Synopses & Reviews
The most innovative organizations are those that respond to and generate technological change by acting as effective learning systems. They reach high levels of innovation when structured to take advantage of the social, distributed, participative, situated learning processes developed by their members. The design of efficient learning organizations requires cognitive, technological, and social analysis. This volume in the NATO Special Programme on Advanced Educational Technology is about that analysis. The contributions focus on different key concepts, including community of practice, cooperation, and learning strategies in organizations. The book is not a comprehensive report on the field but it will substantially enhance the understanding of organizational learning and technology.
This volume in the NATO Special Programme on Advanced Educational Technology is about the problem of organizational learning. It is framed around three major themes: organization, technology, and theory of learning.
What the Book Is About This book is about the problem of organizational learning, that is the analysis of organizations conceived as learning systems. In order to survive in a period of a rapid change, organizations must innovate and than to develop and exploit their abilities to learn. The most innovative organizations are those that can respond with great efficiency to internal and external changes. They respond to and generate technological change by acting as effective learning systems. They maximize the learning potential of ongoing and "normal" work activities. The organizational structure and the technology allow members to learn while the organizations itself learns from its members. So organizations reach high levels of innovation when structured to take advantage of the social, distributed, participative, situated processes of learning developed by its members in interaction with the technological environment. Organizations should consider learning as an explicit "productive" objective. They must create integrated learning mechanisms, that encompass technological tools, reward and incentive systems, human resource practices, belief systems, access to information, communication and mobility patterns, performance appraisal systems, organizational practices and structures. The design of efficient learning organizations requires cognitive, technological and social analyses. All the computer-based technologies (e. g. office automation, communication and group decision support) not only those devoted to and used in training activities, have to be considered as tools for organizational learning and innovation.