This paper examines how organizations deal with the possible negative impacts of their obsolete knowledge (unlearning) and how the pattern of unlearning actions differs based on different types of knowledge. Based on a comparative cases study in four software companies, we identify seven unlearning approaches with 32 associated sub-approaches. We examine the pattern of applying these approaches to five types of knowledge (embrained, embodied, embedded, encultured, and encoded). The results show that three categories of factors explain this pattern: the characteristics of knowledge, the characteristics of the container of the knowledge, and the contextual factors. We extract theoretical insights and comment on practical implications.

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Rezazade Mehrizi, Mohammad Hosein; Ghasemzadeh, Fereidoun; Kermanshah, Ali; Zafarnejad , Milad

The other side of the coin: How organizations manage their old and obsolete knowledge

This paper examines how organizations deal with the possible negative impacts of their obsolete knowledge (unlearning) and how the pattern of unlearning actions differs based on different types of knowledge. Based on a comparative cases study in four software companies, we identify seven unlearning approaches with 32 associated sub-approaches. We examine the pattern of applying these approaches to five types of knowledge (embrained, embodied, embedded, encultured, and encoded). The results show that three categories of factors explain this pattern: the characteristics of knowledge, the characteristics of the container of the knowledge, and the contextual factors. We extract theoretical insights and comment on practical implications.
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The other side of the coin: How organizations manage their old and obsolete knowledge
Rezazade Mehrizi, Mohammad Hosein; Ghasemzadeh, Fereidoun; Kermanshah, Ali; Zafarnejad , Milad
2011 International Conference on Organizational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities (OLKC)
University of Hull Business School
Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom), 12/04/2011 - 14/04/2011

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