Promoting intentional unlearning through an unlearning cycle

Journal ar
Journal of Organizational Change Management
  • Volumen: 32
  • Número: 1
  • Fecha: 11 febrero 2019
  • Páginas: 67-79
  • ISSN: 09534814
  • Tipo de fuente: Revista
  • DOI: 10.1108/JOCM-04-2018-0107
  • Tipo de documento: Artículo
  • Editorial: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd. Howard House Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA
© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: Although there is widespread agreement about the importance of and need for unlearning particularly in an organizational context, concerns have been expressed by some researchers with respect to the coherence of the concept. The purpose of this paper is to complement organizational theories of unlearning with a clearer definition of intentional unlearning and develops an ¿unlearning cycle¿ comprising of the steps that influence unlearning focused on the need to update knowledge obtained in the past. Design/methodology/approach: In this paper, the authors review both the current state of conceptual development and the empirical underpinning of the concept of unlearning and relate it to emerging literature on the links between levels of learning to then propose a conceptual framework which includes employees and managers as key actors in enabling intentional unlearning. Findings: Unlearning critics have argued that unlearning has no explanatory value and is unnecessary because clear alternatives and less problematic concepts better frame the research gap that has been identified in the unlearning research literature. By addressing these concerns, this study proposes three key structures to facilitate intentional unlearning, namely, those represented by the unlearning cycle. Originality/value: This study sheds light on the relationship across different unlearning levels. In addition, this study attempts to indicate how greater rigor may be brought to the development of research in the fields of intentional unlearning.

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