Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Not sure how this happened. Must have pressed a strange key Posted by Hello

Friday, November 12, 2004

I have updated the website at

On the first page there are now links to my two articles on ISO 9000 at OhmyNews. The stats from ISO show that ISO 9000 still has growth, but not in the UK. Why this is is open to discussion. Maybe the UK has moved on and Asian firms have been coerced into it. Alternatively, the revised standard has some benefits and Asian companies can make this work. For the IQA to publish an article by John Seddon, there must be some debate going on. My guess is that there must be some Asian companies able to work with ISO9000 and quality as well. I expect some case studies or new books soon. My second article is looking for information from others.

Discussions with the Deming SIG at the IQA have not got far with the idea that Deming in Japan had something to do with local values. I think this will come up again. Not that I understand any depth on this, but clearly quality is a global issue ands Asian values are part of this. John Seddon has not shown any evidence that UK management moved to some other form of quality policy, just that they gave up on ISO 9000.

I have also included a link to the Lancaster Leadership conference next year. Having looked at the material on leadership and excellence I don't think the 'critique' aspect will block too much discussion. So I might work out something for a workshop contribution. I think IT and web issues will be disruptive for institutions working on learning and skills so there is a fit somewhere.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I have had a look at some sites about 'Success for All' and also the leadership centre in Exeter. Quality seems better accepted as a topic than I remember from previous events.

More links and detail follows later.

What I hope to do is support some dialogue. The IQA people I know are interested in dialogue as a method so this may link up with 'learning and leadership'.

Monday, November 01, 2004

There is to be a conference on Learning at Lancaster next June. Details below.

I think this means there will not be another conference on 'Management Theory at Work'. The last one was mostly about leadership so the new idea follows this.

I might try to contribute something. A workshop would be most useful as I could put some content on the web previously. My main problem is with the way the first 'Management Theory at Work' lost track of some issues to conclude with 'critique'. I'm still not sure where 'critique' is going. Stuff about organisations as a context for learning and leadership seemed to get lost.

I am still interested in 'learning organisations' and connections with quality and I think this could still link with 'management learning'. I will try some ideas out online and see if anything fits together.



Research Conference
Centre for Excellence in Leadership

Re-thinking Leadership:
New Directions in the Learning and Skills Sector?

Monday, 27th – Wednesday, 29th June 2005
Lancaster University, George Fox Complex

