Annotated Bibliography


TQM, Learning Organizations, Culture, and HRD: Is there common ground?


Stewart Crick



Tony Sabló
HRD 263, Introduction to Human Resource Development

The George Washington University
Graduate School of Education & Human Development

April 13, 1996

Appearing on the Learning-org web pages, hosted by Richard Karash <>

The author may be reached by email: Stewart Crick <>

TQM, Learning Organizations, Culture, and HRD: Is there common ground?

TQM is a relatively established entity, with accepted components of teamwork, systemic thinking, and statistical tools being applied to the areas of "customer, counting, and culture" (Sashkin & Kiser, 1993); while Learning Organizations are still very much in a form of evolution, and are garnishing the majority of research and theoretical endeavors. However, they have many commonalities, and complementing contrasts, and ultimately produce favorable results. The emerging key to their success is transforming the organizational culture. Also emerging is a new way to activate this transformation--HRD.
For years we have known that a TQM initiative can improve quality of products, as well as the bottom line; Collman (1995) and Drensek & Grubb (1995) show us that it still works in the 90's. The Learning Organization phenomena--I call it a phenomena because the results can be revolutionary--is also proving very successful in places like Ford, Harley Davidson, Herman Miller, and Federal Express as evidenced by the work conducted by the Center for Organizational Learning under Peter Senge (Kofman & Senge, 1993). These corporations are reaching new heights by applying the Learning Organization disciplines (Senge, 1994a) to establish a shared vision, learning communities, and what I call Intrinsic Leadership. Kofman & Senge (1993), Sashkin & Kiser (1993), and Schein (1993) make it clear that successful TQM and Learning Organization initiatives must transform the organizational culture.

Finally, Caudron (1993) and Watkins & Marsick (1995) illustrate the role that HRD plays in affecting the key elements of TQM and Learning Organizations--organizational culture and organizational learning. Nevertheless, I wonder, can TQM and Learning Organizations work together? If so, what are the implications for Human Resource Development practitioners?
These questions have also been answered. Barrow (1993), Kim (1992), and Sohal & Morrison (1995) have addressed the issue of TQM and Learning Organizations working together, with fairly consistent findings. They point out that both initiatives call for teamwork, a systemic approach, adapting to ones environment, and an ability to learn as an organization.
Both Senge (1994b) and Sashkin & Kiser (1993) point out that leadership and positive behavior modeling are essential to successfully synthesizing these ingredients. While Kim (1992) goes as far as to "cut and paste" the desirable components of each concept to form, what he calls, Systemic Quality Management, or SQM. Finally, Sohal & Morrison (1995) juxtapose three companies that already embody the characteristics of TQM to see if organizational learning is
occurring-- they find it is. Unfortunately, these were not intended results; which leaves a need for additional research. If we are to begin using TQM and Learning Organizations together in a controlled manner, we must answer several questions. Should a Learning Organization be initiated before TQM, or vice versa? Should they be initiated together? How would we ensure TQM and Learning Organizations compliment one another, instead of overshadowing?

Or, is this the beginning of QMLO--Quality Managed Learning Organizations?
The questions I have raised, and many of the driving issues that provided the catalyst, for this bibliography came from personal communications using the Learning Organization and HRD listservs on the Internet. E-mail communications with several members of these forums were insightful, and pushed me in new directions of thought. Additional E-mail communications with Peter Senge and Richard Karash were also noteworthy for their contributions. Additionally, a literary search was conducted using the Washington Research Library Consortium library catalogs. Using the search terms "TQM," "Learning Organization," and "organizational learning," produced a plethora of empirical studies, practitioner tales, and theoretical papers from the ABI/Inform Business and Management Index. Additionally, some items came from my incomplete, non-voluminous personal library.
Several findings were instrumental in developing this annotated bibliography. Barrows (1993), Garvin (1994), Kofman & Senge (1993), and Senge (1994a) provided the Learning Organization foundation for this work, and are sited in several of the bibliographies articles.

The many E-mail messages from practitioner, consultants, and scholars, and the TQM teachings of DR. Marshall Sashkin, The George Washington University Graduate School of Education and Human Development, were the basis for my TQM direction.

Barrow, J. W. (1993). Does total quality management equal organizational learning? Quality Progress, 26 (7), 39-43.

