We Powerful Visions LO29690

From: ACampnona@aol.com
Date: 12/11/02


Dear LO,

Are we losing ourselves in a field of dreams? (Peter Senge) LO's must be
grounded in the transcendent human values of Love, Wonder, Humility and
Compassion (Peter Senge)

Organizational Learning: Past, Present, and Future, Journal of
Organizational Change Management , Volume 9 Number 1.
 -- There are two strands in the organizational learning (OL) literature
marked by incompatible world views. The dominant substance is modernist
while the spirit is interpretive. The focus on systems, in form of
learning loops and systems archetypes, identifies an acceptance of the
tenets of modernism. The spirit offers an innovative view of management
and contradicts the modernist substance. Drawing on contemporary
hermeneutics, the spirit leads to a different conception of the
organization, the role of management, and OL. Organizations comprise
communities with different interests and understandings. Both
organizational problems and solutions reflect people's understanding.
Cooperation involves establishing mutual interests and is achieved through
discourse that builds communities of understanding. (Abstract from
special issue)

Argyris, C. (1983):"Productive and Counterproductive Reasoning Processes",
in Suresh Srivastava and Associates, (Eds.): The Executive Mind , San
Francisco, Jossey-Bass: 25-57.
 -- To close, the skills and competencies that executives learn for
dealing with an X-Y type of problem can be used for dealing with any
double-loop problem. The key is to learn the new skills and to acquire a
new set of governing rules. If executives learn the new skills - such as
advocating their position and encouraging enquiry - but use them to
maintain unilateral control and to maximize winning, they will be using
the new skills in the service of Model 1 values. They remain within a
Model 1 mode: they hide their views about the gimmickaries of the new
behaviour and yet act as if they were not hiding anything. As a result,
others may interpret their newly acquired skills as gimmicks as new ways
to manipulate people. Luckily, people judge the credibility of human
skills by evaluating what values they serve. This means that those who
learn the new skills as gimmicks and tricks will be discovered. It also
means that those who wish to gain credibility not only must learn the new
skills but must internalize a new set of values (1983: 57).

Burgoyne, J. G. (1995): "Learning from experience: From individual
discovery to meta-dialogue via the evolution of transitional myths",
Personnel Review Vol. 24, No. 6: 61-72
 -- Learning from experience assumes particular importance at times of
fundamental transition because inherited learning becomes irrelevant or
misleading. The current fundamental transition is from work for the
production of knowledge to work for the production of identify/meaning.
The accompanying transition in terms of learning from experience is from
individual discovery of personal and environmental realities to collective
meaning making. The contemporary concern with dialogue as a core process
of collective meaning making in organizational learning is discussed, and
a process of meta-dialogue is proposed as an approach to facilitating
learning from experience in a way appropriate to the times. Meta-dialogue
involves sharing and reaching an understanding of the ways in which
beliefs under discussion in dialogue can be believed to be true or useful.
[Abstract from BPO 21/9/96]

Butler, J. E. (1988): "Theories of Technological Innovation as Useful
Tools for Corporate Strategy, Strategic Management Journal Vol .9, No. 1:
15-29.
 -- The type of innovation, stage of development, learning at all levels,
interdependence between technologies and users' expectations all appear to
play a role in the emergence of technologies and the rate of innovation.

Easterby-Smith, M. (1996): "Disciplines of the Learning Organization:
Contributions and Critiques", paper presented for the Symposium on
Organisational Learning and the Learning Organisation : Theoretical and
Research Developments, The Management School. Lancaster University,
Lancaster, UK, 1 - 3 September.
The paper argues against attempts to create a single framework for
understanding organizational learning. Relevant literature is reviewed
from six disciplinary perspectives: psychology and OD, management science;
sociology and organizational theory; strategy; production management and
anthropology. It is argued that each discipline provides distinct
contributions and conceptions of problems. Furthermore, a basic
distinction is drawn between organizational learning and the new idea of
the learning organization is noted. Whereas the former is discipline based
and analytic, the latter is multi-disciplinary and emphasises action and
the creation of an 'ideal type' of organization. Due to the diversity of
purpose and perspective it is suggested that it is better to consider
organizational learning as a multi-disciplinary field containing
complementary contributions and research agendas (Abstract by
Easterby-Smith, 1996)

