Organizational spirituality is a widespread phenomenon and as such deserves the attention of academics. Of particular interest – and the focus of the paper are the internal dynamics which often drive spiritually imbued organizations (the term ‘spiritual organization’ will be purposefully avoided throughout the paper as burdened with troublesome implications) towards stagnated, immutable world view. I will suggest that these mechanisms may be elucidated – to a certain extent - by referring to Karl Weick’s theory of sensemaking. I will also argue that this approach contributes to the explanation of certain phenomena which can be observed in such organizations, many of which are very conservative, immutable structures. Accepting the heritage of conclusions drawn by Michael Pratt in his seminal article (Pratt, 2000), I supplement his approach by adding the results from my own empirical study. I will further use them to demonstrate the inadequacy of introducing a spiritual world view into the organizational environment from a theoretical and practical perspective. Finally, it will be argued that modern organizations are not securing conditions for the successful introduction of widely understood spiritual concepts.
Freidrich Nietzsche has declared an ‘excess of history.’ History is not being crafted for the purpose of life. Nietzsche posits three kinds of history: antiquarian (excessive concern for the past as just trivia about heroes), monumental (emerging history of becoming that is being stifled), and need for critical history (a resistance to antiquarian that can degenerate into skepticism and cynicism). My purpose is to develop the three modes of past into a critique of retrospective narrative and point to its antithesis, living story of becoming. Organizations suffer from an excess of retrospective narrative history. The antidote is a methodology we at STORI are calling ‘story noticing.’
The advent of globalization has resulted in extensive global economic opportunities for many countries around the world. Most countries, fueled by the desire for survival and the spectacle of historical excess, accept various plans, programs and agreements available for trade and economic improvement. The cycle of working through the same processes of signing agreements and paying back loans continues for developing countries, such as the countries making up the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), even as their economic situation remains the same or hardly improves. Since the objective is survival, the outcomes indicate a need for evaluation of the benefits and consequences of this excess history. This article presents the struggle for survival experienced by the countries making up the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM). Through an analysis of historical excess we present the impact of the assistance on the struggle of CARICOM countries to survive. Nietzsche’s critical species of history is used to re-situate and re-story the history of survival for these countries.
Different frameworks guide our research. In this edition we are interested to see how the methodology of discourse analysis is useful for shaping policy in the context of refugees, and we have included work from a variety of researchers all of whom engage with discourses in the context of refugees. A sub-theme of this issue emanates from our collective experiences working in a broad range of disciplines, many of which have relied upon qualitative data collection and in turn the analysis of narrative. Narrative data and discourse analysis are two different, though interrelated, approaches that are commonly used in the social sciences, but often they are either confused or have little or no impact at the policy level. While this paper focuses on the issue of discourse analysis, other papers within the issue concentrate on the use of narrative in constructing meaning and recording the experiences of refugees in Western nations. It is important that readers are aware of both discourse analysis and narrative in terms of refugee studies.
This paper contends that knowledge-making is a political act. In reflecting on the nature of personal narrative and its uses for refugee research, three insights emerge: first, just as the personal is political, so too, the political is personal; next, any storytelling is political in its attention to audience, and is inflected by the discourses available at the time; and finally, researchers must understand that if storying is to grapple with the richness and complexity of lived experience, it will probably be chaotic and messy, as well as clear and straightforward. Researchers wanting to investigate the sociology of refugee experiences might be well advised to ensure that the stories they gather from research participants are not too neat, too straightforward, too much reduced to bare essentials in their telling, lest the chance to allow the stories to become personally and politically resonant be lost. Further, researchers who are conscious of the political resonance of narrative are advised to ensure that they draw attention to the narrative element embedded in their research reports and papers by finding ways to communicate the narratives directly to the commissioning policy makers and politicians through verbal and pictorial seminar presentations, as well as through the reports themselves. These insights have implications for research processes (the gathering and analysis of data) and for the presentation and writing up of research documents.
Analyzing discourses is potentially a very powerful method for social research, and any such analysis should have a powerful voice, but to be truly powerful it must be able to have something to contribute towards policy. In this paper I reflect on discourse analysis broadly and how it might engage policy makers more fully. The paper suggests why policy-makers in Western nations might not listen to, or resist the demonstration of how discursive forces shape their experiences and indeed their understanding of the plight of refugees. This problem can be traced to Western society’s reliance on a discourse of modernism which conflicts with policy-makers need to critically examine issues of inclusion, racism and integration as a result of large refugee intakes. As analysts we need to make sure we too move to something postmodern, and rather than a broad attack on policy-makers we need to find a way to engage new inclusive discourses to unpack discursive instances in local settings in a collaborative fashion and allow a space for policy-makers to not only read and act on the discursive research findings, but engage in the very tenets of social ‘constructionism’.
