Viktor Dörfler

Viktor Dörfler

Senior Lecturer in Information & Knowledge Management. My interest is comprised of areas of personal and organisational knowledge and learning as well as supporting these with artificial intelligence.

Location University of Strathclyde Business School, Glasgow, UK.

Activity

  • Please bring this to the 'Ask Viktor' session too. The master-apprentice relationship is one of my favourite research topics. In a research project, I have interviewed 17 Nobel Laureates - that was one of the most interesting aspects, here is the paper (open access):

    Viktor Dörfler & Colin Eden (2019) Understanding “Expert” Scientists: Implications for...

  • Excellent @ClareEasdown. Here are a few papers on CoPs you may enjoy:

    Igor Pyrko, Viktor Dörfler & Colin Eden (2017) Thinking Together: What Makes Communities of Practice Work?, Human Relations, 70(4): 389-409. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726716661040

    Igor Pyrko, Viktor Dörfler & Colin Eden (2019) Communities of practice in landscapes of practice,...

  • Drucker is one of my favourite gurus ever!

  • Viktor Dörfler replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Ainsley, please bring this topic up in the 'Ask Viktor' section later this week - you touched upon some of my favourite topics! Bring up all the points you make :-)

  • Thank you for the praise and for the excellent article John. Although there is one aspect of the article that I would dispute: Dan Sperber critique of our reason. Try to think about it this way: what are the strong features of humans that helped us survive in the hostile environment? Actually, all our physical features are far worse than most animals'. The...

  • I am not sure what you mean Augustine. Is this the second time you are here? So you finished last year? If this is the case, you need to get in touch with FutureLearn. However, if you are just through with the majority of steps and all the tests in just one week, I think that you will have to wait until the end of the course to get your certificate. But,...

  • Great question Adrole, it is a pity that it came after the end of the course, this could have made a great 'Ask Viktor' topic. I would like to think that this is possible. We could use technology in general and IS/ICT in particular for standardising and automating what can be standardised and automated - the important thing here is where we draw the line. One...

  • George Bernard Shaw said: Reasonable people adapt themselves to the world. Unreasonable people try to adapt the world to themselves. All progress therefore depends on unreasonable people.

  • You will have to get to the 'Understanding Modern Business and Organizations'; there is a full week on this topic. In short, yes, I think we could. But very few seem to do.

  • Keith, I know that there are different learning styles - not everyone likes taking assignments, just as not everyone likes to contribute to discussions. You have made a tremendous contribution to this course throughout the five weeks, you always engaged in discussions - so no, I would never think that you have missed the opportunity to learn. As I may have...

  • Thanks Gerry, excellent source. I like the 'Plato' as a resource, use it quite a bit in my philosophy class - but I have not seen this topic before.

  • Well formulated!

  • Sheryl, I completely agree with you on both counts: (1) Ease of use is vital. I believe so much in this, that I even purchsed a domain name, with the previously mentioned Howard Ramsay, caled: nomanualsallowed.com - we wanted to put content there explaining as well as demonstrating that good software does not need a manual... (2) Ignoring the user, or even...

  • This is an excellent comment, and we should get back to it towards the end of the week. Here is a hint: although most thinking is 'embodied', not necessarily all. If it was all, it would be reasonable to expect that machines outperform us in abstract mathematics - which is not really embodied. However, while machines are certainly better at elementary...

  • I will definitely cite you on this one!

  • Yes, good examples Damian. Unfortunately, we only have this for computational thinking, which is only a small part of thinking - and as you will see in week 5, I don't even think that it is the most important one. What about those who are talented for tennis or violin or painting rather than computing?

  • Thanks Joshua, this is excellent material.

  • Actually, it seems that Maslow is great - what is wrong is the second-hand citations of it, which happened without ever reading the original. For instance, if someone reads his original paper on motivation (easy to find, for free: http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Maslow/motivation.htm), at least to the second page, it is clear that he never said a few things for...

  • My favourite example of this type is Antonio Damasio's 'poor Eliot'. Yes, such extreme cases can teach us a lot. We need to move towards a more human-faced technology, including computerised ones. But it is not only technology, many other disciplines as well - again, foreshadowing week 5...

  • Excellent point(s) Karen.

  • Excellent example Maris. As I said at the beginning is that I want you to know at the end of this course where you draw the line: what to leave to the computers and what to the humans. Whenever an expert decision is needed I would never replace an expert with a computer - more about this in week 5 :-)

  • Sure, we are shifting towards co-creation of experiences in IS/ICT perhaps more than anywhere else. The one thing we must not forget is that the user cannot tell what they need. They simply don't know enough about IS/ICT to do that.

  • No worries Kieth, this part is now over.

  • That's another analogy to the slide rule: understanding the essence and ways of IS/ICT design still seem to work best, at least for me, through these simple tools, particularly as they are targeted on one particular aspect, rather than getting more easily lost in the more integrated frameworks. Furthermore, learning these design methods, we also learn more...

  • The very same. He has same fascinating work - most of it missed in the management education. For one, he has never drawn the pyramid...

  • I don't think this will even slow down in the foreseeable future. And I do think that this is a serious problem, as we badly got out of balance. Someone said a long time ago that the US exports high-tech gadgets and imports high-touch nurses. We all went too far on high-tech compared to where we are with the high-touch...

  • You are correct Damian, I just usually do not call it a database, as a database is soemthing I have on my computer. Or an ERP system. Google kind of indexed the whole internet... and of course put on keywords and all sorts of lists. And, as you say, this is a prototype example of a never-ending beta.

  • Well, in a sense it does. First of all, there is no external measure of usefulness - ony whether you find that information useful. Second, when you do not act upon useful information (or in any other case), this means that you decided not to act - so the information was used in that decision. Of course, information is not the only input into decisions, there...