Fulmer. R. M. (1993a): "Editorial" in Journal of Management Development,
Vol. 12, No. 5: 4-6.
 -- Editorial outlines concept of anticipatory learning which "involves
two characteristics (future orientation along with its participation"
Fulmer presents a two-by-two matrix of 'How organizations Learn", with
PARTICIPATION on the vertical axis and Orientation (Present or Future) on
the Horizontal. Fulmer labels the 4 quadrants as A: "Because I say so"
(i.e. an authority figure says something is to be done (or avoided) : this
style is "the essence of maintenance learning"; B. "As you like it"
learning where provided executives "meet their "operating bogie" the means
by which they proceed is often left to the creativity of the executive
team (Fulmer, 1993: 5); C. is the "Change Master" quadrant, which is
equivalent to a style of visionary learning; and D. is labelled as
"Inventing the future". Fulmer states that essentially "anticipatory
learning is for a group of motivated individuals to work together not to
forecast, but to create a future hey feel committed to (Fulmer, 1993a:
5)."

Ghosal, S. and Bartlett, C. A. (1994): "Linking Organizational Context and
Managerial Action: The Dimensions of Quality of Management", Strategic
Management Journal, Vol. 15: 91-112.
 -- Organizational context is created and renewed through tangible and
concrete management actions. The context, in turn, influences the actions
of all those within the company. They argue that "an interactive
development of context and action lies at the core of a company's
management process and is a key influencer of its performance (1994: 91)."
Four primary dimensions of organizational context are identified from a
longitudinal study of one company: discipline, stretch, trust, and
support. These four dimensions "influence the levels of individual
initiative, mutual cooperation and collective learning within companies.
(1994: 91)." The quality of organizational context they argue is a "good
measure of what Doz and Prahalad (1988) have referred to as an
organisation's 'quality of management' (1994: 92)." These four
dimensions, Ghosal and Bartlett suggest can be created and reinforced by a
variety of macro and micro level actions taken by managers at all levels
of an organization (1994: 95). Ghosal and Bartlett propose, inter alia,
that 'organizational learning results from a combination of distributed
initiative and mutual cooperation which, in turn, require stretch, trust,
discipline and support as the antecedent conditions of organizational
context (1994: 107).' The conclusion is that the central task of general
managers is shaping the organizational context.

Hedlund, G. (1994): "A model of knowledge management and the N-form
corporation", Strategic Management Journal ,Vol. 15: 73-90.
 -- Hedlund develops a model of knowledge management which builds on the '
interplay of articulated and tacit knowledge at four different levels: the
individual, the small group, the organization, and the interorganizational
domain. (1994: 73). The model is used to compare differences in Western
and Japanese patterns of knowledge management in respect of organizational
characteristics such as (i) employment systems; (ii) career patterns;
(iii) and organization structure. Hedlund argues that "effective
knowledge management requires departure from the logic of hierarchical
organization and the M-form structure' , with an alternative N-form being
suggested as more appropriate. Such a variant organizational structure
"entails combination of knowledge rather than its division (1994: 73): it
also features "the temporary constellations of people, the importance of
personnel at 'lower levels', ;lateral communication, a catalytic and
architectural role for top management, strategies aimed at focussing and
economies of depth, and heterarchical structures (1994: 73).

Heracleous, L. (1995): "Spinning a brand new cultural web", People
Management Vol 1, No. 22: 24-27
 -- Organizational learning is the process by which organizations change
their cultures and systems in relation to market conditions. Organizations
must do this in order to improve their competitiveness and achieve a
sustainable competitive advantage. Organizational learning is about having
the appropriate culture, structure and systems to encourage people to
develop continually and share knowledge with others. Cultural change
necessitates higher-level of double-loop learning because a change in
cultural values and beliefs implies a change in the governing variables
for action. The cultural web is a powerful way of gaining a deeper
understanding of the internal situation of an organization. (BPO 21/ 9
/96]

