Technological changes and shifting demands make learning essential in present-day organizations. One of the main reasons companies fail is because of their inability to learn and adapt (Argyris, 1998). Courtney et al. (1996) have suggested that Churchman’s (1971) models of inquiring systems might form the basis for the design of effective learning organizations. "Inquiring organizations" are described as learning organizations modeled on the theories of inquiring systems, or systems whose actions result in the creation of knowledge. Effective inquiring organizations create knowledge and learn new behaviors to adjust to changing circumstances. Such organizations capture and leverage valid knowledge, making it widely available for use throughout the organization. Learning is a fundamental aspect of these inquiring organizations, and a well-designed learning subsystem is critical to their success. Learning by organizations relies on individuals and groups as agents for the transfer of knowledge. Over time, what is learned is built into the structure, culture, and memory of the organization. This paper continues a theme of adapting Churchman’s models of inquiring systems by exploring the philosophies of E.A. Singer as they relate to inquiring organizations. The guidelines presented provide ways for modern organizations to identify themselves as knowledge- generating systems and thereby begin the transition to learning organization.
Croasdell, David; Paradice, David; and Courtney, James, "Singerian Inquiring Organizations: Guiding Principles and Design Guidelines for Learning Organizations" (1998). AMCIS 1998 Proceedings. 277.