Call for papers/presentations/other contributions

Leadership in the learning and skills sector has moved up the agenda following the publication of Success for All. What effect is this new emphasis on leadership having on relationships between stakeholders in the learning and skills sector, such as learning and skills provider organizations, leaders, managers, lecturers and teachers, students, and other relevant organizations?
There is a need for a broad-based and critical revisiting, review, and re-thinking of leadership, leadership research, leadership development, the themes apparent within the policy framework and the practices these aim to constrain and promote. This conference is intended for those directly engaged with or otherwise interested in leadership related research and practice. The objective is to provide an open, convivial, responsive and respectful forum where practitioners / researchers / those engaged in both, can pool insights drawn from their analyses of concepts and practices associated with leadership in the sector.
In addition, to the presentation of papers we would welcome contributions that will be delivered in ways that promote interaction and dialogue between delegates, for example that promote discussion, debate, group work, or that take a workshop, or other format. We also welcome contributions that deal reflexively or self-critically with our roles as researchers, practitioner researchers, teachers, leaders and leadership developers.
The following questions give a non-exhaustive indication of the types of issues we would like contributors to address:
What does/should ‘leadership’ mean?
What tools, technologies, practices are available for supporting leadership and how are they being used?
In what ways do the dynamics of and between organizations, organizational development and evaluation, support or constrain the development of leadership practices?
What assumptions do we have about leadership? How do they affect the learning and skills sector?
Is the emphasis on ‘leadership’ a help or hindrance within the learning and skills sector?
How do practitioners ‘manage’ leadership? Where have all the managers gone?
Is the promotion of leadership, as we currently understand it, compatible with that of ‘difference’ or ‘inclusivity’?
How are competing values / ethics / interests catered for through the promotion of leadership, within policy and the dominant expectations of practice?
We envisage that contributions will fall within one of several streams:
Current Leadership Research – this might include contributions drawn from research into leadership related issues in other educational sectors, or other public or private sector contexts, but certainly will include contributions from a range of researchers and research groups concerned with education and skills, as well as updates on CEL based projects.
Practitioner Research – we also welcome contributions from practitioners engaged in leadership related research within the sector as well as updates from projects funded by CEL.
The Policy Framework and Dominant Expectations of Practice: Influences on the Role of Leadership in the Learning and Skills Sector - we invite contributions that illuminate the problems and possibilities of meeting the objectives these themes mark out, and / or that take a ‘longer’ or ‘broader’ view of the role of the learning and skills sector and leadership within it, both in the UK and elsewhere.
Other Relevant Perspectives - we are aware of the long and respected traditions associated with forms of access to learning and skills acquisition other than those provided, funded or otherwise supported through the state. We are also aware that the very concept of ‘leadership’ is not unproblematic in a number of respects and that alternative less hierarchical modes of learning provision do exist. We want to set aside some time and space for ideas and research centered on these and related issues, and to encourage a reflexive approach to our understanding of each of our own works and positions within ‘the learning and skills sector’. For all these reasons and more, we also welcome contributions that problematise each of our endeavors in constructive ways that present alternative views, or that deal with the conflicts of interest apparent to most research, not least our own.
Submission of Proposals - Send an e-mail attachment with filename [RC1–Surname, First Name] to the research co-ordinator, Teresa Wisniewska ( ) by Thursday, 6th January 2005. Max length, 500 words. Please indicate which theme you would like to contribute to and whether you are submitting a proposal for a paper, workshop or contribution of another format. Acceptance decisions will be communicated by Monday 14th February 2005; and completed papers will be required by Tuesday, 31st May 2005.
Conference Committee:- Neil Clarke, Steve Fox, Marian Iszatt White, Ron Kerr, Tara Leach, Kim McGuire, Anjoom Mukadam, Annette Smith, Phil Watland.
Conference Administration:- Teresa Wisniewska and Ann Marie Mount Any other queries can be directed to Teresa Wisniewska by email or telephone 01524 594211. <>
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Teresa B Wisniewska Research Co-ordinator Centre for Excellence in Leadership (CEL) Gillow Avenue LANCASTER LA1 4YX
Email - Telephone - +44 (0)1524 594211 Fax - +44 (0)1524 592764

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Next week is Alt-C in Exeter. I am planning to update the website at This week during the Science Festival there is an effort ot check out 'wi-fi Exeter'. So far I think this is showing some basis in reality. PC World has a BT openzone that works ok. The Southgate Hotel has a Freespot but is not really promoting it. During Alt-C there will be a Freespot at the Peter Chalk centre. It will be interesting to see if people use it. Maybe some will visit Life Bytes and use a desktop near to coffee.

I will also load various bits that may not hang together. Since Networked Learning I have tried to look at 'modes 1 and 2 knowledge' and 'knowledge creating company'. I am fairly sure that e-learning is not a mode 1 subject. Also quality fits in there somewhere. I have tried to get some discussion going on the Guardian talkboard. The recent ISO survey on ISO 9000 certificates shows growth in China but decline in UK. I think there is some connection with attitudes to quality in the UK, partly caused by attitudes in education. Also the business talk topics tend to get deleted. So i am relying on the education page to keep something about Deming and quality.

Next week I will try to clarify some things on the site. Alt-C will be a good background.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Tomorrow is the final meeting of the Deming SIG at the IQA looking at Deming's system of profound knowledge. This will look at Systems and play the beer game. The link with Senge is clear.

I think they could have made larger claims for these meetings. Each of four elements in the system of knowledge has been considered over the year. Maybe there will be no definite conclusion but it has been an interesting project.

I am part way through re-arranging my bookshelves to roughly follow these new categories. Previously they used the structure of the Lancaster course on management learning. This course no longer runs as they now concentrate on leadership. With Deming it seems 'leadership' is in there somewhere but incidentally.

Friday, June 11, 2004

I have bought a couple of books from Amazon. This will help in having a sound basis for another look at things.


I have read articles about 'mode 2 knowledge' and have an idea what it is about. The actual book seems to confim my impression so far but there is a lot of detail to consider. On the web there are several PDFs that seem consistent with the book and explain the ideas ok. A short one with relevance for management is at

Found through Google. This explains a view that most management studies aim at mode 1, although managers trying to learn something would benefit from mode 2.

