Measures of LO Effectiveness LO5819

John Conover (
Fri, 23 Feb 1996 15:14:13 -0800

Replying to LO5795 -- writes:
> There are currently on the market a variety of tools and instruments that
> measure organizational learning. As a developer of one myself, I attended
> a workshop hosted last month by the American Society for Training and
> Development that brought together the developers of about ten different
> instruments. While all those instruments claim to measure learning at
> some level, none connect learning with organizational effectiveness or
> profitability. For now there exists a strong belief or theory, nay
> assumption?, that learning impacts organizational effectiveness in a
> positive way. Empirical work is being planned to link learning and
> effectiveness but I am not aware of anything yet completed.

There seems to be substantial dialog concerning metrics of learning
organizations. Note that to formulate a set of metrics, it is necessary
to develop a "model" of what is being measured. Let me table, for
discussion, the following model:

1) If we assume that process feedback is the dominant relevance of
the model, for example, the process as suggested on page 81 of
"The Fifth Discipline," P. M. Senge, 1990, and:

2) If it is further assumed, that there is some kind of random
variability in the process, for example, as illustrated on page
81, not all sales efforts will succeed-some will "spontaneously"
fail, and others will spontaneously succeed, in spite/despite the
best efforts of the organization, and:

3) Lastly, if it is assumed that the process of feedback is
inherently a "cumulative sum," mechanism, for example, referring
again to page 81, that more satisfied customers leads to more
positive word of mouth, which, in turn, leads to more satisfied
customers, which in turn, leads to more positive word of mouth,
and so on.

Then, if these three assumptions appear to be reasonable, (which, granted,
would depend on your on your point of view,) we would have a a
"prescription," for a fractal process, one of the family of processes that
are studied in complexity theory-and one of the first that was placed on
"good analytical foundations." It would also seem reasonable, that these
analytical methods, conceivably, could be used in a scheme of
organizational metrics.



John Conover, 631 Lamont Ct., Campbell, CA., 95008, USA. VOX 408.370.2688, FAX 408.379.9602

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