Jones, P. H. and Jordan, J. (1996): "Managing Know-how: Psychological
Perpsectives", International Federation of Scholarly Associations in
Management 3rd World Conference, Paris., 8-11 July: 193-4.
 -- This paper views tacit knowledge as equivalent to know-how. Tacit
knowledge, or know-how, stands in contrast to explicit knowledge, which is
articulated in symbolic form, usually language. ÷ We suggest there are two
kinds of tacit know-how: that which is learned through interaction with
the non-social world (equivalent to procedural knowledge) and that which
is learned through social interaction (equivalent to practical knowledge).
Both ÷ [types] are usually held at the tacit level. ÷ ÷non-social know-how
is developed through trial and error learning or the use of
problem-solving techniques, e.g. the use of analogy ÷ Experimental
evidence (Anderson, 1987) suggests that at some point learning may take a
step-wise leap: this can occur where there is a cognitive shift in
understanding which results in a quantitative change in the nature of the
individual's knowledge. Instead of it being in conscious awareness
knowledge shifts to the unconscious level: it becomes automatic or tacit
in nature. Social know-how stands in contrast to non-social know-how in
that it involves collective and creative action by those involved in its
development. ÷ Social know-how is tied to the social context within which
it is produced in a fundamental way. Its development is dependent on
story-telling by organizational communities: stories transmit to members
of the group the ways in which problems have been solved. This leads to
the development of a sophisticated knowledge base which encompasses the
may factors that need to be taken into account by group members when
solving a problem. Moreover, social know-how may include the redefinition
of problems through discussion by members of the group. Paper concludes
with several implications for managers.

Klimecki, R. G., Lassleben H. and Riexinger-Li, B. (1994): Exploring the
Process of Organizational Learning: an empirical study using cognitive
maps and network analysis, Konstance, FRG. University of Constance,
Faculty of Administrative Science Working Paper.
 -- Design and results of an explorative study on organizational learning
(OL) are presented. OL is conceptualized as transformations of
organizational reality constructions. Reality constructions are
represented as cognitive maps and communication structures as social
networks. This allows description and analysis of OL systems and leads to
new insights into OL processes (Abstract provided by the authors) The
research project was conducted using narrative interviews in the local
administrations of two German cities. Cognitive mapping techniques and
social network analysis were used for representation and further analysis.
Individual cognitive maps were converted into organizational maps by
comparison and aggregation. Network analysis was used to represent and
analyse the communication structures (which are relevant to learning) of,
and between organizational members Four of the major conclusions drawn
from this exploratory survey . (1) OL means "networking" since
organizationally shared reality constructions evolve along network
relations rather than according to departmental and hierarchical levels
(1994: 54). (2) 'Visioning" (creating a shared vision) and "structuring"
(building new structures in order to readjust and coordinate activities)
are two distinct types of learning orientation both of which "mark
different 'take off ' points for the transformation of organizational
mental models (1994: 54). (3) The type of learning pursued influences the
perceived need for change" : "Comparison of the organizational maps shows
that the gap between "desired state" of the organization and its current
"real conditions" (i.e. the need for transformation) is larger in the OL
system which concentrates "only" on the establishment of new structures
than that which pulls itself forward by creating new visions (1994: 54)."
(4) The perceived domain of power determines the scope of OL : "the
imagination (sic) of having power is the most important intervening factor
for the scope of the learning efforts: in this study network analysis
reveals that although both OL systems "are embedded in the same political
and legal frame" there are differences in the perception of being in
control, with those following the "visioning" type of learning orientation
assessing its power as high whereas those in the "structuring " OL
orientation "ascribes power predominantly to political authorities outside
the administration (1994: 54)."

The authors lastly conclude that "(top) managers initialize and catalyze
learning activities when they (1) function as turntables of communication
processes (i.e they show "high communicativeness and responsiveness") ;
and (2) believe in the power of visions and are seen "nourishing
employees' beliefs in being self-controlled and in transmitting the
"powerful vision of the power of visions" (1994: 54)

To be continued, in another time.

Love,
Andrew

-- 

ACampnona@aol.com

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