Definition of Organization LO25905

From: Jon Jenkins (
Date: 01/16/01

Replying to LO25862 --

Dear Richard

It seems to me that a more focused definition of team, community and
organisation are called for.

You wrote:

> The team is the most clearly focused on their desired outcomes. One good
> definition of a team is a group of people who need each other
> to produce a desired result. A team is usually small enough that their
> desired result is more specific (narrow). For example, the sales team.

If you use Katzenbach and Smith's difinition of team you have 4 realities
that can be pointed to by what you call team. They suggest team, high
performance team, pseudo team and working group. the first two are
display learning behaviour as a unit while that last two do not.

> A community (as in a community of interest or a community of
> practice) has common interests and may produce similar or related results,
> but the
> result is less significant that the practices and quality of the
> experience. For example, the world wide community of people interested in
> org learning.

I suspect that the same might apply hear but I don't know how. Often
communities of interest and practise are not learning communities - in
fact are designed to perpetuate their own beliefs.

> An organization (or institution) is somewhere in between in terms of the
> results. It is usually bigger than a team, has more desired results
> (sales, profits, return to stakeholders, quality of experience for the
> employees, retention, market share, quality, support for the neighboring
> community, etc.)

The same can be said about organisations.


Jon C. Jenkins
Imaginal Training
Groningen, The Netherlands
See The International Facilitator's Companion, The Social Processes, The
Innovation Workshop and The Other World at

[Host's Note: Thanks Jon, for the additions. Now, how about a good
definition of "organization"? ..Rick]


"Jon Jenkins" <>

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