Institutional Amnesia: A Paradox of the ‘Information Age’?
By Christopher Pollitt
It is one of the paradoxes of our age that, while new information technologies have provided us with the ability to store, retrieve, manipulate and communicate more data, faster than ever before, at the same time many of our public institutions seem to be losing their memories. Many texts have been written about ‘organizational learning’, but few about organizational forgetting. The core contention of this paper is that the phenomenon of organizational amnesia deserves attention, from scholars and practitioners alike. My aim, therefore, is to set out the character, causes and likely consequences of institutional memory loss in the contemporary public sector.
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Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 18, Issue 1