v rge-scale change at the institutional level is built on four major foundations: change theory, institutional theory, organizational culture and leadership, and contextual discourse and rhetorical persuasion. Thomas Paine's writings, a provocative stimulus for the new United States of America during its revolutionary crisis, employed all four of these in creating the nation's new “story.” In this case, the institution is the pre-Revolutionary concept of governance and the change, driven by multiple forces, is the breaking away of the 13 colonies from England. Paine's powerful pamphlet, “Common Sense”, as well as his other writings, reflected his rhetorical expertise and served as a cognitive foundation upon which the fledgling nation could build its new script and create new processes of institutional governance. As any good storyteller does, Paine engaged his readers in a conversation that allowed them to construct an organizational reality that articulated their collective identity. He was the change agent whose interventions helped with the birth of a new nation. One Paine biographer (Kaye, 2005) argues that Paine's “rhetorical patterns” helped to create the “vision of America as a nation gifted with a special mission” and are still quoted by Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians alike without apology (Ferguson, 2000).
Traditional structural-functional approaches to organizational change, as well as critics of those approaches, often offer overly structured and rationalised views of how change occurs. This paper attempts to build upon processual studies of change and critiques of overly hegemonic views of managerial control by seeking to capture the complex, emotive and fluid character of organisational 'changing'. In pursuit of this aim, the paper documents these characteristics of change through a personalised ethnography of a micro-incident -- a critical change meeting -- in an Australian steel making plant undergoing cultural change. In conclusion, it is argued that even the more sophisticated studies of the emergent process-like character of organisational change fail to fully capture the ambiguous, ironic, emotional, and uncertain character of events in the 'blender' of change.
This paper is a generalized discussion related to the nature and implications time, story and organizational culture play in corporate decision-making, CEO selection; treatment of long-term employees; the change process and the language used to present andpromote the corporation. The paperprovides a beginning point for revisiting how unrecognized (societal and individual) assumptions affect choice and decision-making. Practically, the paper also provides a starting point for organizations to self assess their external and internal approaches and whether they align superficially or whether the mission and vision are lived in mundane daily activities. The paper is based on qualitative, experiential and anecdotal evidence gathered by the author.
From 'the learning organization', through creating cultures of fun and play, to commissioning beautifully designed office spaces, many contemporary organizations are trying to tap into the aesthetic sensibilities of their employees by building an organizational 'experience' that is conducive to aesthetic expression in order to unleash the power of their collective, creative, artistic, unconscious. Drawing on psychoanalytical theory and primary, qualitative data, we offer a counter argument, highlighting the contested nature of the unconscious; therefore calling into question precisely what is being 'unleashed' during these processes of creativity. Additionally, we will postulate that the role of skill, ability and craft expertise is at least as important as aesthetic expression. Finally, adopting an object relations perspective, we will argue that the enactment of creative expression is frequently suffused with anxiety - either necessitating the existence of a facilitating environment which assists the individual or group to operate from the depressive position (often the location of creative, synergistic space).
This paper takes up the themes of organization as dreamscape, the psychodynamics of everyday organizational performance and organizational rituals and the enactment of death and desire in the context of a longitudinal case study of an academic institution. This case study focuses on the various ways in which the organization has developed and continues to develop neurotic and dysfunctional tendencies. It looks at the ways in which those tendencies are expressed in the culture and structure of the organization and the ways in which the various constituencies of the college are complicit in the enactment of the neurosis of its leadership, as reflected in various dependent and counterdependent dynamics and performances. Of specific interest in this paper are the changes in neurotic patterns over time and the ways in which these changes relate to the changes in leadership. Using Kets de Vries' concepts related to organizational neurosis, we will discuss how the college moved from a compulsive organization to a dramatic organization.
