|Question||1. If you were in Rogers’s position what would you be concerned about?
2. What does organizational learning have to do with an organization’s ability to develop sustainable competitive advantage?
3. What is a “learning organization”?
4. What are the stakes for learning at NASA? What seem to be the dominant VABEs at GSFC?
5. If you were in Rogers’s position at Goddard, what would you do and why?
Following the Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle disasters, NASA generally was interested in trying to develop better cross-organizational learning systems. NASA was a very large and complex institution with 10 locations and thousands of technical departments. The Columbia disaster highlighted again the importance of developing better ways for the thousands of NASA professionals to learn from the insights of their colleagues.
While reading The Wall Street Journal, Edward Rogers, a professor at the University of Alabama, noticed an advertisement for a Knowledge Management Architect at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), one of NASA’s 10 sites, in Greenbelt, Maryland. Rogers was an academic whose scholarship centered on developing models of how and why people cooperated intellectually. After submitting his resume and completing the interview process, Rogers was offered the position on a term appointment for three years. After one full month under his belt, Rogers wondered how he should proceed ing GSFC become a learning organization. It was the kind of opportunity Rogers had looked forward to for many years-but what would his plan of attack look like? How would he this collection of truly bright rocket scientists work together better?