Virtual Learning Organisations LO1467

John Wolfenden (
Thu, 1 Jun 1995 16:57:17 +1000

Hello all.

I am PhD research into how policies to achieve sustainable development
might best be identified and implemented. The case study for this study
will be the New South Wales Beef Feedlot Industry.

I propose to use a combined systems dynamics/learning organisation
approach of the type described in Morecroft and Sternman 1994, "Modeling
for Learning Organisations".

The main stakeholders involved in the policy process have been tentatively
identified as: Politician(s) responsible for environmental policy, the
policy implementation and enforcement agency (the New South Wales
Environment Protection Authority), environmentalists (perhaps represented
by an established group such as the Australian Conservation Foundation),
and producers (probably represented for modelling purposes by some
hypothetical production unit or units).

I am toying with the idea of examining the processes and interactions
involved by assuming that these stakeholders behave like a virtual
organisation which produces "goods" (beef products, nutrients, votes for
the politician) and "bads" (nutrients, other pollutants, odour).
Nutrients can be undesirable if they occur in the wrong place (e.g.
phosphates in the waterways), and beneficial if used as fertiliser.

By involving the stakeholders in the modelling process, their
understanding of the processes and interactions would be increased, and
the possibility of developing shared vision exists. Thus, some basic
foundations of learning organisations exist.

Does anyone have useful insights into this? Is a virtual organisation
approach valid? How else might I investigate this from the perspective of
LO theory/practice? Is anyone doing similar research?

Thank you in anticipation of some helpful responses.


John Wolfenden, Centre for Agricultural & Resource Economics (CARE),
University of New England, ARMIDALE NSW 2351 AUSTRALIA;
Int'l code +61 67 / Aust'n code 067 - Phone: 733930; Fax: 733944;