James P. Walsh

James Patrick Walsh (born 1953) is an American organizational theorist, and professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan, noted for his contributions in the field of organizational memory and organizational learning.


  • I’m fascinated by cross-level relationships: the influences between and among individuals, organizations, and society really engage me. And as romantic as it may sound, I think we are all called to try to leave the world a better place. The desire to better understand these cross-level relationships, done with a clear eye on enhancing our well-being, animates nearly everything I do.
    • James P. Walsh at jamespwalsh.com. Accessed 08.2016

"Organizational memory," 1991Edit

James P. Walsh and Gerardo Rivera Ungson. "Organizational memory." Academy of management review 16.1 (1991): 57-91.

  • The extant representations of the concept of organizational memory are fragmented and underdeveloped. In developing a more coherent theory, we address possible concerns about anthropomorphism; define organizational memory and elaborate on its structure; and discuss the processes of information acquisition, retention, and retrieval. Next, these processes undergird a discussion of how organizational memory can be used, misused, or abused in the management of organizations.
    • p. 57
  • In its most basic sense, organizational memory refers to stored information from an organization's history that can be brought to bear on present decisions. This information is stored as a consequence of implementing decisions to which they refer, by individual recollections, and through shared interpretations.
    • p. 61
  • [Organizational culture comprises the way of] thinking and feeling about problems that is transmitted to members in the organization.
    • p. 63

Quotes about James P. WalshEdit

  • Organizational memory is fundamentally important to organizational learning. The seminal work on organizational memory is Walsh and Ungson’s article published in the Academy of Management Review in 1991
    • Anderson, Marc H., and Peter YT Sun. "What have scholars retrieved from Walsh and Ungson (1991)? A citation context study." Management Learning (2010).

External linksEdit

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