This article that addresses the question: "do TQM initiatives inherently have an organizational learning component." Burrow examines TQM within an organizational learning framework to identify its existence, and how to ensure its present in future TQM initiatives.

Barrow begins by defining the characteristics of organizational learning. He sees them as:
- shared insights and mental models are shared by several people
- Mechanisms for retaining knowledge
- A culture that employees support
- The whole of the organizational learning is greater then individual learning
He employs two concepts to explain the basic connection between TQM and organizational learning--espoused theories vs. theories in use, and single-loop vs. double-loop learning. While espoused theories vs. theories in use is self explanatory, the single-loop vs. double-loop requires clarification. Single-loop learning defines behavior that is reactionary in nature. For example when market share falls we do X.
Double-loop learning, on the other hand, would examine the market to see why the share fell and develop new ways to address the situation. Barrow continues by illustrating how an organization that has no difference between their espoused and in-use theories and practices double-loop learning when appropriate will exhibit organizational learning characteristics.

Next, Barrow discusses how TQM and organizational learning are inextricably linked. He argues this is so, because of their cause-and-effect and system/process relationships. Both relationships allow organizations to examine how they systemically perform tasks, to develop and implement new insights, and transmit new knowledge throughout the organization. Barrow closes by identifying several insights that will benefit companies involved in TQM.

Caudron, S. (1993). How hr drives tqm. Personal Journal, 72, (8), 48B-48O.

This article is part two of a four-part series on Total Quality Management. It addresses the most essential step in the TQM implementing process--reshaping an organizational culture; and the integral role an organization's Human Resource function plays in this endeavor.

Caudron begins by identifying those HR functions that effect an organization's culture. Her discussion of communications, training, performance management, compensation, and hiring clearly defines the roles they play in reshaping an organization's culture. In communications the author highlights the importance of communicating how to recognize quality instead of selling quality, and the three principles necessary to carry this out successfully. Training is another area where the author stresses choosing the right subject. Here the majority of efforts should be on teaching quality skills which follows initial awareness training. Performance management and compensation should work hand in hand; to ensure organizations' are rewarding the positive behavior for which they are evaluating. Finally, hiring addresses the issue of hiring people who can carry out the organization's quality philosophy.

Throughout this article Caudron provides excellent case studies and empirical data to illustrate successful quality endeavors. Perhaps this articles greatest message is that of integration. While applying these HR tools the prudent practitioner must ensure that all are in harmony with one another; that the quality behaviors we desire are communicated, trained, evaluated, and compensated. If we want teamwork, we must ensure our evaluation system looks for group characteristics and that our compensation system rewards organizational success, and not individual accomplishments.

Collman, D. (1995). The proper distribution of tqm. Quality Progress, 28, (February), 75-77.

Collman, the branch manager of Bearings, Inc., discuses how he facilitated the implementation of TQM at a 12-employee distributor. His article focuses on the team concept, and how it was used to deal with the additional workload.

Collman begins with a discussion of his role, and techniques used, as facilitator. Next, he describes how Bearings first reflected on their individual, as well as organizational, fear of failure and how to deal with it before starting the actual implementation. During this phase the group defined the framework of their quality initiative. To begin Collman divided the company into two teams to aggressively examining every process for waste and variances. When this created too many time constraints, the company divided into six teams to perform these tasks adequately. Collman also discusses the tasks assigned, and TQM tools used by each team. As processes where redefined changes were implemented, and continuously refined.

The article presents two interesting contrasts when juxtaposed with Caudron (1993)--large/small company and manufacturer/distributor.

Perhaps, it biggest contribution is to illustrate the nuances HRD practitioners face when embedding the TQM philosophy in a group.

Davis, S. M. & Botkin, J W. (1994). The last thing you want is a learning organization. In The monster under the bed. (pp. 109-113). New York: Simon & Schuster.

"A learning business . . . one that leverages the economic value of knowledge. It is always figuring out how to define, acquire, develop, apply, measure, grow, use, multiply, protect, transfer, sell, profit by, and celebrate the companies know how." Davis and Botkin argue that we can't have a learning organization, until we have a learning business.

