Title: Organisational learning, climate change and the tragedy of the commons in China

Authors: John B. Kidd

Addresses: Operations & Information Management Group, Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK

Abstract: This paper ends with a brief discussion of climate change and suggests that a practical solution would be to transfer much of the current air, sea and long-haul trucking of intercontinental freight between China and Europe (and the USA) to maglev systems. First we review the potential of Asian knowledge management and organisational learning and contrast this against Western precepts finding that there seems to be little incentive to |look after one|s fellows| in China (and perhaps across Asia) outside of tight personal guanxi networks. This is likely to be the case in the intense production regions of China where little time is allowed for |organisational learning| by the staff and there is little incentive to initiate |knowledge management| by senior managers. Thus the |tragedy of the commons| will be enacted by individuals, township, and provincial leaders upwards to top ministers – no one will care for the climate or pollution, only for their own group and their wealth creation prospects.

Keywords: systems science; knowledge management; KM; organisational learning; climate change; pollution; maglev; magnetic levitation; China; guanxi; business relationships; commons; common land; air freight; sea transportation; shipping; long-haul trucking; intercontinental freight; Europe; USA; United States; Asia; personal networks; production regions; senior managers; wealth creation; learning innovation; intellectual capital; management.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLIC.2011.039448

International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, 2011 Vol.8 No.2, pp.222 - 238

Published online: 05 Apr 2011 *

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