knowledge Risk
Knowledge Transfer
Knowledge Value
Knowledge Velocity
Knowledge Waste
Knowledge Work
Known Unknowns
Master Copy
Meta Knowledge
Outside Context Problem
Propositional Knowledge
Situated Knowledge
Tacit Knowledge
Unknown Unknown
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