Organizational Learning, Org culture, Change management LO29837

From: Malcolm Burson (
Date: 01/22/03

Replying to LO29790 --

On January 8, Fred replied to Ceoji and Andrew, saying,

> I found Ceoji's inquiry interesting, too, but because of what I saw as a
> natural "fit" of the "domains" in his inquiry.
> To transform an existing (non-LO) organization into one that is an LO
> (whatever that is) seems to me to be a huge exercise in culture change and
> thus entails an extraordinary amount of change management.
>.The solution path clearly entails changes to the
> organization's culture and change management ranks right up there as one
> of the chief means of effecting that transformation.
> So, to answer Ceoji's question directly, the relationship between an LO
> and the organization's culture is that an organization is likely to be
> judged as being an LO (or not being one) based in part at least on certain
> qualities or characteristics that are also likely to define, in part at
> least, the organization's culture. The relationship between the culture
> of the organization and change management is that change management is a
> way of operating upon culture so as to produce a culture that possesses
> certain qualities that also make of it a learning organization (LO).

Fred, as usual, provides a concise and cogent way of thinking about the
relationship among being an LO, an organization's culture, and change
processes. If I read him right, he suggests that change is something
external that "operates upon culture..."

I would propose as an alternative the notion that an LO is one in which
processes of change are intrinsic, both tacit and implicit, and fully
operative in the organization's very DNA. In this way of thinking, change
doesn't operate on an organization's culture; instead, it IS the culture.

But perhaps this is just another way of saying the same thing?

Malcolm Burson
Maine Department of Environmental Protection


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