While semantical in nature, Davis and Botkin's arguments are worth hearing. They argue that before we grow an organization to support our business, we must be cognizant of what business we're in. Additionally, they claim that company value and product pricing, are in fact determined by the value it brings to the customer. Davis and Botkin give an artist analogy to explain the learning business, before learning organization concept. When an artist draws a table he doesn't see the legs or table top, he sees the space between them and the shadows. Artists' call this the negative space. To grow a learning organization it must fit within the negative space, or contours of your (learning) business. Davis & Botkin take this one step further and state that what we really want is a teaching organization. Teaching as they point out is the systematic transfer of information to others. Thus, we transfer our knowledge, or value to the customer.
While this book as a whole discusses the relatively new knowledge industry, this section has many implications toward TQM, Learning Organizations, and HRD practitioners. This chapter highlights the effect our increasingly dynamic business environments have on our organizations. It implicitly states that the HRD practitioner must be able to perform--read "add value to the learning business"--by recognizing the subtle changes in their business environment and developing ways to integrate them into the organization.

Drensek, R. A. & Grubb, F. B. (1995). Quality quest: One company's successful attempt at implementing tqm. Quality Progress , 28, (September) 91-95.

Drensek and Grubb provide a practitioners view of how they successfully embedded the TQM philosophy in a manufacturing plant. They discuss the mechanics, and lessons learned from installing TQM, based on Crosby's quality philosophy, in a 800 employee, $140 million manufacturer.

The authors have succinctly outlined the steps necessary to installing a TQM philosophy. They began with training, and procuring commitment from senior management. Next, they conducted a year long training of the work force. Here they focused on the four absolutes of Crosby's philosophy, opportunities for improvement, and customer-supplier relationships. Next, they executed a pilot run. Teams were established, and for the first time began working out problems with suppliers, customers, and themselves. Drensek and Grubb also address possible resistance to change, and the difficulties they encountered. The highlights of this discussion include dealing with unions, winning over management, and lost production time during start up. A presentation of the five key points for a successful implementation wraps up this article.

Here is an example of a company, in the mid 90's, implementing TQM.
The real message is "TQM is not dead." TQM is alive and well. HRD practitioners should be prepared to massage and mold it to their organization's needs, instead of simply reacting to it.

Garvin, D. A. (1993). Building a Learning Organization. Business Credit, 96 (1) 19-28.

A seminal article, in that it was one of the first to address the mechanics of creating a Learning Organization. Garvin discusses the steps necessary to begin down the path of organizational learning.

Garvin begins by identifying the three essential dilemmas that require resolution before learning can occur. A working definition of a learning organization, management guidelines for implementation, and a means of measuring learning are all required before we can leave the conceptual classroom, and enter the application arena. The first tool is easy. Garvin defines a Learning Organization as "an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights." Next, the author identifies the five core activities that Learning Organizations must be skilled in to implement organizational learning--systemic problem solving, experimentation with new approaches, learning from experiences and histories, learning from experiences and past performances of others, and transferring knowledge quickly and efficiently throughout the organization. Garvin continues with specific tools and exceptional examples of corporations that have excelled in these areas. Finally, Garvin discusses how to measure learning.
He begins with a brief history of one dimensional tools, which only focused on results. These tools lead to the evolution of surveys, questionnaires, and interviews as the only reliable means to accurately measure the three overlapping stages of learning--cognitive, behavioral, and performance.

While brief in nature, considering the feat it is tackling, this article clearly gives organizations the tools they need to begin creating a Learning Organization.

Kim, D. H. (1992). Toward learning organizations: integrating total quality control and system thinking. Cambridge, MA: Pegasus Communications

Kim shows how the unique, yet complementary, capabilities of TQM and System Thinking are extraordinary tools that when synthesized can produce total organizational learning. A thought provoking article in which the author succinctly lays out a convincing argument for integrating the statistical aspects of TQM and System Thinking.

Kim begins with a discussion of the two levels of organizational learning- operational and conceptual (which he also correlates to Argyris & Schön's single and double loop learning). Next, Kim outlines how operational learning focuses on resolving procedural issues; while conceptual learning is most capable of addressing issues that cross functional-areas of process. Kim shows how the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) and statistical tools of Total Quality Management (TQM) are ideally suited for operational learning; and that System Thinking, as outlined by Senge, is perfectly designed to advance conceptual learning. Here, Kim identifies Systemic Quality Management (SQM), which integrates TQM and System Thinking, as a "synergistic pair whose individual strengths complement one another and provide a balance of operational and conceptual learning."

