Managing Organizational Knowledge Active Forgetting: How Top Managers Understand the Concept of Managing Old and Obsolete Knowledge?

11th European Conference on Knowledge Management, Universidade Lusíada de Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, 2-3 September 2010

10 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2012

See all articles by Mehdi Bagherzadeh

Mehdi Bagherzadeh

Independent

Peyman Akhavan

Malek Ashtar University of Technology

Reza Atashgah

Iran University of Science and Technology - Department of Industrial Engineering

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Nowadays, organizations face with Rapid changes and unpredictable events in the business environment. One of the unavoidable consequences of these rapid changes in today’s business life is the oldness and uselessness of current technical and non-technical knowledge. In this changing environment, organizations find that their current knowledge and technologies become less effective, or even no longer useful. In fact, the other side of the creation and development of new knowledge is accumulation of obsolete knowledge that not only remains in the memory of organization, but also play a destructive role in the process of creation and learning new knowledge. Therefore, firms need to set their strategies toward such old, irrelative and misleading knowledge clearly.

On the other hand, the influential role of top managers in the process of Knowledge Active Forgetting (KAF) and strategic actions in organizations can lead us to this conjecture that the way in which they conceive and implement the process of Knowledge Active Forgetting might have a direct effect on the success of managing old knowledge. So, the way in which they understand and make sense about the concept of old and obsolete knowledge, and the process of KAF, not only has a crucial impact on whether they consider this course of action as a strategic agenda, but also can fundamentally influence the specific approach that they might adopt in dealing with old and obsolete knowledge.

In this research, we try to analyze top managers' viewpoints about the concept of old and obsolete knowledge and different practical approaches toward KAF in the organization. The main aim of this article is to achieve a deep understanding about the managers’ perceptions that is deeply rooted in rich data gleaned based on qualitative approaches. Therefore, interviews with top managers involving with this process have been done through exploratory case studies in several Iranian companies. In this way, we are to elicit their understanding about old and obsolete Knowledge and practical approaches toward KAF.

Keywords: knowledge management, knowledge active forgetting, unlearning, organizational forgetting

Suggested Citation

Bagherzadeh, Mehdi and Akhavan, Peyman and Atashgah, Reza, Managing Organizational Knowledge Active Forgetting: How Top Managers Understand the Concept of Managing Old and Obsolete Knowledge? (2010). 11th European Conference on Knowledge Management, Universidade Lusíada de Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, 2-3 September 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2186747

Mehdi Bagherzadeh

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Peyman Akhavan (Contact Author)

Malek Ashtar University of Technology ( email )

Tehran
Iran

Reza Atashgah

Iran University of Science and Technology - Department of Industrial Engineering ( email )

Tehran
Iran

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