Re: Postmodernism -- switching epistemes... LO205

Michael McMaster (
Wed, 22 Feb 1995 21:23:13 GMT

I offer another way of approaching the challenge of Gene that he
states as (LO154):
> American business firmly believed that lower cost and improved quality
> were an either / or duality. They could pursue lower cost or they could
> pursue improved quality. The Japanese proved American business to be wrong
> >From a business perspective suppose there is a way to integrate the
> pursuit of short-term profits and long-term growth and development, or
> growth and stability, decentralize and centralize, desire for change and
> desire for continuity, etc.
A postmodern approach might say that there are "meta-narratives" that
preclude the thinking and dialogue that could release the various
blockages. A meta-narrative is a senior conversation (not requiring
to entertain terms such as belief, paradigm, etc) that is unexamined
but dominant and does not allow for the conversations that might other
wise open up new possibilities. (Such as "cost and quality go in
opposite directions" or more senior ones about organisations needing
to be based in a hierarchy of authority.)

The advantage of using "meta-narrative" language, it seems to me,
is that we don't have to go through all of the confrontation, struggle
and pain of confronting beliefs, mental models - we can just carry on
dialogue that is mainly uplifting, creating and learning. It is
conversations for possibility that seem to turn people on and open
dialogue in groups up. And produce learning and creativity without
much struggle.

Mike McMaster <>

Michael McMaster