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Internet search results on Organizational Wisdom and about two books on the subject.

 

1 Introduction
In my membership anniversary blog ‘One Year  with BPX Community’  (One year with BPX community!)  I happened to mention that next would be on the results of my search on ‘Organizational Wisdom’. In trying to keep up the word, this is it. The referred blog provides the background for the search. For sure, I am not trying to say anything on OW here, not yet! It is a search on the topic. This blog is sort of sharing the findings.

    Note: May please select any one of the 6 links and visit others only if found worth while.
            The content further down at 3 and 4 is optional; it is about the book which prompted me the search!
            I am a bit conscious about drawing the readers’ time for a topic of this nature and hence the Note.
 

2 Websites:
Some are general and some are specific on OW. I have listed here those I have not mentioned in earlier blogs.

a) http://www.trainmor-knowmore.eu/FBC5DDB3.en.aspx

‘Basic Knowledge Concepts – Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom’ – as a beginning!

b) http://www.co-i-l.com/coil/knowledge-garden/kd/KE.pdf

Here I found the article “Nurturing Systemic Wisdom Through Knowledge Ecology” By George Por, in collaboration with Janice Molloy interesting. A writing though of October 2000, it may be relevant now too.
It is from the magazine ‘The Systems Thinker’. It is 10th Anniversary for this article during this month!

c) http://www.collectivewisdominitiative.org/papers/lloyd_wisdom.htm

This is an initiative by Dr. Bruce Lloyd, Professor of Strategic Management, London South Bank University.
Good to go through and walk with him for the initiative.

d) http://www.wisdomuniversity.org/CreatingAWisdomCulture.ppt

This is a presentation on creating a wisdom culture in organizations. It is time to begin, the author feels.

e) http://www.mpib-berlin.mpg.de/en/institut/dok/full/Baltes/wisdomam/index.htm

Here, the Max Plank Institute for Human Development, you would find the star article!
“Wisdom: A Metaheuristic (Pragmatic) to Orchestrate Mind and Virtue Toward Excellence” by Paul B.Baltes and Ursula M.Staudinger

f) http://www.computer.org/portal/web/csdl/doi/10.1109/HICSS.2006.160

‘Escaping the Veil of Maya: Wisdom and the Organization’ by Carlisle, J.P., at the 39th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. This a very enlightening essay.
Summary: Though frequently considered desolate and distressing, the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer provides a surprisingly appropriate framework through which to view the organization in order to investigate the existence of wisdom and how organizational wisdom can be achieved. This paper extends Schopenhauer’s work so that it can be applied to current investigations related to wisdom creation, extraction and retention. Schopenhauer’s work provides a platform upon which ramifications of wisdom creation and its effect on the organization can be assessed.

 

3 Now a little about the book that prompted me the search

It is “Organizational Wisdom and Executive Courage”, edited by Suresh Srivastva and David L. Cooperrider; published by The New Lexington Press, San Francisco, in 1998.

There are ten different articles in the book and hence it is light on demanding our time. The book is organized in three parts apart from an introductory piece of writing by the editors – it is really inviting and the book ends with a well composed epilogue for future dialogue.

The three parts are:
Part One : Evolutionary Wisdom: A Sense making Perspective
Part Two: Into the Relational heart of Organization: The Social Construction of Wisdom and Courage
Part Three: Aiming Higher: Discipline for the Development of Wisdom and Courage

The interest-triggering titles of the articles are :

          An Invitation to Organizational Wisdom and Executive Courage
          The Unspeakable Texture of Process Wisdom
          The Attitude of Wisdom: Ambivalence as the Optimal Compromise
          Facing the Future: Backing Courage with Wisdom
          Re-inscribing Organizational Wisdom and Courage: The relationally Engaged Organization
          The Political Organization of Wisdom and Courage
          The Relational re-birthing of Wisdom and Courage
          Thorny Glory: Toward Organizational Greatness
          Societal Leadership: The Wisdom of Peace
          Developing Wisdom and Courage in Organizing and Sciencing
          An epilogue: An invitation to Future Dialogue

Please dwell on the titles and I am sure any one of the articles would catch your attention, especially the one on ‘Process Wisdom’ and ‘Facing the future’. Choose any article to begin with and cover others, selecting randomly, as you please. (Hope I am persuading well!)

