Learning, Social and Organizational (LRNG)
School of Public Policy
492, 592 Special Topics in Social and Organizational Learning (1-3:1-3:0) Covers topics from economic, historical, philosophical, literary, organizational, or information technology perspectives. Courses first appear under this heading. Consult program office and class schedules for descriptions. May be repeated for credit.
572 Taming the Electronic Frontier (3:3:0) Using Internet as primary medium for interactive learning, this innovative course is offered in classroom as well as over cable TV. Establishes dialogue between producers and consumers of information-age goods by exploiting distance-learning technologies such as television in combination with e-mail/FTP/gopher/WAIS and other groupware tools. These provide basis for electronically mediated organizational learning exercises that challenge traditional power relationships between producers and consumers in institutional contexts.
583 Groupware for Organizational Learning (3:3:0) Provides exposure to groupware systems such as Lotus Notes, web, and Folio Views, and ways they can be incorporated to help organizations use knowledge more effectively. Trains students in application development for enhancing organizational learning, and introduces range of diverse software products designed to facilitate coordination and collaborative work.
592 Internet Literacy (1:1:0) Five-week, 1-credit minicourse taught via Internet and video provides Internet competency for distance-learning initiatives across Mason curriculum. Topics include concepts, skills, and software for reading, searching, and writing hypertext for web, participating in e-mail and newsgroups, and any course in Mason curriculum. Uses new campus infrastructure, cable TV, videotape, and Internet as medium of collaborative and experiential learning and demonstration of best practices in distance learning.
596 Independent Study (1-12:0:0) Covers research, analysis, and implementation within realm of social and organizational learning. Students work with member of program faculty. May be repeated for credit.
601 Organizational Learning (3:3:0) Re-examination of organizations and role of management from interpretive standpoint. Develops process view of organizations that identifies differences in interests, perspectives, and cultures among groups and explains role of management in facilitating understanding to achieve effective cooperation in a dynamic work environment. Themes include organizational culture, decision-making, collaborative communities, and teamwork, and "reading" of organizational change. Case studies and experiential exercises reinforce learning process. Complements LRNG 672.
602 Group Dynamics and Team Learning (3:3:0) Using unstructured learning environments, participants learn how to facilitate team learning for organizational effectiveness by engaging in meaningful group interaction. Explores various aspects of group dynamics such as power, perception, motivation, leadership, and decision making.
672 Organizational Learning Laboratory (3:3:0) Focuses on creating learning and experimental environment to explore questions and concerns typically faced by managers in effort to build learning organizations. Analyzes questions using experiential learning and action research. Classroom group interactions and group projects simulate real-world organizations. Object is to acquire competence to diagnose and analyze organizations and develop skills to become better facilitators of organizational learning. Complements LRNG 601.
676 Comparative Socioeconomic Systems (3:3:0) Studies fundamental alternatives in public policy. Explores systemic, evolutionary patterns in overall socioeconomic institutional arrangements, and examines the manner in which knowledge is discovered, changed, and communicated in social systems. Drawing on field of complex evolving systems, course pays particular attention to two traditions: Marxism and the Austrian School. Textual material is in Folio Views software, which facilitates close reading and enables collaboration in earlier analysis and interpretation of texts.
692, 792 Special Topics in LRNG (1-3:1-3:0) Covers topics in social or organizational change seen from economic, historical, philosophical, literary, organizational, and information technology perspectives. New courses that first appear under this heading include Teaching Practicum: Instructional Technologies, Building Learning Organizations for Global Business, Computational Modeling of Social Learning, and Strategic Knowledge Management. May be repeated for credit.
714 Ethnography of Corporate Culture (3:3:0) Corporate culture is not a simple byproduct of organizational charts and advertising images, but rather the web of meaning that endows organizational action with its deepest significance. Corporate cultures must be studied by ethnographic methods of "thick description." After exploring conceptions of corporate culture, course examines exemplary ethnographies of various organizations, including those of different societies, to prepare students for their own ethnographic field work and writing.
761 Computational Modeling of Social Learning (3:3:0) Explores processes of social interaction and higher-order or macro-emergent phenomena by modeling social interaction on computers. Models are simulations of "virtual worlds" populated by variety of "virtual agents," and they allow processes to be observed in action through visual representations of economic activity. Modeling language used is Smalltalk V/Windows 2.0, from Digitalk Corp. Course goal is to bring together insights of social scientists and computational scientists, using former's understanding of social systems and latter's modeling principles and techniques to produce models in which the entities modeled have both capacity of volition and varying interpretations of and strategies for dealing with their environments.
762 Strategic Knowledge Management (3:3:0) Deals with theory and practices of leveraging and sharing knowledge to develop more effective organizations. Focuses on knowledge and communities of practice, and includes use of collaborative technology in managing interactions.
763 Technology and Learning in Organizations (3:3:0) Examines enormous potential of information technology to enhance the way organizations work and learn. Focus includes user interface design, and organizational processes that support effective use of this technology.
764 Learning Across Cultures (3:3:0) Focuses on ideas and practices involved in fostering learning, innovation, and new knowledge creation in the highly multicultural environments of knowledge intensive, global economies, and political systems.
770 Pricing Strategy and Tactics (3:3:0) Covers techniques of strategic analysis necessary to price more profitably by evaluating the price sensitivity of buyers, determining relevant costs for pricing decision, anticipating and influencing competitors' pricing, and formulating pricing strategies appropriate for market. Participants learn tactics to implement strategies that enable them to price differently to different market segments, enhance the perception of product's value, and coordinate pricing with other elements of marketing. Involves analysis of case and real-world problems, and discussion of current events showing how to apply techniques developed in class.
781 Interpretive Social Theory (3:3:0) Advanced, philosophical study of interpretive school of economics sometimes known as the "Austrians." Weaves together Austrian ideas, epistemology, and hermeneutics; organizing theme is reinterpretation of Austrian school as radically interpretive approach to social theory. Course material is in the form of Folio Views hyper-text, which lends itself to close analysis of text and provides practical way of demonstrating and appreciating value of interpretive social theory.
796 Independent Study (1-12:1-12:0) Requires research, analysis, and implementation within realm of social and organizational learning. Students work with member of program faculty. May be repeated for credit.
868 Business, Government, and the International Economy (3:3:0) Provides broad overview of international development and trade since World War II. Covers growth strategies of developed countries as well as developing countries. Gives students broad understanding of modern world's system of political economy shaped by national policies, international agreements, and business activity. Almost all instruction is by case method.