It is customary to promiscuously interconnect the well-established methodological conception of sociological reflexivity to multi-level metatheoretical analyses, representational tactics and strategies, self-conscious knowledge-production processes and, in general, epistemological questions and answers. However, Western reflexive thinking about culture, rationality, and scientific knowledge often tends to (somehow) reproduce the self-assured “one epistemological size fits all” standpoint of Eurocentrism, to arrogantly exclude alternative post-colonial theorizations and to implicitly ignore the irreducibility of the “ethical dimension”. The “reinvention” of this crucial dimension, within contemporary sociology and critical organizational research, entails the substantial incorporation of the “weak” performative circular reasoning as well as a new reflexive ethos and aesthetic of scientific modesty. The issue here is indeed the fruitful pluralist maximization of both ethical and cognitive possibilities. In this respect, the innovative “it could be otherwise” clause of radical intellectual inquiry remains central to our inter-disciplinary world- and self-accounts.
Discrimination in the work place based on gender has been the subject of various studies; however, these studied have not discussed the possibility of the existence of superimposed psychographic characteristics, which could weaken or strengthen this practice of discrimination. The research presented here, enlightened by the ontological premise of post-modern criticism, seeks to verify whether the discrimination of the female gender in the work place is an isolated social phenomenon or if it is intertwined with other types of discrimination. To this end, a field study took place from March, 2006 to July, 2008, in public and private companies. Thirty-three women and thirty-seven men of various ages, ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations were interviewed. The reports were transcribed and underwent discourse analysis. The field study revealed that: (a) women are, in fact, submitted to discriminatory practices in the work place, such practices which are not rarely hidden under a mask of humor and informality; (b) in spite of their macho attitudes and comments, the men who commit them don’t perceive them as such; (c) Brazilian national culture prevails over organizational cultures; (d) gender cannot be treated as a fixed category since questions of esthetics, ethnic backgrounds, social class and sexual orientation accentuate the discrimination, and, finally; (e) contrary to what happens with blacks, ugly people, and homosexuals, towards whom discrimination is lighter when they occupy a more favorable social position or hierarchy, the same does not happen with women.
Authentic leadership appears as the solution to plenty of painful contemporary problems. Bad economy, bad organizational performance, bad culture would all become subject to change for the better if leaders behave more authentically, according to the line of discussion. However, the debate seems to stand on poor feet, since some core assumptions don’t stand a closer viability check. This paper highlights two core problems in the foundations of the authenticity debate such as the belief in a stable core self and the trust in a homogenous organization. The paper demonstrates not only the fragmented and narrative constitution of self and organization, we show furthermore to which hidden problem the authenticity debate refers; to which the sheer existence of the debate is already a solution. It is complexity avoidance that the authenticity debate provides. It helps to re-install the myth of the influential leader in a situation, in which the opposite has become apparent.
This paper sets out to analyse the concept of a broad multi-paradigmatic approach, combining different cognitive perspectives, drawn from the social sciences and the humanities. It presents various issues of organizational culture: critics of functionalism in organizational culture concepts, interpretativist approach to organizational culture, critical perspective of organizational culture, organizational culture management methods (comparison of fundamentalism, pluralism, eclecticism, and methodological anarchy). The theory of culture in management and the attempt at presenting ways of studying its changes presented in this paper indicate that there are multiple diverse concepts. The complexity of the theory is a derivative of the problems related to the notion of culture. The multiplicity of concepts results from the fact that researchers assume different paradigms.
Habitus, whether it is labeled as such or as managerial/organizational socialization or culture, acts as the principle means of control among white collar professional workers within organizations. Others have argued that the principle task of the business school curriculum is to instill anticipatory socialization of trans-organizational regimes in traditional age undergraduate students. This paper takes a Bourdieusian perspective on both the issues of governmentality and the inculcation of appropriate habitus in traditional age undergraduates, and examines in particular how that part of the undergraduate curriculum that consists of textbooks, lectures and management case studies focus on one particular element of this general managerial habitus, specifically, the inculcation of a new linguistic habitus that both shapes how these proto-managers both speak about and begin to view the world.