The remainder of the article focuses on how System Thinking addresses the difficult issue of conceptual learning. Kim defines "organizational messes" and shows a method for classifying them as a precursor to applying System Thinking to resolving them. A discussion of the laws of System Thinking (as outlines in Senge's The Fifth Discipline) is presented followed by a presentation of the ten tools of System Thinking. Kim categorizes the tools into four groups- Brainstorming Tools, Dynamic Thinking Tools, Structural Thinking Tools, and Computer-Based Tools. Which can be used individually, but provide a much greater insight when employed together. Kim continues with a discussion of a dilemma managers' often face today, and how System Thinking is well suited to conquer it. He introduces dilemmas' that are characterized by complex changes so dynamic that if not resolved quickly, when they are resolved they have metamorphosed into a different problem rendering the solution part of a new problem. Next Kim discusses the three elements of learning--sets of appropriate tools, a framework that provides a context for learning, and a playing field to practice-- and how they can be used to resolve these dynamic changes in a conceptual learning framework. Kim shows how the Sloan School of Management's Management Flight Simulator and Learning Laboratories can provide today's organizations with these elements of learning. Finally, the managers evolving new roles are discussed.

In closing, Kim points out that today's manager must be a researcher and theory builder to ensure that conceptual learning accurately occurs. They must be able to create new frameworks to test new strategies and policies before application. SQM highlights the new role the manager must fill--rethinking and testing actions in the conceptual and operational arena.

Kofman, F. & Senge, P. M. (1993). Communities of commitment: The heart of learning organizations. 5-23.

In this theoretical paper Kofman and Senge discuss the causes and cures for the main dysfunctions facing today's organizations--fragmentation, competition, and reactiveness. They illustrate how humankind's evolution has created a culture that is incapable of supporting a learning organization.

Kofman and Senge show how fragmentation, competition, and reactiveness are products of our evolution and culture. These behaviors were not only programed in school, but are also the results of many successes. As we evolved, we triumphed over many physical and social conflicts--defending ourselves from animals, providing food and shelter, and harnessing alternate sources of energy. In school we are taught isolated facts, and to work individually. This individuality fosters a competition mentality--the highest achievers get the scholarship and recognition. Finally, the entire school concept is an exercise in reactiveness; students reacting to teachers questions and assignments. Essentially, the author's claim, humankind has separated themselves from the "larger fabric of life."

The authors propose three theses to re-focus our energies toward a more holistic approach to life. The primacy of the Whole, the community nature of the self, and language as generative practice. More important, is the operating principles these theses were the catalyst for:
- There is no such thing as a Learning Organization
- The Learning Organization embodies new capabilities beyond traditional organizations
- Learning Organizations are built by communities of servant leaders
- Learning arises through performance and practice
- Process and content are inseparable
- Learning is dangerous

Kofman and Senge have refined the essence of the Learning Organization. While the systemic approach, team learning, and shared vision are still vital to creating a Learning Organization, it is the culture that must be redefined to ensure generative learning.

Sashkin, M. & Kiser, K. J. (1993). Creating and supporting a TQM culture. In Putting total quality management to work (pp. 117-147). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

This chapter introduces the social tools necessary to cultivate, and maintain a TQM culture. Sashkin and Kiser succinctly lay out the nuts and bolts of essential organizational policies required to build a TQM culture; along with the leadership dynamics that are crucial to a successful cultural shift.

The authors show how employing social tools can affect the culture of an organization. By social tools, Sashkin and Kiser refer to the management policies, plans, programs, and practices utilized by organizational heads to instill shared beliefs and values among their members, which are crucial for TQM to thrive. Such practices as job design--which includes designing complete tasks, teamwork, and participative management; employee ownership plans, equitable pay policies, job security, and establishing a fairness climate, will all promote the culture necessary for TQM to succeed. While these tools are essential, Sashkin and Kiser point out, it is the leadership that provides the essential catalyst for these elements to build a lasting TQM culture.

Sashkin and Kiser point out that successful leaders execute three strategic actions to affect the culture--define a value-based organizational philosophy,
create policies and programs to support this philosophy, and model the appropriate cultural beliefs and values through their behavior. They provide riveting examples of successful (and failed) polices, implementation strategies, and behavior models. This discussion point is concluded with a brief detail of the roles of leaders' in Learning Organizations' as outlined in Senge (1994b). Here Senge describes these roles as designer, steward, and teacher. Which are in concert with Sashkin and Kiser's defining philosophy, creating policies, and modeling values.

