Enterprise learning in the Knowledge Economy is a
balance between two forces: structured learning and autonomic learning.
Structured or directed learning is launched by enterprises
when they are communicating and changing strategy and culture, launching
new products, providing market research, or other important information.
Directed learning is personalized to individual needs, but directed
from management levels. Autonomic learning originates within the
enterprise by individuals and communities of practice that are perpetually
confronting learning needs and fashioning learning experiences as
part of the community of practice. Autonomic learning
relies on enterprise infrastructures, but is not directly managed
by the enterprise-level leadership. It may be provoked or stimulated
by actions taken by management, but autonomic learning charts its
Autonomic learning is like breathing,
the beating of the heart, and the other autonomic responses of the
human body. It happens automatically, using enterprise infrastructures,
processes, relationships, and culture. The existence of vibrant
communities of practice, taking responsibility for learning and
the stewardship of knowledge, are the crucial facilitating element
of the autonomic learning environment. Autonomic learning is more
than autonomous or self-paced learning, and is a better metaphor
for learning in community of practice environments. The existence
of structured and autonomic aspects of infrastructures, processes,
and activities is a signature characteristic of the e-knowledge
enterprise. Pervasive e-knowledge enables autonomic behavior, not
only in learning, but in other production and management functions
Achieving the optimal balance between the structured/directed
and autonomic will be a continuing challenge along each enterprises
Leading-edge organizations have discovered
the importance of integrating knowledge management and learning.
Integration occurs when systems are interfaced or develop common
infrastructures and distinct practices are enabled to work together.
Fusion occurs over time, as different systems, processes, and practices
are merged so fundamentally that the natures of the original elements
are altered and their distinct identity fades.