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Peter Senge The Fifth Discipline Summary


The paper looks forward to helping learners understand the importance of key figures in the field of management Peter Senge The Fifth Disciplineand how their ideas have transformed management as a whole. Specifically, the ideas of Peter Senge will be given a lot of attention as they are realistic and applicable in handling management issues. The paper is going to have three sections. The introduction section will talk about what the paper is going to describe. The body will give more information on the principles of management according to Senge and in the conclusion section; the writer will give his view on the theory or principle that has been the subject of discussion. Besides, he would ensure that the flow of the paper is not hard to comprehend.

Senge’s Management Principles

The theory by Peter Senge is influential and dwells on how organizations have got the responsibility of creating conducive environments whereby subordinates and leaders can learn. This is because of the definite truth that nobody was born knowing anything and that learning is a continuous process. The world that we live in also changes just like the organizations run by human beings that operate in very competitive environments. The theory is lauded for its effort in boosting the commitment of individuals working for different organizations with the aim of attaining the visions of such organizations. Without the commitment, it is evident that organizations cannot achieve their goals. Peter Senge looked at organizations from a holistic perspective and thought intuitively about them. This is the reason as to why he was able to transcend their essential frameworks. His management approach appreciates the need for new methods and models in leadership. His mental model is a replica of what he believes in. He holds that how individuals process information and how they perceive reality is not good as always wrong. People are known to see their world on a day to day basis as the same, and this is not the truth as the world that we are in keeps on changing and is not static. Individuals are supposed to respond to situations differently just because the world that they are in also changes as time goes by. His management theories, principles, and practices are relevant for aspiring and practicing managers, and he will live to be remembered for his brilliant ideas that if put into action can lead to the success of companies and management in general.

The current day climate calls for organizations to be self-sustaining and creative without which they cannot succeed. The firms cannot run themselves but are led by the managers, and so Senge was directly talking to the managers. Continuous learning in organizations is the way to go as it improves their chances of getting new information, innovating and adapting to the changes that are imminent in the society. Senge’s theory on the management of organizations is broad, philosophical and elaborate. It is structured so as to change organizations to bodies that are dynamic and can promote creativity amongst employees who eventually commitment themselves to the attainment of the visions of the organizations that they work for. Many organizations have been kicking started by Senge management principle and have become more dynamic beyond the expectations of many individuals. Peter Senge is considered a management guru and hero. His work is known to have a lot of impact in so far as the development of management theories is concerned. In instances whereby individuals working for organizations have not consulted experts regarding how his practices work; the availability of his assumptions in articles has significantly helped many managers because it is very simple in nature. If organizations and managers are not ready to learn and have not created conducive environments for learning, it is true that they are not heading anywhere and are bound to fail. His fifth field book gives individuals steps of turning their companies to learning organizations. The book on the Fifth Discipline catapulted Senge into one of the best managers in the world. He developed a language on the change in different companies. His companies are built by shared vision, humane treatment of workers and creating a conducive environment for learning, therefore, the culture of learning is the way to go for organizations to that look forward to prospering. Like any objective that human beings set, there is no perfection in the attainment of the goal of a learning organization. Learning organization is a useful and desirable guiding principles and ideas for organizations and individuals that they aspire towards. Creating a learning organization is not enough. Every company needs to build knowledge after that make use of it. The problem is that only a few individuals or organizations are at the forefront of managing the information that they acquired. They apply the knowledge, grow by using the information and use the information accordingly.

Different formulas can be used in attaining the goal of learning in organizations. They used different systems, strategies, and processes to acquire knowledge, share learning and turn organizations to embrace change. Furthermore, organizations are ready to learn more things and improve on a continuous basis. In as much as organizations have got differences regarding embracing learning in organizations, it is important to understand that there are common grounds or elements shared by organizations in their process of learning. Senge is remembered for sorting and clustering the commonalities and terming them five disciplines. The five learning disciplines are mental models, shared vision, personal mastery, systems thinking and team learning. Each of the disciplines has got practices and tools for promoting, sustaining and building leadership strategies. The disciplines have got bullets, concepts, principles, and propositions. Once techniques have been learned, they are practiced so that the disciplines have got a life. However, managers are free to practice different leadership approaches and models. According to Peter Senge, those heading organizations can bring about change by encouraging other employees to embrace change, innovate continuously and put into practice the management principles fronted by Senge. It may not be easy to fully master the principles, but the most important thing is to continue practicing them. Workplace improvement depends on the values, language, principles and concepts.

