Evaluating OL, OL definition across cultures LO25895

From: Don Dwiggins (d.l.dwiggins@computer.org)
Date: 01/15/01

Replying to LO25854 --

Terje A Tonsberg writes:
> I've been a lurker on this list for a few months, but have never posted
> anything. I have a few questions I thought perhaps you could help me
> with.

Welcome to the more "visible" part of the list; I hope you'll find other
occasions to post.

> 1. I want to do an OL topic for my master's thesis in education, but it
> needs to be something value added for my employer (I am a Norwegian expat
> working in the T&D department of a large middle eastern oil company and
> need to spend some work time on the thesis). Does anybody have
> suggestions for a topic?

See below.

> 2. I was thinking of doing an evaluation of OL in our department or in
> the company through a survey or by other means. Any suggestions/comments?
> If I was to develop a survey, what would be the methodology for developing
> it? for using it? Also, I have a few examples of such surveys, but would
> appreciate to receive information any of you might have on
> published/available surveys for OL evaluation.

I don't have much to offer on methodology, but I'd suggest you first
consider whom you expect your audience to be, and what sorts of changes
you'd like to produce in them. What kind of dialogue do you imagine
growing out of the evaluation?

> 3. What would you consider synonyms to "Organizational Learning" or
> "Learning Organizations"? Approximations will do fine. The reason I am
> asking is that I am a orientalist and would like to try to explain these
> terms in Arabic. Any suggestions for doing this is of course appreciated.
> One way I am working on is to compare the way an organization learns to
> the way an individual learns. A literal translation of the term "learning
> organization" does not really work. The reply tends to be "you mean
> organized learning"!

> 4. Does anybody know of anything published in Arabic about LO/OL?

Being almost totally naive about Arabic culture, I'll make bold to offer
this: what concepts in Arabic culture best correspond to the notion of LO?
It seems to me that this is a culture rich in science and philosophy; what
do they have to offer to help paint the rich picture of LO/OL? In other
words, rather than trying to map our concept into the Arabic language,
look within the Arabic culture for concepts that could shed light on the
term "Learning Organization". (Personally, I think this could be a
fascinating contribution to this list.) Finally, I think it might be an
answer for your first question above.

Best wishes for your endeavors, and do keep in touch.


Don Dwiggins "Solvitur Ambulando" d.l.dwiggins@computer.org

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