Outlining #msloc430 course topics and flow

I continue to think about opening up my course – MSLOC 430 – on enterprise social networks and knowledge sharing and am in the process of tweaking the course topics I cover and the general flow of the course.

My current back-of-the-blog-post thinking is to craft some new, open activities in the second half of the course in which we facilitate a set of conversations about one or two key questions: How do we lead (as formal leaders or informal change agents) within fully connected enterprises? How do we conduct experiments in organizing, to re-imagine the way work gets done? Do practices and tools focused on “idea management” or crowdsourcing offer insight to how to achieve more tangible outcomes of the networked enterprise?

These questions fit into the general flow of the course. But before we get to them, I am interested in laying down some foundational work for everyone in the class to be able to see how knowledge might flow within organizational settings; how networks and (especially) communities form and take shape; how we might look at the more micro-level interactions in networks and communities with more of a human lens (in addition to the macro-level lens of analytics).

From there, we begin building out a point-of-view on how technology and people come together as a whole system within organizations. And start to work on real cases to apply this new point of view to imagine how – in real situations – we might start transforming organizational culture, performance and outcomes.

Below is a very high level outline of the foundational course topics – a summary of sorts of my current syllabus. I have noted some of the readings I particularly still like; it’s not everything, but my starting point for every time I tweak the course. I am sharing the topics in a way that gets at the bits I think are important to cover. My process is to review the readings (are there better ones? more contemporary?) and look for supplemental resources (blog posts, video, business research) that brings the topics into a more contemporary light. In general, however, my strategy is to give big hat-tips to the academics or business writers who are seen as the originators or popularizers of key ideas (e.g., Wenger on communities of practice; McAfee on enterprise 2.0).

So here is the beginning of my to-be-tweaked list:

  1. Perspectives on knowledge: Objectivist and Social-Practice Perspectives
    1. Based on chapters from Hislop, D. (2013). Knowledge Management in Organizations: A Critical Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press (3rd Edition)
  2. Short history of enterprise social networks (Enterprise 2.0)
    1. McAfee, A. (2009). Web 2.0 and the emergence of emergence. In Enterprise 2.0: New collaborative tools for your organization’s toughest challenges (pp. 43-80). Boston: Harvard Business Press.
  3. Networks, communities and practice
    1. Brown, J. S., & P. Dugiud. (2001). Knowledge and organization: A social practice perspective. Organizational Science, 12(2), 98-213.
    2. Wenger, E. (2010). Communities of practice and social learning systems: The Career of a concept in C. In C. Blackmore (Ed.), Social learning systems and communities of practice (pp. 179-197). London: Springer-Verlag.
    3. Cross, R., Parker, A., Prusak, L., & Borgatti, S. P. (2001). Knowing what we know: Supporting knowledge creation and sharing in social networks. Organizational Dynamics, 30(2), 100-120.
    4. Rajagopal, K., Brinke, D. J., Bruggen, J. V., & Sloep, P. B. (2011). Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them. First Monday, 17(1). Retrieved from firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/3559/3131
  4. Socio-cultural factors and trust
    1. Ardichvili, A. (2008). Learning and knowledge sharing in virtual communities of practice: Motivators, barriers and enablers. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 10(4), 541-554.
    2. Newell, S., David, G., & Chand, D. (2007). An analysis of trust among globally distributed work teams in an organizational setting. Knowledge and Process Management, 14(3), 158-168.
  5. Micro-level views of communities and network interactions (more of a human lens than analytic)
    1. Whyte, J., Ewenstein, B., Hales, M., & Tidd, J. (2008). Managing knowledge representation in design. In H. Scarbrough (ed.), The evolution of business knowledge (pp. 189-213). New York: Oxford University Press.
    2. Faraj, S., Jarvenpaa, S.L., & Majchrzak, A. (2011). Knowledge collaboration in online communities. Organization Science, 22(5), 1224-1239.
    3. NEW: Will be adding something from the work of Garrison et al on communities of inquiry.