According to Senge managers and employees cannot succeed without having a shared vision which is all about what the team intends to do collectively. Shared vision in building commitments and understandings, unleash the aspirations of individuals, unearth resistances and reservations and encourage the participation of individuals. Leaders are better placed to learn and apply tools like positive learning, values alignment and concept shifting so that they develop a shared vision that communicates the shared understanding and meaning. It is at the vision development stage whereby learning targets are set, improvement strategies agreed on, and the likely challenges talked about. Another important thing apart from the shared vision is mental models that are central to the success in change. Beliefs, mindsets, assumptions, and values that shape the actions and thoughts of individuals have to be modified. People cannot change unless what determines their thought and actions is changed. Leaders can use tools, for instance, reflective inquiry and ladder of inference to help in making mental models very clear for everyone to understand. The third stage developed by Senge in his management principles is personal mastery that is at the center of his success as a manager. Personal mastery is all about how individuals know themselves and the likelihood of their behavior impacting on the behavior of others. Personal knowledge is an indication that people are very ready to change and be challenged whenever they are not on the right track. Behavioral actions and interactions of individuals are principled, congruent and authentic. The leaders are free to use strategies like reframing and perceptual positions so that they can boost communication qualities within and without their teams. The process of improving management cannot go without the team members learn together. Team learning helps in thinking together and providing a platform for people to share their insights, experiences skills and knowledge with one another so that they get to do things than they have been doing. Teams develop inquiry, discussion and reflection skills so that they can discuss change skillfully with one another. This strengthens their vision so that they commit themselves to the companies that they serve. The next level is system thinking. It is an approach that promotes interaction by individuals working for an organization. The aim of the system thinking is to help teams unravel influences, hidden subtleties, unintended and intended consequences and leverage points. This helps the team to understand how they are connected beyond the change that they want to bring to the organizations and so they can only work together. Systems thinking help in mapping events, situations and problems so that solutions can be found. The principles by Senge are connected to each other, and the success of his theory is dependent on how organizations actualize his thoughts or put his ideas into practice. If a manager concentrates on any of the five principles without getting tired, he or she improves the chances of success in his or her organization, and for sure he will not regret it. The lessons learned from Senge, therefore, are valuable and have made him relevant in the field of management. His theory is very clear on the minds of many managers even if they did not work with him.

Senge is still remembered for being a major figure to tackle the issue of organizational development in the 1990s. To him, organizations are in a continuous state of change, improvement, and adaptation. His work was reviewed by Harvard Business that confirmed that his book was the best in management and declared as the best strategist in the whole century. He had the greatest impact regarding how business is run. Many institutions are looking for heroes who can drive people to change as it is usually difficult for people to change given that people often resist change. The resistance by people is the main impediment to change. Real firms according to him have got opportunities as well as limits to develop. Change efforts are affected by cultural and interpersonal issues and do not need expertise knowledge or interpretation. People have to reflect on the issues that affect them after those hold discussions that can help them move together as a team.  However, in as much as change is driven by the willingness of organizations to learn, it is important to take note that there are about four challenges that can stop the initiation of change. The challenges are compelling case to drive change, time for effecting change, help needed while changing and the existence of barriers.  The many publications by Senge on organizations extol the many other existing publications that have been written down by other competent writers.


Senge may not have directly involved in the issues of managing firms, but he had brilliant ideas through which organizations can be run. This is the reason as to why Senge was regarded as one of the best brains and strategists with a focused vision of improving institutions.  It goes without saying that change occurs every day in all spheres of life including the field of business and management where Senge was considered and is still considered very important strategists. Many managers who have applied his ideas have not gone wrong in running their organizations whether big or small. Aspiring managers have also been keen to borrow a leaf from his work as it is highly recommended. Many organizations have not been able to survive the competitive business environments. This being the case, they have found themselves being driven out the market because they run at massive losses instead of profits. They cannot then meet their operational costs and so have no reason to be in the market. However, with the ideas of Senge, a management guru, companies have been able to survive the tides in their areas of operation. This is because of shared visions developed through teamwork, people understanding that individual interests are superseded by organizational goals. They always have to interact and share knowledge with each other and develop a general understanding that is needed in driving organizations to higher levels. All the parties in organizations must understand that change is inevitable and that they are bound to lag behind if they resist change because of their personal interests. Nobody was born a manager, and nobody knows everything. This is the reason as to why everybody must learn from others. Open minded is critical in getting information from different sources and should there be somebody who is not ready to study in an organization, he or she will be part of the reasons as to why a firm is not progressing. People have to be abreast of whatever is going on in their environment and after that change accordingly to fit into the demands of the environment. This is what managers should also do lest they find themselves not in a position to run different organizations and businesses. I found Senge’s principles the most relevant of all the managers and gurus. This is because he talked about how to change and the essence of teamwork without which organizations are heading nowhere. Translating his ideas into action is a direct success.

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