I think my own project is definitely mode 2 so I am going to stop trying to write as if for mode 1. I think this explains some of the problems with critique etc. The article by Joan van Aken has not got a critique angle on practitioners or 'prescription', just an explanation of academic attitudes to 'Heathrow' types of book such as managers read. I can't help thinking though that Foucault and Habermas are definitely Mode 1 as they appear in the literature.

The New Production of Knowledge Gibbons and others Sage 1994


A Manager's Guide to Leadership is the latest book from Mike Pedlar, John Burgoyne and Tom Boydell. I hope to understand why there is a new emphasis on Leadership. I am still stuck on organisations as such. Somehow the 'learning organisation' proved to be difficult so the Management Learning subject has moved on. My first impression is that this will be a useful book. It includes a Senge quote and the idea of a learning organisation is still included. There is even a positive presentation of the Excellence model and a mention for Dr Deming. Previously 'quality' ideas were seen as outmoded, particularly quality circles. The book is concentrating on personal development but there is an idea of organisation as well. The question of how people learn from quality systems is inside the scope.

McGraw Hill 2004

I don't think Deming is 'prescriptive', he seems less so the more I find out about what he said. Change cannot come from within the system. Well, what can that mean?

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Previous post was to test out how to add a photo. seems to work but I'm not sure how. Requires an account with Hello where everything is stored.

The Guardian Education talk is inclusive enough to keep my posts about Aretha

Back on topic soon. For example I have aded a question about Arizona to the track on Mode 2 knowledge. I don't really follow how there can be no 'research' when so many people are studying how they work. More than this is happening of course, but some proportion seems to be study blended with real situations.

Monday, May 17, 2004

ree test Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 08, 2004

During drupa, Anne M. Mulcahy said that Xerox now thinks of IT as big I and little t. So the emphasis is on the information. I hope to find out more about this.

The technology is still in there however. She mentions that the new FreeFlow scanners have five chips but sensibly resists taking up time to explain what each one is for.

Monday, May 03, 2004

Exeter seems to be more connected over time. There is a wi-fi experiment with Freespot that has started in the Southgate Hotel and will soon be on the cathedral green. There is more going on with festivals and conferences. Exeter City Council are supporting music with Vibraphonic. Later in the year there will be Alt-C on learning and a Science Festival. I have done a poster to try to connect some of this. wi-fi at the bottom, learning and organisation at the top, some way apart. I will talk through this over the summer.

Friday, April 16, 2004

I have started a topic on mode2 knowledge at the Guardian. not much response yet

Some photos from Network Learning

Saturday, April 10, 2004

One conclusion from Network Learning is that most of the stuff I work on is definitely mode 2 type knowledge. Not sure I understand this fully but I am beginning to get an idea of how 'mode 1' and 'mode 2' are used by academics. There is still a strong pressure to go for 'research' as mode 1 disciplines, however recent. So 'learning technologists' want to move into educational theory and away from users. Maybe I imagined this but that's how it seems. More next week.

Thinking about Seybold, this will be completely different. The trade show element is part of the base. 'e-learning' is another word for the web. The environment has always depended on the stream of claim,s from companies about new products, even when most people believe they are not yet working.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Comments are working ok so here is a statement that might get feedback.

I have updated the site about eTEN. This is a possible proposal for a project looking at server software for PDF and how this can support learning. At the moment my guess is that things are moving so quickly it would be hard to present a timetable over a couple of years of development.

One of the changes I notice is that at Networked Learning the EQUEL project is based on a fairly positive approach to quality systems. There are other EU projects along similar lines. I think the energy for this is coming from the EU.

Will this mean that 'critique' ideas about quality will get less emphasis? Previously there has seemed to be a block on looking at quality systems. Comment welcome.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

another test, comment seems ok
testing for comments

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

At the Deming meeting on Thursday I hope to check some ideas out during the pauses.

Leadership remains the main issue for people in Lancaster at the Dept of Management Learning. My impression is that Deming emphasised top managment to check they supported the project, not because quality arrived top-down. I have put a message at the Leadership Research Workshop with a link to a conference;action=display;threadid=30;start=0

The talk about 'distributed leadership' seems to be moving back to looking at organisations. The 'Learning Organisation' got lost in critique but is still a useful approach, I think.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Next week there is another meeting at the IQA in the series organised by the Deming SIG. Henry Neave will be talking about the beads approach. This should involve quite a lot of activity.

