Sunday, October 03, 2004

The Fifth Discipline

The heart of Senge's book advocates using a "systems approach" to organizational decision making, rather than simplistic analysis strategies. Acoording to Senge: "The essence of the discipline of systems thinking lies in a shift of mind:
  • seeing interrelationships rather than linear cause-effect chains, and
  • seeing processes of change rather than snapshots" (73).

While I agree with Senge's conclusions, his use of the causal loops of system's engineering strike me as far more useful to analzing markets and supply relationships than it is to analyzing the kind of rhetorical relationships we see in writing.

So where does that leave me--do four of the disciplines apply to rhetoric and writing, but not the fifth--systems thinking?

I do believe that all five disciplines apply--just that for rhetorical situations, a more complex type of systems analysis is required. I think we need to understand the way texts function as parts of what Vygotskian psychologists call activity systems. I will discuss this in more detail in my next blog entry.


Post a Comment

<< Home