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