Jan says "organisations don't think". She says that only people do
that. I challenge the assumption that organisations don't think.
What is "to think" that organisations can't and/or don't do?
My challenge first of all requires that an operational definition of
"to think" be created. (It does not require that we get the
*correct* definition of "to think".) I can't imagine that you can
come up with an operational definition that I can't demonstrate as
existing in organisation. If you attempt the first, I'll attempt the
Here's a hint at where I'm coming from. When we say "people think"
we are referring to a result of the activities of a vast number of
cells, of a large number of processes, of a huge number of states or
conditions of elements (ie neurons). From all this activity emerges
"thinking". So are people thinking or are these other elements doing
the thinking. And if we choose to locate the "thinking" part as
people couldn't we similarly say all the people's thinking together
in some community, say, is the organisation thinking?
How can we talk about organisational learning, for instance, if we
can't talk about organisational thinking? And if we are going to
talk this way, surely we should be able to say what we mean when we
use the term.
-- Michael McMaster Michael@kbddean.demon.co.uk