Institutional Amnesia in Government
How much is enough?
Keywords:Institutional amnesia, Organisational memory, Public policy, Public sector performance, Historical storytelling
The concept of institutional amnesia represents a means of describing the loss of policy-relevant knowledge across time. This loss is keenly felt in all government institutions and typically leads to a conclusion that institutional amnesia is a problem to be fixed. However, there are positives that can be associated with a lack of memory. This article explores the good and the bad of memory loss by asking ‘how much amnesia is enough?’ This question prompts a discussion of the nature of amnesia in government, where it is most keenly felt, what causes it and the effects it produces.
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