Change and Flexibility – Attitudes and Organisational Culture
Prepared my MBA Dissertation for HTML publication at last.
It may be ten years old, but it’s the origin of many of my current threads.
In fact this Blog carries on where Chapter 4 of the dissertation leaves business unfinished.
A flexible “learning” organisation needs a “rational” model like a hole in the head. Logical or rhetorical, how do you make a sound business argument out of that? Did someone mention Catch-22?
And yes – checked out the bibliography and sure enough Tom Peters did indeed reference both Robert Pirsig and Chris Argyris, though Charles Handy didn’t from what I can tell, but Peters and Handy also cross cite each other several times. I’m sure ZMM was a significant influence behind much of the “upside-down thinking” management wave of the 80’s and 90’s. Total Quality Management which grew in many guises in the same period, echoes much of the same “logic”, in fact Pirsig’s use of “Quality” as the vehicle for his metaphorical journey is probably responsible for ZMM being regularly classified as a Quality Management text too.
Strangely convincing too, despite Peters getting into hyperbole and doubtful (rhetorical) evidence of succes factors in much of his stuff, the introductory chapters of Peters and Waterman’s “In Search of Excellence” actually describes 90% of the issues in this Blog.
In my post below about Pirsig’s book I indicated the need to take stock.
Scroll down to see the resultant edit I’ve made to the first ever entry in this Blog.
[Pirsig’s ZMM was in fact on a recommended reading list on my MBA course at Imperial College back in 1988, though to my eternal shame, I never read it then. Since this point in Psybertron’s history, I have had a parallel “Pirsig Project” with links in the side-bar, and frequently cross-linked in the blog itself.]