This paper is based on an evaluation of a Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Youth Sport, Recreation and Leisure Project conducted in Perth, Western Australia by researchers from Edith Cowan University on behalf of the Department of Sport and Recreation (DSR). The purpose of the Cultural and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) Youth Sport, Recreation and Leisure Project which was facilitated by the City of Stirling (CoS Project) was to develop links between mainstream sport and recreation organisations, clubs and facilities in the CoS and young people from CaLD backgrounds. The authors of this paper were contracted by DSR to evaluate the Project over a two year period (2007-2008) in a two phase outcome evaluation. The purpose of the evaluation was to document the extent to which the Project had achieved its intended outcomes; to document barriers to the achievement of outcomes and; to document whether, and how, barriers to achievement of outcomes have been overcome. The primary target group is young people from CaLD backgrounds from new and emerging communities, particularly African young people as they dominated the refugee intake to the CoS (between 2001-2009). The paper provides new and useful insights into the resettlement needs and issues facing not only refugees in general, but young refugees and the ways in which sport, in the host country, may or may not facilitate the integration process. We use the term African with caution in this paper and understand it incorporates many nations; however it is used in the paper for a reference point. This paper is based on the final report submitted to DSR in May 2009, titled Evaluation of The City of Stirling CALD Youth Sport and Recreation Project. The basis of this paper’s structure and conclusions are based on this report.
The increasing emphasis placed on evidence-based policy in government and community organisations presents some interesting challenges and potential opportunities in the area of immigration research. Policy in this area, perhaps more so than any other, has been influenced by various public discourses that to a considerable extent have been devoid of an evidencebase. The area is therefore ripe territory for academics to construct a more critically oriented approach to evidence-based policy that aims for greater transparency and justification grounded in research findings. This paper outlines how evidence-based research an move beyond being research for policies to being research of policies through critically evaluating immigration and resettlement policies in terms of their objectives, relevance and effectiveness through the lens of program evaluation. The case of the Australian government’s cultural integration program for refugee settlers will be examined, with the lessons learned from a program that attempted to link Muslim youth to community sporting clubs being discussed in relation to the critical approach outlined.
Antonio Guterres (2008), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) characterized the twenty-first century as one of mass movements of people, within and beyond their borders, escaping conflicts and upheavals. War and human rights violations propel millions of people beyond their borders searching for safety. Climate change, environmental degradation, and economic instability prompt many to search for better life opportunities. Attempts by governments to devise policies to pre-empt, direct, manage, prevent these movements have been erratic. Australia, for example has implemented a series of laws to control movement of asylum seekers, prevent their access to Australia, while choosing a quota driven number of people from refugee camps. Uniquely in the developed world Australia ignores international human rights laws and puts all asylum seekers in mandatory detention. Some countries claim ethnic or religious conflict, national security, or upsetting the population balance due to lack of tolerance among citizens. Politicians appear to believe that being tough on refugees makes their own populations feel more secure. Whatever the reason for nonadmittance, refugees are often denied their internationally recognized human rights forced into desperate lives in refugee camps or in detention centres where they are unable to move, to work, or to enjoy any freedoms.
In an environment where the national government creates deliberate policies to create a blockade and a silence around the stories of uninvited refugees coming to its shores, human rights advocates have a tough time creating conditions to make the stories heard by the policy makers and the general public alike. However, the Australian experience shows that ‘breaking through the sound barrier of silence’ is possible, using creative collaborations with reporters, the tactics of subversion, smart strategies aimed at those setting reporting standards, and through an engagement with the wider audience of human rights advocates around the nation. In this article, five government-created barriers are identified and ingeniously countered.
Refugee and immigrant settlement is situated within a context of government policy and practice, as well as a receiving or ‘host’ community. Traditionally these factors have been isolated, in policy and research, such that much attention has been devoted to the study of refugee and migrant ‘adjustment’ with relatively less attention to how this is influenced by the attitudes and expectations of members of the host community. Moreover, governments’ policies have focused on programs to assist refugees and migrants in their transition to a new community, but have neglected the needs of host community members in the acculturation process. This has served to further marginalise migrant and refugee communities within the Australian context, and has failed to recognise the reciprocal and dynamic nature of intergroup relations. In this paper I discuss these limitations in the context of an interactive acculturation framework, with particular emphasis on research that examines host community perspectives on refugee and immigrant settlement; the discourse of the dominant.
Learners of English as a Second Language (ESL) in Australia appear to suffer from impoverished understandings of first and second language acquisition. In the name of accountability they are also caught up in arguable procedures for assessing literacy in classrooms widely characterised by linguistic, social and cultural diversity. Further, an alleged ‘Literacy Crisis’ exacerbates the facile model of literacy presented in policy. An examination of discourse in language and literacy policies suggests that a focus on ‘teaching the basics’ maintains existing distributions of power and knowledge within society. A regime of testing primarily aimed at accountability ultimately subjects education to market forces. Reporting the results of mass testing inevitably leads to comparison between schools, and hence enacts key doctrines of neo-liberalism: competition and individual choice. Neither of these doctrines serves indigenous Australians or immigrant and refugee families who are in the process of settling and have little voice. In such a context, is it possible to right policy wrongs and to write language rights into Australian policies that can satisfy the needs of all learners?