Got a Suggestion? LO12098

Mnr AM de Lange (
Tue, 21 Jan 1997 09:53:54 GMT+2

Clyde Howell wrote in LO12075

> The concept of a silent conspiracy is based on experience within and
> observing a number of organizations of different types. One name for this
> is groupthink. ANother is the phenomenon Argyris calls "organizational
> defensive routines." The idea is that management and workers conspire
> with each other to maintain the status quo. The problems currently eating
> everyone alive are obviously due to the current situation. No one can see
> this, though, due to basic human personality dynamics.
> What makes this so difficult to deal with is that no one is consciously
> aware (or will admit, anyway) that they are a part of this conspiracy.
> Such self-delusion amounts to a silent conspiracy.

Dear organlearners,

Clyde, thank you very much for a clear exposition of the 'silent
conspiracy'. It is much more than the suggestion requested. The length of
it certainly helped to cover important facets of the 'silent conspiracy'.

While reading through and thinking about what you have written, I was
continuously reminded of Thomas Kuhn's book: "The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions". It is a interesting and instructuve book to read - a
'classic'. Kuhn shows very carefully that every scientific revolution
happened against a background of what he calls 'normal science'. His
description of a 'normal science' and your description of a 'silent
conspiracy' matches in many respects. The major difference is that you and
Kuhn use different terms because of referring to different contexts
(business - science). For example, you use the word 'error' while Kuhn
uses the word 'anomaly'.

I think you will agree with me that in organisations a lot of errors are
made and rectified which does not point to the 'silent conspiracy'. In
other words, it is a special kind of 'errors' which point to the 'silent
conspiracy'. It is those 'errors' which point to the fact that the
organisation's founding paradigm has become outdated - that the atrractor
of the organisation has become equilibrium - a kind of death.

At de Lange
Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa


"Mnr AM de Lange" <>

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