A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge  
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Paths to the e-Knowledge Future
© SCUP 2003
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The e-Knowledge Imperative (continued)


Chapter 3

Paths to the
e-Knowledge Future

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Enterprise Learning Elements


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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 own course.


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 as well.


Achieving the optimal balance between the structured/directed and autonomic will be a continuing challenge along each enterprise’s migration path.

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.


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