Thoughts on Michael Nielsen’s “Reinventing Discovery”

April 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm Leave a comment

Last week’s New Media Faculty Seminar reading was “Reinventing Discovery” [Chapter 1 in Michael Nielsen’s Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science. Information on the book may be found here

The notion of using online tools for collaboration is not a new one. Employees in many organizations use collaborative tools as part of formal or informal knowledge discovery/knowledge sharing activities.

Knowledge management at Buckman Laboratories is perhaps the best-documented. Information on their efforts which date back to the 1980s may be found here,, as well as on their own Knowledge Nurture site

Another well-documented case goes back to 1997: “KMPG Peat Marwick U.S.: One Giant Brain”. It is Harvard Business School case 397108-PDF-ENG; a brief description is found here

What is critical is employee buy-in and organization strategies to support the effort. What Peat Marwick found is that a reward system based on individual performance was at odds with knowledge sharing. Similarly, the strategy at Buckman is “we should use our systems for communication to share our tacit and explicit knowledge as widely as possible so that no individual will stand alone in the face of competition, but will always have the full global force of the company behind them.” [].

What Nielsen is proposing is collaboration across all boundaries. What about intellectual property?


Entry filed under: New Media Faculty Seminar Spring 2012. Tags: , , , , , , .

Thoughts on ECAR “National Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology 2011”

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