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Taming enterprise dementia in public sector organizations

John P. Girard (Minot State University, Minot, North Dakota, USA)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 October 2005




The aim of this paper is to report the finding of an exploratory research project that considered how public service organizations may conquer the debilitating effects of enterprise dementia.


Building on the seminal research of Michael Earl, this project sought to solicit the view from the front, which in this case are the middle managers of the Canadian public service. Specifically, the aim was to determine which of Earl's schools of knowledge would be most appropriate in curbing the organizational memory loss and taming the information anxiety that are common place today.


The sample of public service middle managers overwhelmingly opted for a single strategy. The organizational school surfaced as the strategy most likely to fit respondents' perceived needs. Through collaboration, Earl's organizational school focuses on maximizing the use of social networks with a view to knowledge sharing.

Practical implications

This paper provides a compendium of knowledge strategies that may be useful for public service executives.


This the first project to consider how Earl's taxonomy of knowledge strategies may be implemented in a Canadian public service environment.



Girard, J.P. (2005), "Taming enterprise dementia in public sector organizations", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 534-545.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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