Are there typological characteristics of individual unlearning?

AbstractOrganizations have sought solutions to produce consistent, competent practices while updating organizational processes. A traditional method of learning used strategies of identifying gaps in knowledge, and teaching lacking information to close gaps. Faulty learning completion processes often yield decreased work product quality, and productivity, or increased product costs. Knowledge base change creates ongoing difficulties for individuals who must unlearn, store, and use new knowledge processes to update the old. Knowledge change, or unlearning, speculated to involve a replacement of prior knowledge remains unconceptualized due to limited, anecdotally based research. This qualitative study aims to further characterize unlearning initiation processes, and clarify knowledge replacement factors: 1) How does individual unlearning initiate? and, 2) What factors contribute to the unlearning process? Three weekly-spaced interviews with 31 participants categorized unlearning using Rushmer and Davies’ (2004) typological unlearning model. Predominately two knowledge change typologies were demonstrated and a new unlearning model developed.

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