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Organisational Memory and Innovation Across Projects: Integrated Service Provision in Engineering Design Firms

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    Abstract

    This paper provides an exploration of the dynamics of organisational remembering in firms operating through projects. The paper focuses in particular on the deliberate use of experience accumulated in the past in order to sustain innovation in the provision of services. It relies on the notions of boundary objects and brokers to empirically explore how a common memory crossing occupational and organisational boundaries is built. In so doing, it highlights how a boundary object as memory device in a project environment operates at different levels, i.e. personal, project-specific, organisational-specific and occupational specific, and how it takes different formats to perform its roles at each level. Finally, the paper highlights the role of specific communities, beyond that of specific individuals, as boundary brokers.

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    File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/documents/sewp117.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex in its series SPRU Working Paper Series with number 117.

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    Length: 26 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Jul 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:117

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    Keywords: project development; innovation processes; organisational memory; boundary brokers;

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    1. Turner, J. Rodney & Keegan, Anne, 1999. "The versatile project-based organization: governance and operational control," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 296-309, June.
    2. Stephen E. Roulac, 2001. "Corporate Property Strategy is Integral to Corporate Business Strategy," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 22(1/2), pages 129-152.
    3. Cohen, Michael D, et al, 1996. "Routines and Other Recurring Action Patterns of Organizations: Contemporary Research Issues," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(3), pages 653-98.
    4. Davies, Andrew & Brady, Tim, 2000. "Organisational capabilities and learning in complex product systems: towards repeatable solutions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7-8), pages 931-953, August.
    5. Steinmueller, W Edward, 2000. "Will New Information and Communication Technologies Improve the 'Codification' of Knowledge?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(2), pages 361-76, June.
    6. Hedberg, Bo & Jonsson, Sten, 1978. "Designing semi-confusing information systems for organizations in changing environments," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 47-64, February.
    7. Morris, Timothy & Empson, Laura, 1998. "Organisation and expertise: An exploration of knowledge bases and the management of accounting and consulting firms," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 609-624.
    8. Grout, Paul A, 1997. "The Economics of the Private Finance Initiative," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(4), pages 53-66, Winter.
    9. Prencipe, Andrea & Tell, Fredrik, 2001. "Inter-project learning: processes and outcomes of knowledge codification in project-based firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1373-1394, December.
    10. Turner, J. Rodney & Keegan, Anne, 2001. "Mechanisms of governance in the project-based organization:: Roles of the broker and steward," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 254-267, June.
    11. Cooper, David J. & Hayes, David & Wolf, Frank, 1981. "Accounting in organized anarchies: Understanding and designing accounting systems in ambiguous situations," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 175-191, July.
    12. Luciana D'Adderio, 2003. "Configuring software, reconfiguring memories: the influence of integrated systems on the reproduction of knowledge and routines," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 321-350, April.
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