LO and Western Thought LO7588

Stefano Malvolti (s.malvolti@iseris.it)
Thu, 23 May 1996 21:56:32 +0200

Replying to LO7515

Terri Deems the 22nd of May proposed this issue from TRDEV list :

> The incident centres around a question posed by one student and
> the groups response to the question:
> "Could any of the characteristics of our
> western world view and current attitudes to
> learning impede our ability to develop
> learning organisations."
> To my surprise the almost unanimous response of the group was
> that the question was irrelevant. Further that it was based on
> gross generalisations that could neither be applied to
> individuals nor organisations in the western context. That an
> appropriate mix of incentives and management leadership would
> resolve any underlying floors in the present approach to
> developing a learning organisation.


> Finally, do you think that the student's question, as
> outlined above, is valid and relevant to the 'learning
> organisation' debate; might their be weaknesses in how
> we think and go about learning in the West; or is it
> as suggested by the group, just a question of finding
> the right incentives and training programs for workers
> and managers?

I think the student's question is absolutly relevant. Not taking into
account the cultural variables is a terrible mistake that can produce
catastrophic result. The whole people act, think and consequently learn
deeply inflenced by their cultural background.

Here it is an example from italian economic history supporting this

In the Fifties, during the period of industrialization, a lot of companies
try to establish factories in Southern Italy to exploit the lowest cost of
work. Making this they do not pay attention to cultural background of
people they were going to employ. The most important consequence of this
"ridutionistic" attitude was the big difference in daytime-cycles between
paesant day and factory day. Many people do not adjust themselves and
leave their job. The same problem they had to face about harvest periods.
Habits and culture were more and more important than new lifestyles, jobs,
rewards. Many people leave their places during the harvest with
predictable consequences on production.

Stefano Malvolti s.malvolti@iseris.it


Stefano Malvolti <s.malvolti@iseris.it>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>