Communities of Practice LO27109

From: Richard Holloway (
Date: 08/06/01

Replying to LO27093 --

Dr Dash--

I think that organizations could learn. I'm convinced that communities
can learn. Not all organizations are communities...but there may be
several communities interacting within an organization. When organizations
learn, maybe it's because it behaves like a community.

Yes, I agree that human communities seem to reflect individual human
behavior. Or, perhaps, individual human behavior occurs and makes sense
within the context of the human community (or family)?

The argument that only "people" learn seems specious. Do "people" learn
within the context of a community? Does the ramification of what they
"learn" generate some energy within their community? Or, are people
independent of community? Context becomes individualized, personalized,
solitary. I don't think so. Even the enlightened ones commune. What do
the hermits learn? Their learning seems largely irrelevant to the rest of
us unless, somehow, the community interacts with the hermit to provide
context and explanation. Those who find enlightenment in their solitary
searching are compelled to return to their communities to share the path
to enlightenment.

It seems to make more sense to say that "people" learn in the context of
their community(ies), and that improvements in the range of human
knowledge from survival existence to quality of life variations are
contextual. This learning reflects the little leaps to the flashes of
insight which are each connected with one or more communities.

Donne wrote: "No man is an island, entire unto himself. Each man is a
part of the continent, a piece of the whole." In the reflection of
systems (or metasystems) thinking, it's difficult to understand arguments
that communities don't learn...only people do.

peace be with you,

Richard C. "Doc" Holloway

>Reflecting upon the question of whether organisations learn:
>I think it has been eloquently argued that organisations are not people.
>But in this mail, I am exploring if they are at least people-like. It
>will call for some open generosity from the readers to appreciate my
>point of view.
>Dr. D. P. Dash


"Richard Holloway" <>

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