Addressing Institutional Memory at the Red Cross Through Social Media – Abstract

May 10, 2010
By Kelly_Nichols

All organizations face issues of retaining and managing the collective knowledge and experience that they produce. With 96% of its labor force working on a volunteer basis, these challenges are particularly critical for the American Red Cross in Greater New York. Research into the ways in which documents such as training manuals are authored and circulated through the chapter shows a great deal of “institutional memory loss”.

This project is an initial exploration into how existing social media technologies can be used to help increase the retention and distribution of organizational knowledge within the ARC/GNY. A functional, customized prototype of a “wiki” is used to illustrate the various ways in which collaborative authorship, versioned document development, and centralized depositories can benefit the fluid and diverse needs of even the largest of humanitarian organizations.

Red Cross wiki prototype screenshot

One Response to “ Addressing Institutional Memory at the Red Cross Through Social Media – Abstract ”

  1. Marty on May 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Kelly,

    Sounds like a fascinating project. Has any consideration been given to whether a collaboratively created document would be diluted at all? Whether the quality or the consistency of the information would suffer over time? I know that much of what the Red Cross uses for documentation is based on underlying guidance and on national directives. Even with a moderator for edits, wouldn’t this be a tough system to use for anything semi official?