Organizational Learning, Org culture, Change management LO29832

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 01/22/03

Replying to LO29809 --

Dear Organlearners,

Alan Cotterell <> writes:

>I suggest we should move towards a paradigm which is
>risk conscious, proactive in implementing controls, and
>more participative.

Greetings dear Alan,

I agree with you. But what paradigm will entail these three fields which
you have mentioned as integral parts of it?

>In fact a move away from the old authoritarian paradigm to a
>more democratic state.

I wonder whether i can go with this? Democracies are just as prone to the
piracy of beaurocrats, autocrats and down right dictators as any other
system of management. Once again the world has a pitiful example in the
country bordering our own -- Zimbabwe.

>In the past managers readily recognised that many
>workers cannot self-manage, mainly because certain
>information is denied them. In fact manager's self-interest
>often causes them to even promote this situation.

A learner will always need sources of information which managers cannot
deny them. This tends to imply that the new paradigm should pivot on
learning-knowledge. This is also how Dr Deming saw it.

But i think that we have to search beyond learning-knowledge to that
which, without it, learning-knowledge becomes itself impossible. After
more than thirty years of contemplating, i think that the core of that
paradigm has to be creativity. For example, risk arise as a result of the
dialectical dynamics between constructive and destructive creativity.

>As I have said previously, when a well-written management
>system is available, the conditions are right for empowerment
>of all workers in an organisation. In short the workers have
>the means to self-manage, and take control of their own work

Here in South Africa we have the problem of vast illiteracy as well as
(kept under cover) "functional illiteracy" growing at an alarming rate. I
wonder how a "well-written management system" will fare under such a
condition? Can you suggest anything else?

>Although the corporation declared that 'TQM is its management
>system', when the change was proposed in the above branch, to
>a TQM approach, the branch manager did his best to corrupt the
>situation for his own purposes.
>At a 'love-fest' at a beachside resort, he required his
>managers to sign a 'loyalty-charter' requiring support for
>himself - how paranoid can you get?

For thousands of years many people in charge of all sorts of organisations
have overstepped their liberties. Is it not incredible that humankind has
not yet found an effective solution to this problem?

>I suggest our enemy is the type of mindset which can only
>view the world situation in terms of 'left' and 'right',( the old
>authoritarian paradigm in which the extremes are nazism and
>communism, and we occupy the supposed middle ground).

An interesting thing happened here in South Africa after 1992 when the
apartheid government was transformed into an all inclusive democracy. Many
of the 'left' became 'right' and many of the 'right become 'left'. It
shows that this left/right classification is not as fixed as many would


That is the spirit!

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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