M.S.in Org Learning LO6388

Tojo Joseph (joseph@osf1.gmu.edu)
Wed, 3 Apr 1996 12:52:27 -0500

Master of Science in Organizational Learning

George Mason University offers an innovative degree in organization
development and change management for the new professional. The MS in
Organizational Learning is a focused, integrated eighteen month graduate
professional degree program.. It is designed to equip a new generation of
managers to operate in a world of both rapid and fundamental change.

The MS in Organizational Learning degree focuses on
-- Learning: individual discovery and understanding and group interaction
and learning
-- Groupware: the nature and use of groupware technology
-- Understanding change: how change is manifest in organizations
-- Change management: how to work with change to facilitate constructive
interaction and learning in order to build effective


George Mason is a university with a track record of innovation. In the past
decade and more, while striving for academic excellence, it has devoted
considerable resources to developing non-traditional, cross-disciplinary
courses and degree programs. The New Professional Studies degree builds on
the foundations of innovation and cross-disciplinarity to serve the evolving
needs of professionals.

Spurred by its enterprising spirit, the university has grown rapidly from 32
degree programs and 4,166 students in 1972 to 104 degree programs and nearly
24,000 students today. That spirit has also enabled Mason to attract
world-renowned faculty members who are pioneers in their fields.

The Program on Social and Organizational Learning, which offers the M.S. in
Organizational Learning, is one such pioneering, cross-disciplinary activity
whose faculty is dedicated to exploring new ideas in management and learning.


Organizational change management

Circumstances are overtaking conventional management thinking which focuses
on controlling a highly structured system. Today's organizations need to be
flexible and dynamic. The role of management is being redefined to fit a
new conception of an organization and how it works. Strategy evolves by
learning from people's continuously changing experiences and practices. A
central question is how to tap the diffused and changing knowledge-base of
people throughout the organization.

Groupware support

Discovery and understanding are fundamental characteristics of learning.
Both are social processes and occur when people engage each other, or strive
to assimilate new ideas and problems. By enabling social interaction both
inside and outside organizations, a new generation of computer software,
groupware, empowers people to discover and to understand. It is an integral
part of the organizational learning process. In using groupware as a
central element, the degree helps participants to learn to exploit this
information technology for organizational learning.

Action learning

The degree incorporates action-oriented group learning and stresses the
importance of integrating theory and practice. Grouped into teams,
candidates are immersed in the practical problems of organizations and at
the same time engage each another through groupware,. They acquire a deep
understanding of organizations, organizational change, and of the problems
and practices of managing change. They are able to share their insights and
to learn from their colleagues in their own and in other organizations.


The degree is designed for professionals moving into positions of increased
managerial responsibility in a variety of areas including organization
development, change management, human resource development, and information
technology. It is also intended for project managers and professionals
involved in business process design.

The degree develops three clusters of managerial competencies.

-- Analytic competence: a capacity to collect, categorize, and make sense of
dispersed knowledge from organizational settings and to see organizations in
a non-linear manner.
--Action competence: a capacity to use knowledge for effective and timely
-- Interpersonal competence: the capacity to engage others in a meaningful
and just manner.

The degree stresses
-- Continuous improvement, which offers a new structure for assessment of
work driven by detailed attention to criteria of quality, detailed enough
for the participant to be able to analyze his or her weaknesses more
effectively and to develop his or her strengths.
-- Working in teams, students are continually developing and practising the
managerial competencies while learning to use groupware information
technology in dispersed work settings.

For more information please visit our website

or contact: Tojo Joseph Thatchenkery, Ph.D.: Program Director OR Executive
Secretary: Martha Mosley
(703) 993 1142
(703) 934 1578 Fax
Program on Social and Organizational Learning
George Mason University,
4084 University Drive, Suite 206,
Fairfax, VA, 22030

Tojo Joseph Thatchenkery
Program on Social and Organizational Learning
George Mason University, 4084 University Drive, Suite 206
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone (703) 934 1565 & 993 1142. Fax: (703) 934 1578 Mailstop 5C7


Tojo Joseph <joseph@osf1.gmu.edu>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>