Organizations as Brains: Flexible, Resilient and Inventive

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After reading the attached articles (Part 3A Attachment), discuss "how social networks and social media create and support a "learning organization." With this in mind, please be sure to address the following issues, along with presenting any other ideas about this concept that you find interesting to assist me with this problem such as:

1. What is a "learning organization"? How does it differ from the sum of the knowledge possessed by all the individual members of the organization?

2. Organizations aren`t just one big social network in which everybody is equally connected to everybody else, but a lot of smaller networks that are often only partially connected to each other. How does this increase or decrease the possibilities for a learning organization?

3. How can the kinds of social media that Bersin discusses help develop the learning organization? Are there any potential downsides to the use of such media?

4. Are there any ways in which social media tools might facilitate learning in the context of a widely distributed organizational system like UMUC classes? How could we become more of a "learning organization" ourselves?

5. What, if anything, does thinking about an "organization as a brain" add to what we have learned by thinking about an "organization as a machine" and an "organization as an organism"?

Required Readings

Bersin, J. (2008) Social networking and corporate learning. CLO Magazine. October. Retrieved November 11, 2008, from

David Skyrme Associates (N.D.) Insights on The learning Organization Retrieved November 20, 2007, from http://www.skyrme.com/insights/3lrnorg.htm).

Krebs, V. (2007) Knowledge Networks: Mapping and Measuring Knowledge Creation. Retrieved November 20, 2007, from http://www.orgnet.com/IHRIM.html

Optional Readings

Albrecht, K. (N.D.) Organizational Intelligence & Knowledge Management: Thinking Outside the Silos. Retrieved November 20, 2007, from http://karlalbrecht.com/downloads/OI-WhitePaper-Albrecht.pdf

Andersen, E. (1992) On organizations as brains. Retrieved August 24, 2008, from http://www.espen.com/papers/orgbrain.htm

Australian Institute of Management. Organisational Intelligence: Interview with Karl Albrecht:. Retrieved November 20, 2007, from http://www.aim.com.au/resources/article_kalbrecht.html

Friel, B. (2002) Hierarchies and Networks. Government Executive. April 1. Retrieved May 16, 2009, from http://www.govexec.com/features/0402/0402s2.htm

Veryard Associates (2007) What is Organizational Intelligence? Retrieved November 20, 2007, from http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~rxv/kmoi/orgint.htm

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