Re: Measures of LO Effectiveness LO5795

From: John Conover <>
Subject: Re: Measures of LO Effectiveness LO5795
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 15:14:13 -0800 writes:
> Replying to LO5771 --
> There are currently on the market a variety of tools and instruments that
> measure organizational learning.  As a developer of one myself, I attended
> a workshop hosted last month by the American Society for Training and
> Development that brought together the developers of about ten different
> instruments.  While all those instruments claim to measure learning at
> some level, none connect learning with organizational effectiveness or
> profitability.  For now there exists a strong belief or theory, nay
> assumption?, that learning impacts organizational effectiveness in a
> positive way.  Empirical work is being planned to link learning and
> effectiveness but I am not aware of anything yet completed.

There seems to be substantial dialog concerning metrics of learning
organizations.  Note that to formulate a set of metrics, it is
necessary to develop a "model" of what is being measured. Let me
table, for discussion, the following model:

    1) If we assume that process feedback is the dominant relevance of
    the model, for example, the process as suggested on page 81 of
    "The Fifth Discipline," P. M. Senge, 1990, and:

    2) If it is further assumed, that there is some kind of random
    variability in the process, for example, as illustrated on page
    81, not all sales efforts will succeed-some will "spontaneously"
    fail, and others will spontaneously succeed, in spite/despite the
    best efforts of the organization, and:

    3) Lastly, if it is assumed that the process of feedback is
    inherently a "cumulative sum," mechanism, for example, referring
    again to page 81, that more satisfied customers leads to more
    positive word of mouth, which, in turn, leads to more satisfied
    customers, which in turn, leads to more positive word of mouth,
    and so on.

Then, if these three assumptions appear to be reasonable, (which,
granted, would depend on your on your point of view,) we would have a
a "prescription," for a fractal process, one of the family of
processes that are studied in complexity theory-and one of the first
that was placed on "good analytical foundations." It would also seem
reasonable, that these analytical methods, conceivably, could be used
in a scheme of organizational metrics.



John Conover,,

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