The Forgotten Function of Forgetting: Revisiting Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning

Soziale Systeme, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 99-119, 2006

21 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2010

See all articles by Steffen Blaschke

Steffen Blaschke

Copenhagen Business School

Dennis Schoeneborn

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology; Copenhagen Business School - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management

Date Written: May 7, 2006

Abstract

Computational simulations have become a widely accepted method in organization science. Simulations allow for the exploration of potentialities beyond the restrictions of conventional empirical methodologies. Accordingly, we replicate, modify, and extend March’s “Model of Mutual Learning” from his 1991 article on the “Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning” by drawing on Luhmann’s theory of social systems. While knowledge and learning are present features of March’s original model, this article particularly emphasizes the importance of forgetting rather than remembering as the primary function of memory. The extended simulation model shows that forgetting indeed positively contributes to organizational learning.

Keywords: computational simulation, theory of social systems, exploration and exploitation, organizational learning, organizational memory, forgetting

Suggested Citation

Blaschke, Steffen and Schoeneborn, Dennis, The Forgotten Function of Forgetting: Revisiting Exploration and Exploitation in Organizational Learning (May 7, 2006). Soziale Systeme, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 99-119, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1714853

Steffen Blaschke

Copenhagen Business School ( email )

Dalgas Have 15
Frederiksberg, DK - 2000
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.orgcom.org

Dennis Schoeneborn (Contact Author)

University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zürich, 8032
Switzerland

Copenhagen Business School - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management ( email )

Porcelænshaven 18A
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Denmark

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
150
Abstract Views
760
rank
198,785
PlumX Metrics