IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Memory objects in project environments: Storing, retrieving and adapting learning in project-based firms

Listed author(s):
  • Cacciatori, Eugenia
Registered author(s):

    This paper investigates the role of objects holding representations of knowledge in the transfer of learning across projects. On the basis of an in-depth case study, this paper shows that the way in which relatively simple artifacts, such as Excel workbooks, represent knowledge enables them to act as boundary objects across occupations and as memory devices across projects. It is the temporal capacity of these boundary objects that makes them points of juncture in a widely distributed memory system, enabling project-based firms to balance preservation and adaptation of knowledge. The mechanisms for the preservation of learning are not missing from project environments, rather they are less visible and less direct than in other settings, and therefore less docile in the face of managerial action.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048-7333(08)00140-6
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research Policy.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 9 (October)
    Pages: 1591-1601

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:9:p:1591-1601
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/respol

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Anna Grandori, 2001. "Neither Hierarchy nor Identity: Knowledge-Governance Mechanisms and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 5(3), pages 381-399, September.
    2. Massimo Warglien & Alessandro Narduzzo & Elena Rocco, 1997. "Talking about routines in the field: the emergence of organizational capabiliies in a new cellular phone network company," CEEL Working Papers 9706, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    3. Engwall, Mats, 2003. "No project is an island: linking projects to history and context," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 789-808, May.
    4. Paul R. Carlile & Eric S. Rebentisch, 2003. "Into the Black Box: The Knowledge Transformation Cycle," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(9), pages 1180-1195, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Gernot Grabher, 2002. "Cool Projects, Boring Institutions: Temporary Collaboration in Social Context," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(3), pages 205-214.
    7. Massimo Paoli & Andrea Prencipe, 2003. "Memory of the Organisation and Memories within the Organisation," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 7(2), pages 145-162, June.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Gann, David M. & Salter, Ammon J., 2000. "Innovation in project-based, service-enhanced firms: the construction of complex products and systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7-8), pages 955-972, August.
    11. Stefan H. Thomke, 1998. "Managing Experimentation in the Design of New Products," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(6), pages 743-762, June.
    12. Dominique Foray & W. Edward Steinmueller, 2003. "The economics of knowledge reproduction by inscription," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 299-319, April.
    13. 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.
    14. Ibert, Oliver, 2004. "Projects and firms as discordant complements: organisational learning in the Munich software ecology," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1529-1546, December.
    15. Hobday, Mike, 2000. "The project-based organisation: an ideal form for managing complex products and systems?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7-8), pages 871-893, August.
    16. Barlow, James, 2000. "Innovation and learning in complex offshore construction projects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7-8), pages 973-989, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:37:y:2008:i:9:p:1591-1601. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.