This blog is also posted recollecting Puneet Suppal’s recent blog ,(/people/puneet.suppal2/blog/2009/10/01/caf%C3%A9-innovation-courage-of-leadership-and-innovation)  ‘Courage of Leadership and Innovation’ and the comments made by other members on it. The book would be a good companion for this thought.

 

4 A small passage from the editors’ essay in the book:

“This book is based on the beliefs that wisdom is the pivotal force behind organizational greatness, that there can be no such greatness without courage that sustains the search for wisdom’s guidance, and that once they are combined into one single and powerful unity, our wiser and more courageous organizations will indeed begin to realize their potential as agents of change for world betterment.”

It is with this as the background my search began and located the websites mentioned above.

 

5 The second book

It is “Handbook of Organizational and Managerial Wisdom” by Kessler, Eric H.; Bailey, James R. published by Sage Publications, Inc, in 2007.

Abstract: “This ground breaking compendium of globally renowned thinkers systematically explores the characteristics of understanding, applying, and developing organizational and managerial wisdom. Wisdom is among the most complex and profound concepts in our vernacular. It represents the epitome of human development and conduct, characterizing the most enlightened and successful people and collectives. Yet its systematic analyses and application to professional pursuits has been extremely elusive. This is particularly true with regard to the domain of organization management, as evidenced by preoccupations with information and knowledge as well as business headlines replete with tales of poor judgment and questionable morality. The Handbook of Organizational Wisdom integrates the insights of some of the field’s most respected thinkers to further our understanding of its essential characteristics, consider how it might be practically applied, and explore how it might be developed.”

 

6 Conclusion

The publication of these two books, one in 1998 and the other in 2007, the presentation by JPCarlisle in 2006 and many more resources in the web may be considered as an indication of the recent progress in the subject. The Chicago University’s Arete Initiative and other initiatives by individuals reflected by the number of websites may certainly be taken to indicate the interest and concern with the subject. Hence we may reasonably conclude that the ‘Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom’ trajectory appears to be becoming an interesting area of study. This seems to give hope that IT would eventually help a wiser world dawn as a continuum of processing of data, information and knowledge so far.

 

I think I must stop here, though the search would go on.

Would like to visit the book shop? Please take the short cut!
http://www.flipkart.com/handbook-organizational-managerial-wisdom-eric/1412915619-6nx3fozr0b

 

Sam Anbazhagan

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3 Comments

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  1. Gregory Misiorek
    let’s not forget Mr Ackoff R.L. who has written about the subject in his paper in 1989: “From Data to Wisdom” Presidential Address to ISGSR June 1988, Journal of Applied Systems Analysis. More on about the paper: http://www.systems-thinking.org/dikw/dikw.htm.
    more important, IMHO, is that the progression: data->information->knowledge->understanding->wisdom seems to be innately persistent in our minds as it may have occurred to many more of us before and after the publication.
    to me, one can very easily get lost in confusion without actually accomplishing anything, so sometimes it’s better not to delve too deeply into those topics and leave them to our intuition.
    (0) 
    1. Anbazhagan Sam Venkatesan Post author
      Thanks, Greg.
      The link included in your comment is certainly foundational for

      the study and leads to other sources too.
      That the progression is innate in us may be agreeable, but when

      we want to improve further, whether we can leave it to our

      intution or seek some structured help seems to be the question.
      These web sites and the books appear provide guidance.
      Especially with respect to organizational wisdom the authors seem to confirm that it could be cultivated and they prompt us to explore. That is my point.

      Thanks again.
      Sam Anbazhagan

      (0) 
    2. Anbazhagan Sam Venkatesan Post author
      Thanks, Greg.
      The link included in your comment is certainly foundational for

      the study and leads to other sources too.
      That the progression is innate in us may be agreeable, but when

      we want to improve further, whether we can leave it to our

      intution or seek some structured help seems to be the question.
      These web sites and the books appear provide guidance.
      Especially with respect to organizational wisdom the authors seem to confirm that it could be cultivated and they prompt us to explore. That is my point.

      Thanks again.
      Sam Anbazhagan

      (0) 

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