Who wants to "learn"? LO6340

Terri Deems (tdeems@unlgrad1.unl.edu)
Sun, 31 Mar 1996 19:29:19 -0600 (CST)

Replying to LO6283 --

Peter's reply to Fullerton, posing the idea that the primary purpose
of an organization lies with the development of people, caught my
attention. Though it may be hard to believe, in this age where the
dominant organizational archetype of is one increasing profits at all
costs, there are organizations that look beyond the profits, and ask
"what is the purpose of profit?" The greater purpose, it would
appear, is in contributing to one's larger community, society, or the

Osterberg says the primary purpose of a company IS TO SERVE as an
arena for the personal development of those working in the company.
Some view this with just a slight shift--that regardless of explicit
purpose, organized work IS the primary site for adult learning and
development. This shifts our attention away from how to make work
more developmental (it is, regardless of whether we acknowledge that
or not), and instead look at what it is we are developing.
Regardless of this slight difference in perception, though, the
production of goods and services are seen as by-products.

In its broadest sense, this directs my attention to issues of means
and ends: are profits/products the end in themselves? or are they
the means to an end--a way of becoming more fully human and
contributing to community. Which perspective we take seems to have
significant implications for how we organize, structure, and conduct

Some good resources on these ideas include M. Welton, M. Fox, Sinetar.
I think we'll be seeing more along the lines of developmental work.

Terri Deems
Deems Associates Inc


tdeems@unlgrad1.unl.edu (Terri Deems)

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