Learning Organizations & TQM LO5562

Dr. Ivan Blanco (BLANCO@BU4090.BARRY.EDU)
Mon, 12 Feb 1996 17:13:20 -0500 (EST)

Replying to LO5444 --

> From: "David C. Walden" <walden@labs-n.bbn.com>
> Stewart Crick said:
> > I'm curious as to how practitioners and academics feel about
> > this. Do you view LO as an extension of TQM? As a retooled version of
> > TQM? Are they two separate entities that shall never cross paths? Or,
> > can they exist together? Another possibility, many TQM efforts fail
> > because the organizational culture is not adequately addressed...
> My view (part practitioner, part theoretician):
> In today's rapidly changing world, we need organizations that can change,
> not just do the same thing over and over--we need learning organizations
> (small l, small o). Various management systems are attempting to address
> this need, including TQM, Systems Thinking (Senge), Interactive Management
> (Ackoff), "wow management" (Peters), etc. They also all have strengths
> and weaknesses. In many cases there also is considerable overlap. Some
> of the systems may be more complete or operationalized than the others and
> may be better places to start in some instances, augmenting with aspects
> of the others as appropriate as one goes along. Any combination that
> works well will provide a competitive edge and change the game, requiring
> futher evolution of the methods to remain competitive.
> Dave Walden, 280 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02116

The way I see it, it all has to do with learning. If one looks at the
traditional (classical) approaches to management and organizations, the
learning taking place was too fragmented. We learned only about areas or
parts of the organization. We try to correct that in schools by the
development of the field of strategic management, but it did not really
work because the tendency to fragment stuff also made strategic management
into one more area of specializtion. (This is related to another threat
on the management field's search for the unusual!.) Organizational
learning promotes a learning that is a lot more holistic. It is based on
the systems thinking approach. I see TQM, for instance, as just a tool
which might help organizations achieve holistic learning.


  R. IVAN BLANCO, Ph.D.                        Voice 305 899-3515
  Assoc. Prof. & Director                      Fax   305 892-6412
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