The final section discusses the role of unions in the TQM initiate. Here Sashkin and Kiser describe how historically unions have been opposed to quality programs. They conclude by showing successful strategies to bring them on board.

The message here is clear, we can affect culture if senior management shows, by its actions, that employees and management are equal partners in TQM.

Schein, E. H. (1993). On dialogue, culture, and organizaitonal learning. Organizational Dynamics, 22 (2), 40-51.

Schein's essay argues that organizational learning cannot occur unless organizations possess an ability to engage in dialogue across sub-cultural boundaries.

The author begins by putting dialogue, culture, and organizational learning in the context of changes occurring today. Here Schein argues that changing environments require rapid organizational learning; the immense growth of technology is fragmenting organizations into sub-cultures; and that today organizational effectiveness is dependent on successful communications across these sub-cultural boundaries.

Schein defines dialogue as ". . . a vehicle for creative problem identification and problem solving . . . [who's] essential concept [is] the discovery of one's own internal choice process regarding when to speak and what to say." He begins by illustrating how our cultural assumptions prevent dialogue from occurring; and lays out processes designed to breakdown these impediments to dialogue. Schein points out that when groups master the art of dialogue they become highly effective and eventually form individual cultures,
or when parts of an organization, become a sub-cultural.

Here, Schein points out that sub-cultures bring a new host of problems to the organizational learning table. A new culture will have a new language based on their assumptions, artifacts, and values. Again, dialogue must be possible to communicate with other parts of the organization. Schein identifies senior management as a sub-culture of every organization. He identifies this as the one sub-culture that must experience organizational learning before any other can. Schein introduces case studies that illustrate the difficulty many CEO's have had disseminating learning outside their sub-culture, and some of the techniques they have tried to overcome this problem. He points out that dialogue in this sub culture is not enough for organizational learning to occur. This unique culture must recognize their own assumptions, artifacts, and values, before identifying those of the sub-culture to which they want to communicate the learning.

Schein has highlighted the instrumental role that cultures and dialogues play in organizational learning. Without an understanding of these crucial elements organizational learning will not occur.

Senge, P. M. (1994a). The laws of the fifth discipline. In The Fifth Discipline (pp. 57-67). New York: Currency Doubleday.

In this seminal book, Senge lays out the learning organization for all to see. The title pays homage to the most important aspect of a learning organization, the fifth discipline, or System Thinking.

In the first chapter of part II--The Fifth Discipline: The cornerstone of the learning organization--Senge introduces us to the System approach. This initial chapter on the system approach gives 11 characteristics of systemic philosophy. One, "today's problems come from yesterday's solutions." Sometimes we need look no farther then the solutions applied to yesterdays problems to find our problem. Two, "the harder you push, the harder the system pushes back." Here the concept of "compensating feedback" is presented. This is when your intervention into a problem creates the system to bring forces that offset the benefit of the fix. For example, the inner city low income housing project job training programs that caused mass migration from outside the city to the inner city which eventually caused the projects to be over crowded, erodes the city's tax base, and leaves more people in economically depressed areas. Three, "Behavior grows better before it grows worse" What works in the short run, may not work in the long run. Four, "The easy way out usually leads back in."
Taking the easy, or least painful, solution is not always the best. Five, "The cure can be worse than the disease." Social drinking may start as a cure for low self esteem or work related stress. Gradually the "cure" becomes alcoholism. Six, "Faster is slower." Businesses always strive for the fastest fix. We want short term solutions now! Every system has an optimal speed, violate this and your solution may back fire. Seven, "Cause and effect are not closely related in time and space." The cause and effect are seldom in the same subsystem. Eight, "Small changes can produce big results--but the areas of highest leverage are often the least obvious." This one is self explanatory. Nine, "You can have your cake and eat it too--but not at once." Until TQM came along, we thought we had to choose between low cost or high quality, now we know other wise. Ten, "Dividing an elephant in half does not produce two small elephants." Living systems have integrity, when we divide something designed to operate together, it will lose its effectiveness. Eleven, "There is no blame."

Before we can understand the learning organization philosophy Senge says we must understand the system approach--It is the element that integrates the other disciplines together in the learning organization. More important, it provides a window to many of the similarities (eight through eleven) between learning organizations and TQM.
Senge, P. M. (1994b). The leader's new work. Executive Excellence, 11 (11), 8-9.

