Ethics? Over reaction? LO22395

Kathy Toner (
Mon, 02 Aug 1999 13:40:16 -0700

Replying to LO22357 --

Malcolm inadvertently neglected to copy the list on this post--and he's
emailed me to ask that I forward to you for circulation

>From: "Malcolm Burson" <>
>To: Kathy Toner <>
>Date: Fri, 30 Jul 1999 10:27:40 -0500
>Subject: Re: Ethics? Over reaction? LO22357
>Priority: normal
>X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Windows (v3.01b)
>On 28 Jul 99, at 8:32, Kathy Toner wrote:
> >...but when we are developing trainings esp. training products
> >and using/selling these, when is it ethically acceptable to use ideas
> >and not attribute? And when is it not acceptable?
> >
> > In short, I was disturbed by the vendor's lack of acknowledgement,
> > especially when the concept and activity seem to be directly borrowed from
> > anothers work--and results in a commercial product Am I overreacting?
> > What do you think???
>Kathy --
>I don't think you're overreacting at all, but your posting is causing
>me to consider the role of "intellectual property" in the learning
>organization context. I, too, am disturbed that a commercial
>vendor would not have sought permission for, or at least
>acknowledged the use of, concepts from TFDF. I'll let others
>respond as to possible infringements of Argyris and Schon's, and
>Roberts and Ross's, rights in the matter, but I know that in the
>past, I've sought permission from the TFDF publisher to use
>materials even for public presentations, much less in published
>But just what do we think about the use of LO concepts as
>intellectual property? After all, the point of the "Fieldbook" was to
>provide practitioners like me with tools that could be used in real
>time. And isn't our shared goal to build a common arena of ideas
>and practice? if so, when do key contributions like "left hand
>column" enter the common domain?
>And how do we want to distinguish _attributing_ an idea, a
>concept, even an exercise, to its author as we make use of it, from
>"re-processing" it so that we make it our own, from then marketing
>the idea and its applications?
>As a designer, implementer, and occasional publisher of activities
>based on TFDF, I wrestle with this. What do others think?
>Malcolm Burson
>Malcolm C. Burson
>Management Solutions--An ODi Affiliate and
>Leapfrog Innovations partner
>Orono, Maine
>(207) 866-0019
>"The ability to perceive or think differently is
>more important than the knowledge gained."
> --- David Bohm


Kathy Toner <>

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