Re: Organizational Mutations & Intro - Marilyn Darling

Mike Gurstein (
Thu, 17 Nov 1994 08:55:03 -0500 (EST)

My earlier point about changing the "Paper", the rules and procedures
(budgets) implied that there was some necessary connection between this
and the desired behavioural change. Of course, in organizations the
relationship is a highly contingent one--changing the paper is only the
first step--somebody has to find a way to make the paper stick, or else
those inthe organization with different interests or only those just
resistant to change (as disruptive of routine for example) will find one
of a thousand ways to "work around" the legislated change.

The result will be that the organizations outputs (or processes) for
which the change was mandated will stay the same. The only
organizational learning that will take place is a renewal of the sense of
cynicism that "the more things change the more....", and those in whose
interests the original outputs (processes) operated will have "learned"
another way of maintaining themselves and their interests.


On Wed, 16 Nov 1994, John Conover wrote:

> Stephen Robbins writes:
> > > To try to initiate change by addressing only the most obvious
> > > "artifacts" of that principle operating, or by creating a new
> > > mission statement that articulates a set of beliefs that is counter
> > > to that operating principle is unlikely to succeed.
> >
> > Consider, for example, any form of legislation "mandating" a
> > balanced budget. You can mandate anything you like, but that
> > doesn't mean that anything will change. [A balanced budget actually
> > sets a numeric goal, which Deming has long warned against.]
> >
> Hi Stever. Could you cite a reference, or explain why, Deming warned
> against this? (I don't doubt you, I am just curious.)
> Thnaks,
> John
> --
> John Conover, 631 Lamont Ct., Campbell, CA., 95008, USA.
> VOX 408.370.2688, FAX 408.379.9602