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‘To err is human, but to persist is diabolical’: Loss of organizational memory and e-learning projects

Computers & Education Volume 55, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Many countries around the world install millions of computers, printers, projectors, smartboards, and similar technologies in primary and secondary schools to equip new generations with the ability to effectively access and critically evaluate information and communication technologies. However, experiences from different countries show that technology does not deliver educational success itself. There are some “chronic” problems hindering the effective use of educational technology. This article aims to identify reasons behind the repetitive problems which occur in the context of Turkey’s e-learning efforts in primary and secondary learning. The focus is to find out why an organization repeats the same mistakes and has to reinvent the wheel in similar consecutive projects. This study has a qualitative design – more specifically phenomenological design. The main data collection tools were semi-structured interviews with Turkey’s Ministry of National Education (MoNE) authorities, academics, employees and consultants, as well as document analysis. Qualitative data were collected from these figures via face-to-face interviews so as to understand the experiences and perceptions of those involved in large projects and to gain their interpretative descriptions of their experiences. Findings showed that MoNE could not capture, organize, disseminate, or reuse the knowledge and experiences gained during the project life cycles – in short, it could not keep its organizational memory which will be useful to guide the managers of future projects.


Ozdemir, S. (2010). ‘To err is human, but to persist is diabolical’: Loss of organizational memory and e-learning projects. Computers & Education, 55(1), 101-108. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved June 26, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on April 19, 2013. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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