Organizational Learning Books
Below you can find my recommended knowledge retention books. As in all other sections, I have personally read and reviewed the books presented below.
This is an atypical book on organizational learning. While many texts in this genre can be very heavy on theory, this text takes a more practical focus, while offering a concise and sound theoretical foundation necessary to get the message across.
In this book, Wellman focuses on four ways that an organization can manage knowledge: culture, old pros, archives, and processes (i.e. the way things work in that particular organization). The focus of the books is correspondingly simple but useful, with Wellman limiting the scope to the management of lessons learned.
If I could leverage any single criticism to this book, it is perhaps that the technological aspect is slightly over-emphasised. The authors regard technology as one of several KM enablers, which is a debatable position. However, this does not in any way detract from the quality of this book, which remains my top recommendation for a single work that combines KM and KMS.
This is a large collection of readings, which includes some of the most quintessential texts in this field by some of the most respected authors. It is very hard to review this book as a whole, because of the sheer number of articles. However, I can highlight a few of the important texts.
Organizational Learning & Communities of Practice by Brown and Duguid: This article focuses on the difference between the way work is done in an organisation and the formal description of this process (one which management seems to rely). The authors link work practice with learning and innovation from a community perspective.
Organizational Learning by Levitt & March: Learning is portrayed as the encoding of history into routines that guide behaviour. The article discusses the role of direct experience, experience of others, and the development of conceptual frameworks in regards to organisational learning. The concept of superstitious learning is also explored.
Exploration & Exploitation by March: This text s the problem of resource allocation between exploiting what one knows and exploring what one does not know.
All in all an excellent collection of readings essential to anyone interested in the field of organizational learning.