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ERIC Number: EJ857080
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0969-6474
Examining the Use of New Science Metaphors in the Learning Organisation
Ng, Pak Tee
Learning Organization, v16 n2 p168-180 2009
Purpose: In recent years, the new science has become popular in management literature. This involves the use of metaphors from the field of science (e.g. mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology) in the field of management. This paper aims to examine the use of new science metaphors in learning organisation (LO) discourse and research. Design/methodology/approach: This paper is a theoretical analysis of the use of new science metaphors in LO discourse and research. In particular, the paper illustrates the potential value of such metaphors through four examples and explores the issue of appropriate application and interpretation. Findings: This paper shows that using new science metaphors in the field of the LO can enrich the understanding and practice of LOs. However, one has to adopt a reflexive approach so that one is more critically aware of the assumptions behind their usage. This will lead to a more appropriate application and interpretation of such metaphors in context. Practical implications: Subject to careful application and interpretation, new science metaphors can be useful in helping one appreciate the intricate dynamics of change; that a lack of one's control does not imply that the situation is out of control; that the measurement of outcomes in itself affects the development of an LO; and that paradoxes are "normal" in the dynamics of LO development. Originality/value: This paper provides an analysis of the use of four new science metaphors in LO, namely complexity and chaos, living systems, uncertainty principle and wave-particle duality. It discusses how these metaphors may enrich the understanding and practice of the LO. This paper also discusses a reflexive approach towards new science metaphor usage that encompasses four issues of separation, representation, enunciation and routinisation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A