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As I see it, the problem you raised involve association between structure
of knowledge / kind of learning, and network structure.
A direct application of March in that direction is the research agenda done
by Morten Hansen (e.g. :"Search-Transfer problem: The role of weak ties in
sharing knowledge across organizational units", Administrative Science
Quarterly 1999 44 (1): 82-111. and related papers).
Nahapiet and Ghoshal (Academy of Management Review, 1998) and Tsai and
Ghoshal (Academy of Management Journal, 1998) provide some theoretical and
empirical grounds for the study of the transfer and creation of tacit
knowledge via social networks across organizational units.
Another empirical application on learning contextual knowledge in
unstandartized technology markets see Darr and Talmud (2003) "The Structure
of Knowledge and Seller Buyer Networks in Markets for Emergent
Technologies" Organization Studies 24 (3): 435-453.
I hope this would help.
At 01:05 03/09/2004 +0300, Moses Boudourides wrote:
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>In his 1991 paper on exploration and exploitation in organizational
>learning, James G. March has elaborated a simple model of the
>development and diffusion of organizational knowledge. This is based on
>the idea that mutual learning can occur in organizations in such a way that
>individual beliefs are shaping the organizational code while at the same
>time the latter is adapting to the former.
>Although March assumes that individuals are updating their beliefs because
>of socialization into the organization, he tends to interpret these
>processes as the outcome of an "enlightnement" (or education) of individuals
>by their disciplinary subsumption into the "communal wisdom" of the
>organizational code. However, such an interpretation appears to neglect
>the network effect by which individuals are shaping their beliefs through
>communication and interaction with each other (processes that at the very
>end might be simultaneously shaped by individual beliefs).
>Thus, it seems to me that a network-theoretical perspective (say the
>existence of a social influence network) could possibly ameliorate March's
>argument about the complexities of organizational learning. For instance,
>it might be reasonable to ask questions like this one: How does the trade-off
>between exploration and exploitation in adaptive processes depend on the type
>of the relational patterns which are structuring the social interactions
>among individuals (actors in this context)?
>This is why I would like to ask you whether you happen to know of any
>works extending March's model in the direction of taking into account the
>network effects in organizational learning by explicitly following the formal
>methodology of social networks? I would really appreciate receiving any tips
>that could help me understand the dynamics of adaptive processes like
>organizational learning unfolded on a social network.
> M.A. Boudourides
> Associate Professor
> Department of Mathematics
> University of Patras
> 265 00 Rio-Patras
> Tel.: +30-2610-996318
> Fax: +30-2610-996318, +30-2610-992965
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