Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in an organizational learning process

1 . The massive introduction of ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in organizations suggests an overall reflection on the individual and collective processes of knowledge acquisition. While the decentralization of organizations has grown significantly over the last ten years, the managerial literature suggests a reinforcement of this trend via electronic networks which, by encouraging the circulation of information, would strengthen the possibilities of autonomy in decisions (Kalika, 2000). In general, the boundaries of the organizations fade away while the frozen teams give way to shifting and temporary groups.

2 . Increasing the speed of information flow often appears to businesses as a promise of increased profits. So we sometimes seem to witness some frantic race of technology between leaders. The simple fact of possessing technological communication tools seems to be considered by many companies as a guarantee of success. However, we can only be dubious about the idyllic vision (Breton, Proulx, 1996) of some leaders who advocate technological mediation as a means of enriching interpersonal communications within the company. The idea of ​​a “better world” – an image vigorously denounced by Philippe Breton (Breton, 2000) – produced by ICT is strongly suggested in the speeches or writings on the subject.

3 . The intrinsic motivations of managers to use ICT appear to be more the result of a desire to increase productivity or to reduce easily identifiable costs, than structural changes that are difficult to quantify (Benghozi, Flichy: d’Iribarne, 2000). The introduction of ICTs in the exchange of knowledge within organizations nevertheless implies a reconsideration of organizational patterns. Similarly, the challenge of an organizational learning process via ICT is clearly not in the technicality of the tools but more in the use that is made of them.

4 . Also between a technicist approach of learning (the technique determines the functioning) and an organizational approach (the organization conditions the use), is it not preferable to take the path of emergence (Mucchielli, 2000)? This, the result of the interaction between technology and the use that is made of it – use of course depends on many factors such as the personality of individuals, their experience, the specificity of the entity, the reference culture, the style of management … – undoubtedly brings new knowledge.

5 . The production of new knowledge result both of the man / machine interaction and interpersonal interactions multiplied by the abolition of distances. As for the exchange of knowledge (Agostinelli, 1999). they would be reinforced by the range of ICTs available to actors such as EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). Finally, ICTs would help accelerate and sustain the process of building organizational identity.