Oral Debriefing

Oral debriefing is the interview process of obtaining detailed verbal testimony from individuals. Analogous to interviews that are undertaken in journalism and sociology, its outcome in a comprehensive form is also known as ‘oral history’. Its application is additionally evident in disciplines ranging from psychotherapy, witness interrogation in crime investigations and in industry and commerce, both in oral and visual formats.

In the latter, it is now associated with knowledge management, where the discipline is getting more attention since the advent of the flexible labor market, which is the single biggest knowledge disrupter of modern times. Introducing the biggest change in workplace practice for more than a century, the flexible labor market has imposed on employers an Alheimer-like corporate amnesia as employees change jobs on average every four or five years in many countries. The loss of ‘organizational memory’, the body of data, information and knowledge relevant to an individual organization’s existence, is massive, inhibiting the ability of organizations to learn from their own experiences. Oral debriefing is becoming increasingly recognized as a powerful tool with which to capture this exiting institutional knowledge.

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Famous quotes containing the word oral:

    After I discovered the real life of mothers bore little resemblance to the plot outlined in most of the books and articles I’d read, I started relying on the expert advice of other mothers—especially those with sons a few years older than mine. This great body of knowledge is essentially an oral history, because anyone engaged in motherhood on a daily basis has no time to write an advice book about it.
    Mary Kay Blakely (20th century)