EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

A model of cognitive and operational memory of organizations in changing worlds

Giovanni Dosi (), Luigi Marengo, Evita Paraskevopoulou () and Marco Valente ()

Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2017, vol. 41, issue 3, 775-806

Abstract: This work analyzes and models the nature and dynamics of organizational memory, as such an essential ingredient of organizational capabilities that determine strategic choices in different competitive environments. There are two sides to it, namely a cognitive side, involving the beliefs and interpretative frameworks by which the organization categorizes the states of the world and its own internal states, and an operational one, including routines and procedures that store the knowledge of how to do things. We formalize both types of memory by means of evolving systems of condition-action rules and investigate their performance in different environments characterized by varying degrees of complexity and non-stationarity. Broadly speaking, in simple and stable environments memory does not matter, provided it satisfies some minimal requirements. In more complex and gradually changing ones, having more memory provides an advantage. However, there is some critical level of environmental instability above which forgetfulness is evolutionary superior from the point of view of long-term performance. Moreover, above some (modest) complexity threshold, stable and robust cognitive categorizations and routinized behaviour emerge.

Keywords: Organizational memory; Routines; Cognitive categories; Condition-action rules (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/bew067 (application/pdf)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
Working Paper: A model of cognitive and operational memory of organizations in changing worlds (2015) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:oup:cambje:v:41:y:2017:i:3:p:775-806.

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.oup.co.uk/journals

Access Statistics for this article

Cambridge Journal of Economics is currently edited by Jacqui Lagrue

More articles in Cambridge Journal of Economics from Oxford University Press Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Oxford University Press ().

 
Page updated 2020-05-08
Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:41:y:2017:i:3:p:775-806.