Five Disciplines (Senge)

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Learning Organizations. Explanation of Five Disciplines of Peter Senge. ('90)

Fifth Discipline - SengeFor Peter Senge (1990), change is teaming and learning is change. Thus, it is possible for organizations to learn to change because "deep down, we are all learners". In his book "The Fifth Discipline", Senge wants to destroy the illusion that the world is created out of separate, unrelated forces. When we give up this illusion, we can then build 'learning organizations', organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together. Managers must learn to detect seven organizational 'learning disabilities' and use the "Five Disciplines" as antidotes to them.

The Five Disciplines of Senge

The five components in the model from Senge are:

  1. Systems Thinking. The integrative (fifth) discipline that fuses the other 4 into a coherent body of theory and practice.

  2. Personal Mastery. People must regard their life and their work such as an artist would regard a work of art.

  3. Mental Models. Deeply ingrained assumptions or mental images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action.

  4. Building Shared Vision. If there is a genuine vision, people excel and learn, not because they have to, but because they want to.

  5. Team Learning. Team-members participate in true dialogue. They suspend their assumptions.

All these 5 disciplines must be employed in a never-ending quest to expand the capacity of the organization to create its future. Learning Organizations are those organizations that can go beyond survival learning, to perform generative learning: a form of learning that enhances their capacity to create.

Book: Peter Senge - The Fifth Discipline -

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Compare with Senge's Five Disciplines:  Organizational Learning  |  Organizational Memory  |  System Dynamics  |  Theory of Mechanistic and Organic Systems  |  Fourteen Points of Management  |  Eight Attributes of Management Excellence  |  Ten Principles of Reinvention  |  Theory X Theory Y Theory Z  |  Business Process Reengineering

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