Evaluating OL, OL definition across cultures LO26165

From: Terje A. Tonsberg (tatonsberg@hotmail.com)
Date: 02/19/01

Replying to LO25895 --

Thank you for your help Don,

You said: 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?

Well if I look at the 5 disciplines as parts, just right off the top of my
head, then I can find relations that have deep roots in Arabic culture.
Not the least mental modelling and personal awareness (these concepts are
particularly found in sufi literature). Systems concepts are also
discussed, but more at a philosophical level about causes . I suspect
there is something to find about dialogue (team learning) as well,
although the Arabs focused primarily on debate and logic, emphasizing the
importance of debating to get to the truth rather than winning.

So if the 5 disciplines of Senge's model are condsidered separately, one
can certainly find elements of OL.

Also one could look at attributes of leaders and leadership philosophy.
Interesting parralells would be made. Arab history is full of examples to
choose from. Ranging from the humble yet firm leadership of the early
khalifas who denied themselves luxury to the extravagances of certain
kings of the Abbasid and Ummawi dynasties.

You said: 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.

You are right, and thanks for the idea, I would love to do research on
this, but this one I would consider for my Phd, not my masters.
Classical Arabic literature, which would be very important in this topic
in order to avoid mere imported ideas, is rather enormous. I wouldn't
even know where to begin to cover such a topic at this moment. Actually
it wouldn't just be a Phd topic, it would be a profession!

Meanwhile, if you would like me to elaborate more about these aspects of
Arabic culture feel free to ask! (I promise to be much faster this time).



"Terje A. Tonsberg" <tatonsberg@hotmail.com>

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