Conspiritorial LO teams LO7240

A. Paz (
Mon, 06 May 1996 23:09:02 -0500

Replying to LO7170 --

I think Chris Argyris has covered this very well. See, for instance,=20
his *Integrating the Individual and the Organization*, a really=20
wonderful book originally published in 1964, reissued with a new=20
introduction by the author in 1990. For me Argyris is the backbone of=20
Senge and most of organizational learning theory. (I know this needs=20
elaboration and hopefully over time I may do so.)

What Argyris has proposed is in many ways for me still very radical.
He starts by hypothesizing about how we learn in organizations as=20
social environments, thus Model I. He then constructs an alternative=20
model, not as an antithesis or opposite to the first, but more focused=20
on self-consciously achieving meaningful learning, Model II. This=20
basic scheme is still, in my estimate, unsurpassed as an archetype.

One of the keys to understanding his models I & II is the organizing=20
concept of governing variables, which set the stage, if you will, for=20
the action.

The governing varibles are described in terms like these:

Model I =20
Win, don't loss =20
Remain in unilateral control =20
Cover up errors (help without causing others to lose face) =

Model II
Generate valid information
Nurture internal commitment (Combine high advocacy w/ high inquiry)
Promote free and informed choice

The movement from one model to the other is not at all linear or easy=20
to implement. In fact, Argyris postulates, from his experience in the=20
field, that it takes about 2 to 5 years to internalize and effectively=20
use Model II.

(I feel like I'm getting in over my head. I am not by any means an=20
expert on Argyris' writings. But I like forcing myself to articulate=20
what I find useful and challenging about his ideas. Maybe others can=20
supplement/challenge my presentation. I strongly feel he deserves at=20
least as much attention as Senge, who seems to lean heavily on his=20
Augustine A. Paz

"Philosophy is orthopedics for fractured beliefs."
Jos=E9 Ortega y Gasset


"A. Paz" <>

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