Learning and Defection LO22016

DPDASH (dpdash@ximb.stpbh.soft.net)
Mon, 28 Jun 1999 11:07:07 +530

Re: Farewell Remarks LO22008

** Learning and Defection **

Some recent 'farewell remarks' from
"Dr Maggi Linington" <lngtn-mj@acaleph.vista.ac.za>

> ... load of junk is not limiting your learning experience. I see it as
> follows: if my 4 year old comes along and says one plus one is three, I
> correct him and explain that it is two. I do not tell him that it is an
> interesting possibility and let us look at the consequences if this was
> true. He'd never learn maths. ...

I would like to amicably point out that Maggi has put too much emphasis on
a particular theory (or perspective) of learning at the cost of ignoring
some others. (Please do not quote this statement out of context.)

> If I can make a few farewell remarks: ...
> 2. This is to some extent a very "closed" list in that it has 3 or four
> "experts" who run the list and disagree amicably with each other and
> unamicably to strangers. Some contributors have never heard of the idiom
> "short and sweet" and can never contribute an idea or thought without
> repeating a lot of theory or philosophy. ...

The expression 'to some extent a very "closed" list' seems to require some
further clarification. The meaning I get is the following: The list can
function as very closed, but not always (only 'to some extent'). (Please
do not quote this statement out of context.)

> 3. There is very little discussion or learning organizations. Unless the
> philosophy on the of the behaviour of man is a LO topic.

In the above comment, Maggi is leaving open the possibility that the
'philosophy on the behaviour of man' MIGHT BE a topic for discussion
learning organisation (although the tone of the above comment might
suggest otherwise). (Please do not quote this statement out of context.)

* Some general observations:

We are in an internet-based discussion group discussing topics related to
learning organisation.

One member of the group has left (defected from) the group, indicating
that the group has certain drawbacks.

Many of her comments indicate that the discussions became too broad when
they should have been focused and too focused when they should have been

* Comments on learning and defection

Defection can arise even when a collective might be (seemingly) doing
EVERYTHING it needs to do to maintain itself. If the collective is an
instance of a 'learning organisation', how should it respond to this
situation? Some possible answers: It could characterise the defection as a
result of the lack of commitment of the individual, lack of capacity to
tolerate ambiguity and openness in discussions, the effect of rigid views
about certain topics, etc.

However, it could also view the defection as a special type of
contribution to the collective (metaphorically comparable to that of a
martyr) and use the occasion to renew itself, improve, etc. One problem
with such a contribution is that it is not followed by another
contribution! A special type of 'learning organisation' might be
postulated that somehow overcomes this difficulty! I would appreciate your
thoughts on this special type of 'learning organisation'.



Prof. D. P. Dash
Xavier Institute of Management
Bhubaneswar 751013


"DPDASH" <dpdash@ximb.stpbh.soft.net>

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