The importance of a new kind of learning in collaborative networks
Mandell, Myrna, Keast, Robyn L., & Brown, Kerry A. (2009) The importance of a new kind of learning in collaborative networks. In EGPA 2009 : European Group of Public Administration Conference : the Public Service : Service Delivery in the Information Age, 2-5 September, 2009, Malta.
There is wide agreement that in order to manage the increasingly complex and uncertain tasks of
business, government and community, organizations can no longer operate in supreme isolation,
but must develop a more networked approach. Networks are not ‘business as usual’. Of particular
note is what has been referred to as collaborative networks. Collaborative networks now constitute
a significant part of our institutional infrastructure. A key driver for the proliferation of these multiorganizational
arrangements is their ability to facilitate the learning and knowledge necessary to
survive or to respond to increasingly complex social issues In this regard the emphasis is on the
importance of learning in networks. Learning applies to networks in two different ways. These
refer to the kinds of learning that occur as part of the interactive processes of networks. This paper
looks at the importance of these two kinds of learning in collaborative networks.
The first kind of learning relates to networks as learning networks or communities of practice. In
learning networks people exchange ideas with each other and bring back this new knowledge for
use in their own organizations. The second type of learning is referred to as network learning.
Network learning refers to how people in collaborative networks learn new ways of communicating
and behaving with each other. Network learning has been described as transformational in terms
of leading to major systems changes and innovation. In order to be effective, all networks need to
be involved as learning networks; however, collaborative networks must also be involved in
network learning to be effective.
In addition to these two kinds of learning in collaborative networks this paper also focuses on the
importance of how we learn about collaborative networks. Maximizing the benefits of working
through collaborative networks is dependent on understanding their unique characteristics and
how this impacts on their operation. This requires a new look at how we specifically teach about
collaborative networks and how this is similar to and/or different from how we currently teach
about interorgnizational relations.
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|Item Type:||Conference Paper|
|Keywords:||Learning, Collaborative Networks|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Organisation and Management Theory (150310)|
|Divisions:||Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Business Research|
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2009 please contact the authors|
|Deposited On:||22 Jan 2010 10:57|
|Last Modified:||05 Jan 2011 23:55|
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