CMN 2148: Lecture #5 10/03/2012
Object of the Lecture:
Reference to theory
Paraphrase the meaning
born in New Jersey in 1923. He went to university at Clark, where he came into contact with Kurt Lewin. He
has been a professor at Yale University and at Harvard University.
his work has influenced thinking about the relationship of people and organizational learning.
Chris Argyris and Schon (1978) on single and double loop learning:
Learning involved he detection and correction of errors.
When the error detected and corrected permits the organization to carry on its present policies or achieve
its present objectives , then that error and correction process is single loop learning.
This is what is created in systems characterized by instrumental rationality.
Can be a flaw of bureaucracy: the distance between workers and managers.
Example: Harley Davidson movie: “keep the line moving” it doesn’t matter if something is wrong, focused on
keeping the line move. Result was poor running motorcycles on the road. Producing a larger number of
bad bikes is better than producing a lesser number of good bikes. Perfect example of single loop learning
double loop learning occurs when error is detected and corrected in ways that involve changes to an
organizations underlying norms, policies and objectives.
Unless there is change to the system somewhere it cannot be double loop learning.
Single vs. Double Loop Learning (Chris Argyris)
1. Monitor Environment
2. Compare to operating norms (predetermined) (e.g. objectives of # of motorcycles produced)
3. Inititate appropriate action.
Double Loop: 2.a Includes a loop whereby the org’n questions and changes the operating norms/actions.
Corporate CMNBlocks Learning (Argyis)
Cmn. Techniques like Focus groups, surveys, MBWA do gather useful info which enables single loop
What they do not do is get people to reflect on their work and behavior.
These techniques promote defensive reasoning (which blo