The Mental Models of Public Organizations Managers about the Driving Factors of Organizational Forgetting by Q Method

Document Type : Research Article (with quantitative approaches)


1 Department of Administrative Management, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran.

2 M.A. Student of Administrative Management, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran.

3 Department of Management, Economic and Administrative Faculty, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.


Purpose: In order to get rid of old technology, organizations have to forget old knowledge. Organizational forgetting is a way for organizations to eliminate their outdated knowledge and can lead to the ability of an organization to innovate and even directly affect the company's survival. Hence, the purpose of this study is to identify the mental models of public organization’s managers about the driving factors of organizational forgetting by Q method.
Design/methodology/approach: Q methodology is a technique that enables the researcher to first identify individual perceptions and beliefs and secondly to group individuals based on their perceptions. The statistical population of study is the public organizations managers in Mashhad with 115 people out of which 30 were selected and 21 were willing to cooperate. Sampling is done with non-random in access method. Validity of research variables were confirmed according to the experts' opinion, theoretical foundations and the views of the collaborators and its reliability were also confirmed by split-half method.
Research Findings: The seven mental models were identified for the driving factors include the organizational resources development and improvement, organizational ideology, agility and dynamism, system thinking and management, growth and developing work condition, transformational and authentic leadership, social capital and policies.
Practical implications: Managers can develop and improve organizational resources through empowering employees, conducting courses and workshops, updating internal systems and guidelines, enhancing employee self-confidence, providing the right context, and planning to recruit elites, and thus achieve organizational forgetting.
Originality/value: By identifying managers' mental patterns of organizational forgetting it provides the context for moving organizations towards new knowledge and forgetting outdated knowledge.