Measuring Organizational Learning LO19929

AM de Lange (
Thu, 19 Nov 1998 13:54:02 +0200

Replying to LO19908 --

Dear Organlearners,

In my reply to LO19846 --(Roy Benford <>) I wrote:

>You have decribe an important phenomenum,

I am truely sorry, I have made a sloppy mistake. I should have used
"phenomenon" as Keith Cowan <> pointed out to me
in a private email. I know that it should be "phenomenon", but having made
that first slip just kept me on slipping.

As I have explained before, I cannot use the MS spell-checker to help me
catch out my spelling mistakes. Furthermore, since English is not my
mother tongue, I cannot rely on the "sounds in my head" to caution me
against spelling mistakes as in the case of my own mother tongue.

But the whole incident, sloppy as it is, has an interesting bearing on the
contribution which I am now working on "A Primer on Entropy". One man
(Botzmann) began to interpret entropy as chaos and for the next 100 years
everybody followed suite. Like Keith had to remind me "phenomenon"and not
"phenomenum", Prigogine had to remind us "chaos and order" and not
"chaos". Thanks Keith.

It is incidents like these which we have to remember to keep vigil against
any sort of gremlin, even conceptual gremlins such as unfamiliar concepts.
But describing an unfamilar concept, like "entropy" or "apartheid", can
make things quite lengthy. Where do we draw the line?

Just a small incident. In one of today's local newspapers (Beeld), a
dispute has been reported between two major church demoninations in the
Afrikaans speaking community. After so many years of participating in
"apartheid" and after the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission's
investigations into "apartheid", these two denominations finally realise
that they have rather deep differences in their comprehensions of

What about LOs? Is there not also some deep differences between our
comprehensions of LOs, differences that we are not aware of? For example,
who comprehend the LO as an emergent phenomenon rather than as a
supplement to an existing organisation? By "supplement" I mean swopping
some practices by others like swopping an engine of a car by an engine of
the same design, but only with minor modifications.

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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