Is networked learning always in alignment with organisational learning?

I think this is a fundamental question that most people would like to know the answer but rarely dare to ask.

What is intriguing is that individual networked learning could be in conflict with the organisational learning.   This is especially the case at this time of financial crisis.


During the 2002-04 period, it seemed as if most days brought to light another case of corporate lying, misrepresentations and financial manipulations.  What happened to managerial ethics?

This important aspect of managerial behaviour seems to have been forgotten or ignored as some managers put their self-interest ahead of others who might be affected by their decisions.  Take, for example, the ‘Enron Three’ (former chairman Ken Lay, former CEO Jeff Skilling and former CFO Andy Fastow).   All behaved as if the laws and accounting rules did not apply to them.  They used greed, manipulation and collusion to deceive their board of directors, employees, shareholders and others about Enron’s worsening financial condition.  Because of these managers’ unethical actions, thousands of Enron employees lost their jobs and the company stock set aside in their retirement savings became worthless.

Although Enron seemed to be the pivotal event in this corporate ethics crisis, executives at a number of other large companies were engaging in similar kinds of unethical acts.  In Australia, there was the HIH collapse in 2001 which ultimately led to HIH directors Ray Williams and Rodney Adler being found guilty in 2005 of criminal charges in relation to the collapse.  Ray Williams was found guilty of considerable abandonment of duty and was jailed for a minimum of two years and nine months.  Rodney Adler was found guilty of making false or misleading statements which the sentencing judge describe as displaying an appalling lack of commercial morality. …

What would you have done had you been a manager in these organisations? How would you have reacted?  One thing we know is that ethical issues are not simple or easy!  Make one decision and someone will be affected; make another and someone else is likely to be affected.  In today’s changing workplace, managers need an approach to deal with the complexities and uncertainties associated with the ethical dilemmas that arise.

Source: Robbins, S   Management  4th edition 2006 (p57-58)

As an educator and learner, are we also facing similar ethical issues in the learning ecology?  What are those ethical issues? As a blogger, what are the implications if the information that we are sharing with others were originated from an incorrect information source?  Are we able to discern those sources with lying, misrepresentations and manipulation of information?  Are we responsible for the provision of accurate, up-to-date information in our blogs?  What learning ethics do we adopt in our communication and interaction with other bloggers or readers? 

What happens if our learning practice is not aligning with our organisation’s mission and vision?  Examples include when organisations have banned the use of social networking tools such as Facebook, YouTubes or My Space, whereas you as an educator is continuing to teach your learners using those tools.   Is it a concern to you?  Is it a concern to your organisation or institution?

How would you deal with the ethical issues in networked learning and organisation learning?  If you have found some ethical issues that are in conflict with the organisation practice, how would you deal with them?