Creating Learning Environments LO30652

Date: 10/06/03

Replying to LO30638 --

Replying to LO30638 --

"Edward W. Rogosky" <> wrote:

>I am a doctoral student whose topic is theological systems thinking or
>analysis. Having read the Fifth Discipline and other general systems
>thinking books, and liking Senge's approach, one issue befuddles me.

>Senge speaks of using no coercion in the implementation of a learning
>organization. Yet, people hardly do the right thing inless they are
>slightly coerced into moving in that direction...


Thank you for raising a mature question so pregnant with thought! When the
time comes, it will deliver its brood of new young questions, for us to
admire and nurture!

'Coercion' has been a topic in systems thinking. The usual
thought-resources supporting these discussions have been from the various
schools of 'critical theory'. One of these resources is Habermas's
distinction between 'system' and 'lifeworld'. Typically, the 'system' is
seen as a constraint on 'lifeworld'. (Only a few authors seem to realise
that 'lifeworld' can also be a constraint on the 'system'.) It is
interesting to realise that the 'system' gets created by the operations of
the 'lifeworld' (and its interaction with other 'lifeworlds'). Therefore,
I too find it difficult to understand the 'no coercion' condition. The
author may be inclined to suggest that the developmental process should
not be steered *in the tradtional way*.

This makes sense because the traditional form of steering requires a model
of the thing to be steered. When the thing to be steered is some kind of
development, then we can't have a static model -- but we can have a
continuous modelling. Therefore, steering in such cases has to be linked
to a continuous process of modelling which is bound to create a plurality
of models at any time. The current set of models (the model-pool) keeps
changing reflecting the developmental process. To me, this leaves the
option of finding some *non-traditional* solution to the *problem of

All the best in your studies. Please tell us from time to time how you


Dr. D. P. Dash, India
"Researchers Helping Researchers"


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