Knowledge Management and TQM LO21848

Mark W. McElroy (
Mon, 07 Jun 1999 09:41:47 -0400

Replying to LO21828 --

Richard Charles Holloway wrote:

> A final thought...and that's about the irony of all the accolades that are
> showered on the memory of Deming's contributions to organizational
> success...and the utter failure of almost all organizations to implement
> the most fundamental of his points. So, why is that? What indication do
> we have that organizations really are learning?

Richard, I believe that all organizations are learning organizations.
Some just happen to be less dysfunctional than others. To support my
claim, I point to the existence of organizational knowledge in every
organization. This might consist of business process knowledge, a shared
strategy, a formal organizational structure, cultural traits, etc. All
amount to codified forms of knowledge held at the level of the
organization. Now, how do you suppose that knowledge got there? The
organization learned it, that's how. Having said that, however, the
degree to which organizations learn (produce, acquire, share, and
integrate NEW knowledge) varies dramatically from one org to another. This
is where knowledge management comes in. I like to think of KM as an
implementation strategy for organizational learning--remedial help for
dysfunctional learning organizations. In sum, all organizations are
learning organizations. If they weren't, then there'd be no such thing as
organizational knowledge. An organization without organizational
knowledge is no organization at all. We know, therefore we learn!


"Mark W. McElroy" <>

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