The Fifth Discipline

From SEBoK
Jump to: navigation, search
Senge, P.M. 2006. The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization, 2nd ed. New York, NY, USA: Doubleday Currency.


This source is considered a primary reference for the following article:


Peter Senge is a respected authority on systems theory especially with respect to organizational systems. In this book Senge describes how systems thinking is translated into the systems approach.

Senge identifies "the fifth discipline" of the learning organization (hence the name of the book) as systems thinking, which Senge sees as the core learning capability for "understanding complexity". The other four disciplines are to do with aspiration - "personal mastery" and"shared vision" - and "reflective conversation" - "mental models" and "dialogue". Teams and organizations work much more effectively and efficiently when all activities are "aligned to purpose". The five disciplines are used together to develop a shared vision the organization's purpose, and to understand how different functions and people contribute to the organization's goals, and can further their own goals in doing so. The book contains a useful listing of systems thinking archetypes and explains how these can be used to diagnose, explain and resolve organizational blockers to improvement. The first edition was published in 1990 and was considered groundbreaking at the time. The second edition, published in 2006, includes additional material on experience of these methods in use.

SEBoK v. 1.9 released 17 November 2017

SEBoK Discussion

Please provide your comments and feedback on the SEBoK below. You will need to log in to DISQUS using an existing account (e.g. Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or create a DISQUS account. Simply type your comment in the text field below and DISQUS will guide you through the login or registration steps. Feedback will be archived and used for future updates to the SEBoK. If you provided a comment that is no longer listed, that comment has been adjudicated. You can view adjudication for comments submitted prior to SEBoK v. 1.0 at SEBoK Review and Adjudication. Later comments are addressed and changes are summarized in the Letter from the Editor and Acknowledgements and Release History.

If you would like to provide edits on this article, recommend new content, or make comments on the SEBoK as a whole, please see the SEBoK Sandbox.

blog comments powered by Disqus