I had meant to update the site at but will now leave this till after the meeting. The series is intended to cover four aspects of the system of profound knowledge as decscribed in 'The New Economics'. So far there has been psychology - drive out fear- and knowlege, which I tried to work on. Systems may turn up again, the first date slipped by. I think it should be possible to relate the Management Learning approach to this. I hope to have this at least in some sort of form before the Networked Learning conference in April.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

The comments made around drupa suggest that there has been a significant change in attitudes about digital technology within the printing industry. After the apparent crash in internet stocks there continued to be some belief that print could continue essentially as it had previously. However, digital technology has continued to have an impact. 'Desk top publishing' from the '80s has taken over many of the functions of pre-press. Photoshop on recent computers can do all that is required for print. InDesign has the typography features that were once missing from DTP. Quark now supports a PDF workflow.

Digital printing now offers quality that compares with litho. There is the possibility of improving consistency in ways that would not be easy to control for litho. The PDF workflows for digital print are now widely used for all forms of print.

Frank Romano has suggested that 20% of print procurement currently involves the web and that this will increase to over 60% during the next three years. (See also more comment on this on another blog on "IPEX2002". This has continued since 2002 and is now mostly about drupa, but the issues relate to IPEX also.

The IPEX2002 blog includes a statement by Christian Gugler, Chairman of PrintCity’s Networking Activity Group. He is aware of changes in the industry and the way that 'networking' links in to other forms of communication. After drupa this will be accepted by most of the people who have visited. This will represent a change on the approach from ten years ago.

The site at has been mostly about situations where PDF technology had an impact. This has been difficult for some print companies. Pre-press has had to change since Desktop Publishing to support content originating with the customers for print. These changes might have happened within a formal quality system but are often responses to observing trends with other companies.

In future the site will not be restricted to one approach, around print and formal quality systems. PDF is only one option within the choice of file formats for online content. It has many advantages but cost is often a limiting aspect. So the scope of the site may get wider.

It seems that the impact of technology will now be more disruptive for educational institutions based on print. Universities, schools, and libraries have all developed during the time that print has existed. It may not be obvious how deep the implication is or how much change will be associated with digital technology.

Previous papers have tried to show links between theories about 'learning organisations' and 'quality management systems'. In future there will be more short entries on this blog and updates to the website. For conferences there could be more emphasis on a workshop rather than a paper. One idea would be to look at ideas of a 'community of practice' and then look at how jobs have changed in pre-press / web design , then in libraries and universities.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

I am gradually finding more material from EQUEL and other projects looking at quality and e-learning. There is definitely a positive attitude here. The assumption seems to be that it is possible and valid to develop forms of e-learning in higher education.

I still think the work done on 'learning organisations' is relevant. This was during the '90s and seemed to come to an end in the UK. The practical side is difficult but the idea is still worth looking at. I find much work on e-learning has a scope for a particular project without looking at the organisation as a whole.

The 'learning organisation' stream seemed to come to an end during the first 'Management Theory in Practice' conference in Lancaster. 'Critique' was avery strong theme, especially with respect to 'quality'. I'm not sure if this is still widely supported. Some aspects of 'quality' are likley to come up as part of the discussion on e-learning.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Copied from my post at Guardian talk in case you missed it

At BETT I discovered there is quite a lot going on about quality and e-learning. The energy seems to come from the EU. See other topics on new new new universities (Communication? what's that about?) and business (UK quality? just forget about it)

European projects on quality and e-learning

European Quality Observatory




My impression is that "quality" is seen in the UK as an imposition rather than something to work with. However 'world-class' and 'quality' may be linked.


There is a conference in April where there will be a presentation on EQUEL

It will be interesting to see how 'critique' fits into this. Previously some academics have been very negartive about 'quality'.

I have started to get involved in the Guardian talk pages. This started with their PDF beta that seemed to be possible long before they actually announced it. It seems to me that their coverage of the press fails to consider the impact of the web. Roy Greenslade seldom mentions the growth of websites as an explanation for falling broadsheet circulations.

Anyway it seems you can write what you like on the Guardian talk. The 'digital Guardian' site will be public sometime this year with PDF as an option.

I have also posted on 'world-class universities', 'new, new new universities' and 'bluffing your way for a part-time ICT job'. Recently I discovered how to link between topics but it seems to work only sometimes.

Try this