  • Keith, the further readings are there mainly to help those who become interested in a particular topic. It would take a long time to read all those things that I have included (it took me years) - I wanted to offer more, so that if someone would want to know more about something gets to a good source to start with. So the emphasis is on the 'optional' - I have...

  • Excellent, thanks.

  • Uuuuups, AltaVista was the other latecomer - I apparently did not finish that thought... Fixed now.
    Google is a portal in which the search engine plays a central role - but if you recall iGoogle, that was a more common portal interface.

  • Today, as an end-user, you will not see the 32D limit. You can analyse your data according to any field of your database. However, your analysis may involve more than one dimension (which surprisingly rarely happens), e.g. you are interested in the salary level of your employees by gender; this involves 2 dimensions, the salary and the gender. So the only way...

  • Keith, one of my aims in this course is exactly to help non-technical people to cope with this type of questions - and technical people to understand that they should talk to the non-technical ones in a different way... Actually, a similar experience of a friend was the reason that I started talking about these aspects of IS/ICT - otherwise I would have...

  • If this was a face-to-face course, I would prove to you that a smell of a rose is information for you, probably more easily than to people who do not know how to smell a flower. I am sure that you could, at least in some cases, conclude, simply based on the smell, that there is something wrong with that flower, is it still alive or cut, perhaps in which stage...

  • That was the idea :-)

  • Well, we can agree that the data does not change (if recorded in the books). However, I would say that the information DOES - if I read it now, I will make a different sense of it than if I read it tomorrow, or in 10 years time... As some of the previous contributors argued, one way to understand information is that it is in our mind - so it does matter when...

  • Happy to talk about this in the 'Ask Viktor' - a long topic... I teach it for a full semester, 2x2 hours per week, and it is not really enough...

  • That is an excellent train of thought Neil. Not sure that I would stop here though - is it not information only if I am (for whatever reason) interested in the question being answered?

  • This is what some psychologists, such as Ulric Neisser, say.

  • Very true Senerath, this is what I tried to illustrate with the tax specialist example.

  • This should be an 'Ask Viktor' question :-)

  • I address this in my other course 'Understanding Modern Business and Organisations' here at FutureLearn. It is called the phenomenon of the 'Shallows' based on Nic Carr.

  • Thanks, done.

  • Yes, me too. And I also file bugs, as I am pretty good at figuring out how to reproduce them, what the necessary conditions are, etc.

  • Agree

  • No, only this week was not about IS/ICT. You will get this next week.

  • Of course - I did not want to include this as it is hacking rather than piracy and it is the realm of the few who qualify as hackers - maybe it is worth getting back to this in the 'Ask Viktor'?

  • The frustration comes when 'I don't want that CD either on my computer or on my shelf, only that one single track - I would not mind paying for it, but I don't want to pay for the full CD...' Sure, the 'want' is still there - but what explains it is the frustration. Of course, this does not explain ALL piracy, often it is as you say - but this part of piracy...

  • More on this in week 5!

  • we'll get there soon - just a few steps away :-)

  • actually I will :-) not sure that it is what you expect...

  • I guess, this is like with everything else: some are and some are not...

  • Thanks - I am back in the game :-)

  • Well said Chan. As you realised, the tests are also part of the teaching-learning process. They are not for me but for you to see where you are.

  • That's also part of Mintzberg's argument on how 'Productivity is Killing American Enterprise' (http://hbr.org/2007/07/productivity-is-killing-american-enterprise/ar/1). But there will be more on this in week 4.

  • Norman, I hope your comment boosts a discussion - I like to provoke opinions stating things a little bit at the extreme. I would love to hear what the others think. Re responsibility, if you remind me in the 'Ask Viktor' session of the next week (knowledge), I have something interesting to say...

  • Neil, I think you misunderstood me. I don't think bureaucracy is the same as administration/management. I would have probably given a somewhat different description of bureaucracy, but not so different that I would not accept yours. We also agree about the emphasis on the enormous inertia bureaucracy often has. However, I also introduced the use of concepts...

  • Karen, you are asking a number of questions here. I answered one in my answer to Sergei and will answer another one here.

    The most important thing to understand about SMEs (small to medium enterprises) is that they are not smaller than large organisations, but different. In a similar way as a child is not an imperfect adult but a perfect child. Some SMEs...

  • Thank you Sergei for this thoughtful question. There is no such thing as the role of strategy, in the sense of a single role. As there are various schools of strategy, there are various roles strategy can play. Complexity is a great concept to bring up, and it has two siblings: non-linearity and chaos. Strategy has to live in the complex world, rather than...

  • Jared, there is nothing wrong with people doing their job decently for the paycheck they receive. As long as it is for a decent work. Not everyone wants to be a community member. Just think of Handy’s village example: there are people who only come to work in the village. A community is an organic concept, one pillar of which is pluralism. This means that...

  • For a better understanding of what is going on, just think about all sorts of ‘smart gadgets’ we use. Smart gadgets gave numerous ideas to various people that led to new solutions. It did not work the other way around, how it is usually thought in schools, that a smart gadget came about as a solution to a problem. This is not an entirely new phenomenon, for...

  • Thanks Mikoš, ‘sharing economy’ is a good catch-phrase and even a witty formulation. I don’t believe that it could disrupt stable, large, particularly manufacturing companies, like the ones you mention. This, however, does not mean two things: (1) It does not mean that through understanding sharing economy better, some such large established organisations...

  • To also address a part of another question, the next four weeks of the course are structured according to the four main forces I believe shape the world of modern business and organisations: knowledge, technology, ethics, and globalisation. I also believe that the material of the course will provide you with a sufficient web of concepts through which you will...