Innovation in Organizations: Learning, Unlearning, and Intentional Forgetting

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    How Large Manufacturing Firms Understand the Impact of Digitization: A Learning Perspective
    ( 2020-01-07) Thalmann, Stefan ; Fessl, Angela ; Pammer-Schindler, Viktoria
    Digitization is currently one of the major factors changing society and the business world. Most research focused on the technical issues of this change, but also employees and especially the way how they learn changes dramatically. In this paper, we are interested in exploring the perspectives of decision makers in huge manufacturing companies on current challenges in organizing learning and knowledge distribution in digitized manufacturing environments. Moreover, we investigated the change process and challenges of implementing new knowledge and learning processes. To this purpose, we have conducted 24 interviews with senior representatives of large manufacturing companies from Austria, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Our exploratory study shows that decision makers perceive significant changes in work practice of manufacturing due to digitization and they currently plan changes in organizational training and knowledge distribution processes in response. Due to the lack of best practices, companies focus very much on technological advancements. The delivery of knowledge just-in-time directly into work practice is a favorite approach. Overall, digital learning services are growing and new requirements regarding compliance, quality management and organisational culture arise.
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    Retentivity Beats prior Knowledge as Predictor for the Acquisition and Adaptation of New Production Processes
    ( 2020-01-07) Haase, Jennifer ; Matthiesen, Julia ; Schueffler, Arnulf ; Kluge, Annette
    In the time of digitalization the demand for organizational change is rising and demands ways to cope with fundamental changes on the organizational as well as individual level. As a basis, learning and forgetting mechanisms need to be understood in order to guide a change process efficiently and successfully. Our research aims to get a better understanding of individual differences and mechanisms in the change context by performing an experiment where individuals learn and later re-learn a complex production process using a simulation setting. The individual’s performance, as well as retentivity and prior knowledge is assessed. Our results show that higher retentivity goes along with better learning and forgetting performances. Prior knowledge did not reveal such relation to the learning and forgetting performances. The influence of age and gender is discussed in detail.
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    Role Assignment Adaptation: An Intentional Forgetting Approach
    ( 2020-01-07) Timm, Ingo J. ; Reuter, Lukas ; Berndt, Jan Ole
    In organizations the distribution of tasks is a rising challenge in complex and dynamic environments. By structuring responsibilities and expectations for task processing in roles, organizations provide a transparent approach for collaboration. However, if tasks are being generated unexpectedly, actors who enact multiple roles might be overloaded in dynamic environments. By focusing on relevant information in terms of an intentional forgetting mechanism, actors could overcome these overload situations. Therefore, we provide an agent-based simulation to model and analyze effects of intentional forgetting by adapting role assignments in dynamic environments. The agent architecture utilizes separated revision functions to control an agent’s perception and belief acquisition to focus on relevant information. The model is tested using a case-study in a simulated emergency response scenario. The simulation results show that adapting role assignments at runtime improves team performance significantly.
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