This brief article succinctly outlines the roles of leaders' in a Learning Organization. Senge defines these roles as designer, teacher, and steward; and the skills they require as- the ability to develop a shared vision, ability to expose and challenge existing mental models, and to encourage more systemic thinking. Senge lays out the initial leadership principle as one of tension--"Creative Tension." This is the resulting natural tension present when the leaders' defines were the organization is, as opposed to where they want to be. Senge goes on to show how Creative Tension is used to create a shared vision throughout the organization. He concludes with brief descriptions of the five skills necessary to build shared visions--encouraging shared vision, communicating and asking for support, visioning as an ongoing process, blending intrinsic and extrinsic, and distinguishing positive from negative.

Senge's message is clear--It takes leadership, not necessarily the traditional type, to cultivate learning. Leadership which will create a generative shared vision; which will provide the catalyst for perpetual learning.

Senge, P. M. (1994c). Senge's five disciplines for learning organizations. Personnel Journal, 73 (11), 66.

In this succinct piece Senge identifies the five elements, or disciplines, that form a Learning Organization. Personal Mastery, is the discipline of dedicating your life to learning. Mental Models, involves a constant examinations of the assumptions that influence how we view the world. Share Vision Building is our ability to communicate the vision we envision for ourselves, or organization, or our world. Team Learning, using dialogue and suspending our assumptions to enable learning on level above individual learning. And the most crucial discipline, because it ties the five together, is Systemic Thinking. The ability to examine any process as a whole system, and recognize how the parts effect one another.

Sohal, A. & Morrison, M. (1995). Is there a link between total quality management and learning organizations? TQM Magazine, 7 (3), 41 44.

This article presents perhaps the best argument for the co-existence of TQM and Learning Organizations. Sohal and Morrison examine three companies that have clearly embraced both concepts.

Sohal and Morrison argue that the works of Garvin (1993) and Barrow (1993) have clearly identified the commonalities between TQM and Learning Organizations as the cause-and-effect relationship, systemic approach to problem solving, and organizational learning. Next, the authors examine three companies that have successfully implemented a TQM philosophy. Using Garvin's (1993) "five activities organizations must be proficient in to be a Learning Organization," Sohal and Morrison set out to show how these quality minded companies are also learning.

The companies used were the Toyota Motor Corporation Australia, Ramset Fasteners Limited, and W.A. Deutscher Metal Products Group. Sohal and Morrison identify specific programs, policies and tools employed by each company that clearly show Garvin's (1993) five activities--systemic problem solving, experimentation with new approaches,
learning from experiences and past history, learning from experiences of others, and transferring knowledge throughout the organization--at work.

Sohal and Morrison believe that learning is an output of a successful TQM program, and that no TQM initiative can be regarded as successful if organizational learning does not occur.

Watkins, K. E. & Marsick, V. J. (1995). The case for learning. In Studies in Continuing Education, XIV (2) 115-129.

This article, by two of the preeminent scholars in the field of Human Resource Development, Karen Watkins and Victoria Marsick present their theory of the Learning Organization as a unifying vision for the field of HRD.

Watkins & Marsick start by rejecting the more rigid categorizing definitions others have placed on HRD. They choose to reject specific roles and competencies for a broader, general definition which allows the practitioner to define what their particular job requires. They discuss how the learning organization philosophy is an organizational concept that we must practice at the individual, group, and organizational level. An example is given of a practitioner who designs new employee orientations and takes this opportunity to influence the organizational culture. A discussion of how learning in the workplace has evolved since WW II is also given. This example shows how the education level of the work force has effected the evolution of the learning organization. Watkins & Marsick implicitly state that the Learning Organization philosophy must permeate the culture of an organization. They also discuss the four systems which impact learning--strategy, structure, slack, and ideology--and how they can be integrated into organizational learning initiatives.
In concluding Watkins & Marsick layout a broad, succinct definition of a learning organization philosophy as part of an organization's strategic plan that must be an ongoing, dynamic system that is recognized at the board room level as having the power to impact every aspect of the organizational culture and systems.

The impact of this piece on HRD practitioners is obvious. What is not so obvious, is how this piece ties the learning organization philosophy to TQM initiatives through an organization's culture. As Caudron (1993) shows the keeper of the organizational culture flame is the human resource function.