Org Design for learning LO6476

John Paul Fullerton (
Sat, 6 Apr 1996 13:30:55 +0000

Replying to LO6348 --

Valdis said in LO6348

> Karl Weick "Organizational
> Redesign as Improvisation" [in "Organizational Change and Redesign" Edited
> by George Huber and Wiilaim Glick : ISBN 0-19-510115-4].

> His basic point is that we normally look at organization DESIGN as a noun,
> but we should view it as a verb. The key is not THE design but designING
> -- the ongoing process that involves learning, adaptation, etc.

Recently I sent a note to the TQM listserve about qualia and quality.
So far, no one has responded to it, yet to me it highlights something
in TQM that hasn't been given much notice. At the same time, I should
say that I am a beginner and don't know if the very topic is
considered in one of Dr. Deming's books, for example.

The word quality is based on the word quale. Qualia is the plural of
quale. Qualia are properties of something and they have application
beyond the thing itself. For example, the "blueness" of the sky is a
property that may also be attributed to or found to apply to other

It seems like the development process in TQM is focussed
on how to improve processes to continue to make what we're making in
a better way. Yet in terms of the qualities of the product - or for
this listserve - the qualities of the organization, the process
should include a phase of seeing what the product or organization
needs to be or, more poignantly, how it needs to change. Perhaps in
the Shewhart cycle, or in Dr. Deming's flow diagram consumer research
serves the purpose.

Maybe there hasn't been enough consideration of the abstract
qualities and the consequences of having or not having the right
qualities in endeavors. One reason for not considering it is that it
sounds so abstract and potentially without profit. And from
experience of trying to build something based on abstract beginnings,
the fruitfulness and completeness of the venture come into question
because the product doesn't meet "one evident need" as evidently!

Software engineering has available considerable information about how
to decide what the product will include and programmers usually can
talk about such topics. Yet the relevance of their product for people
in general comes into question again and again. This does not imply
that someone is right and someone is wrong, except that it is
possibly wrong to think that they don't know what they're talking

It should also be acknowledged that Dr. Senge's books about learning
organizations evidently show the characteristics that should be part
of companies for them to be learning organizations and that we also
in conversation here talk about the things that are needed.

It surprised me to see that something as evidently a part of
"quality" wasn't directly used in thinking about the topic.

Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton


"John Paul Fullerton" <>

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