The knowledge and understanding embedded in an organization’s employees, processes and products or services, together with its traditions and values. Organizational memory can either assist or inhibit the organization’s progress. Also termed corporate memory.
The organizational memory becomes a critical concern when there is sufficient migration of personnel from an organization as to cause a knowledge deficit. This phenomenon can be due to factors such as planned reductions in the workforce, accidents, illness, retirements, or – most commonly – personnel leaving due to dissatisfaction with immediate supervision. In these situations, the tremendous financial investment in an organization’s personnel and their tacit knowledge becomes evident. In the nuclear industry corporate memory is particularly important in ensuring that the design basis for the NPP safe operation is effectively maintained.