Re: Is speed/technology really progress? LO107

Dr. Ivan Blanco (BLANCO@BU4090.BARRY.EDU)
Tue, 14 Feb 1995 16:30:17 -0500 (EST)

> Date: Mon, 13 Feb 1995 11:42:05 MST
> From: Jim Campbell <> in LO96
> Emergent Phenomena!
> Thing to thing, self-order to self-order, fact to fact, object respond to
> object.
> If I have learned anything about human systems it is that they are built
> on consensual assumptions. Organizations operate from an order that was
> constructed through interactive pattern formation, based on decisions of
> the moment, based on consensual (of the gathered decision makers)
> percieved best choice at the time. These patterns form of a need to build
> and maintain the organization. Without them the organization fades from
> memory.

This might help me explain a little bit better why some
organizations, such universities and colleges may not be learning
organizatuions. One reason is that there is not a whole lot of
interactive pattern formation, and the consensual basis is lacking. In
fact, what we have as censensual in universities, for instance about the
mission or how to do things, is more the product of the assumption that
all organizational members know and interpret the mission the same way.
The problem is that no one really tries to check if the assumption is
correct. Universities have been found through the years based on a set of
assumptions that have gone unchecked! So, new pattern formation cannot
really take place!

> As our learning proceeds we change our perceptions both as an
> individual and a group. These knowledge changes cahnge the assumptions and
> influence the org. to change. Learning experiences coupled with
> environmental experiences order and reorder life.
This implies that for organizations to be learning organizations
they should accumulate learning experiences into some kind of centralized
memory to which anyone has access! They also must be capable of
"internalizing" those environmental experiences. Interesting! I wonder
at this point, what kind of organizations are more susceptible to these
learning and changing experiences!

> Chaos, selection and order, patterns integrate, influence and respond,
> move to chaos, make a choice and reorder part or whole. Sounds like a
> normal evolution of organizations. If the order comes for free we are
> inherent in the pattern evolution and there are not emergent phenomena as
> things but progressive evolvement of patterns that occassional become
> observable but the progression is continous. As the electron positon is
> identified we have only evidence of where it was and the pattern has
> already moved on. Learning supports our ability to integrate perceptions
> of what happened with those of what could. When the emergent is known the
> pattern has moved on. When the theory has formed the pattern it was based
> on has changed.
> Jim Campbell Email: Campbell@HG.ULeth.CA

David Fearon (Central Connecticut) and I have been presenting the
notion that in a learning organization, a world-class organization,
members are constantly learning from each and with each other. This
constant learning produces new "understandings" of the organization and,
through thousands of mutual accomodations and adjustments, members induce
organizational change from inside-out! An organization that does not
develop as a learning organization problably has a tough time generating
these accomodations are adjustments, if they happen at all. It would
ultimately have a very hard time transforming itself, and might even
become one of those "permanently failing organizations" (Meyer & Zucker's
1989 book by the same title).

As I describe these things, which I have experienced in some
organmizations out there, I know that they don't exist at my university
right now, or at the other universities I have worked at before. However,
these accommodations and adjustments have existed (still exist!) among
some small pockets of individuals at, for instance, Central Coinnecticut's
School of Business. I experienced the learning energy that filled the air
when a few of the colleagues from the Organization and Management
Department got together. We would sit down to talk and in a couple of
minutes we would be in a brainstorming session, where we were building on
each others' experiences and learnings, to generate yet new learnings and
understandings. This was very frustrating to all of us because these new
understanding went no where outside the group itself. They were always
rejected by most of the other members.

I know what Jim is saying here about the "chaos, selection and
order, ..." In the early part of the 1970's, I experienced an
organization going through all those steps. I don't know if things
started in that order, and whether there was any order at all as things
evolved, and then evolved again! The evolution is constant, and whe for
whatever reason the organzaition started to slow down, there would be a
new event introducing chaos and...

Can an organization be a learning organization at times, and then
go back to letargic period, where everything seems to be static? If this
happens, is it easy for the organization to become a learning organization
again? Do these questions make any sense at all?


R. IVAN BLANCO, Ph.D. Voice 305 899-3515
Assoc. Prof. & Director Fax 305 892-6412
International Business Programs
Andreas School of Business _________E-Mail Addresses________
Barry University Bitnet: Blanco%bu4090@Barryu
Miami Shores, FL 33161-6695 Internet:
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"Las naciones marchan hacia el termino de su grandeza, con
el mismo paso que camina su educacion." "The nations march
toward their greatness at the same pace as their educational
systems evolve." Simon Bolivar