Steps to Initiate a Cultural Change in an Organization Research Paper

  • Length: 6 pages
  • Sources: 6
  • Subject: Government
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #37227499

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Cultural Change Within an Organization

The concept of culture, adopted from the Anthropology field has many definitions depending upon the perspective is defined from. Shafritz and Ott (1992) write that there are many meanings applied to culture and "when the term 'culture' is paired with the term 'organization' resulting is a "conceptual and semantic confusion." p. 492 Networks within the organization are not of the future indeed, for networking within organizational structure is the reality of right now or as stated by Linpnack and Stamps (1994) and cited by Agranaoff (2006) "the age of the network" has arrived. In fact, stated is the fact that networks are even supplanting the traditional hierarchy and markets. (paraphrased: Powell, 1990 cited By Agranaoff, 2006) and public managers "are enmeshed in a series of collaborative horizontal and vertical networks (Agranaoff and McGuire, 2003) and finally it is stated by Agranaoff who cites O'Toole (1997) is the fact that in today's world public administration should treat networks as being a very serious entity to contend with.

I. Networks Defined

Networks are defined in the work of Agranaoff (2006) first by stating that the definition must fit the activity of: "...cooperation or mutual action without being so broad that it encompasses every human connection." The issues raised in the work of Agranaoff are based on a study of the operations of 14 public management networks in the central states. inclusive of federal, state, regional and local government officials and nongovernmental managers -- that is, officers from nonprofits, for-profits, universities, and other organizations," (Ibid) therefore, it can be understood as defined by Agranaoff and McGuire (2003) that networks are: "...the process of facilitating and operating in multi-organizational arrangements to solve problems that cannot be solved, or solved easily, by single organizations" (2003, p.4)

II. Civic Engagement

The work of Terry L. Cooper; Thomas A. Bryer; and Jack W. Meek entitled: "Citizen-Centered Collaborative Public Management" published in the Public Administration Review in December 2006 it is stated that in this work they "adopt definitions of civic engagement and collaborative public management that are centered on the citizen and the potential for active citizenship." Presented in this work are five conceptual models of the approach of civic engagement that enhance "...citizen-centered collaborative public management." (Ibid) Cooper, Bryer and Meek stated the "marked shift" that has occurred in interest and emphasis of "civic engagement...over the past half century." (2006. p 76) Pointed out is that findings of research points to:."..a loss of social capital (Putnam 1995) and a decline in trust of government (Nye, Zelikow, and King 1997). Because of this Cooper Bryer and Meek state that the gaining of knowledge of the role of civic engagement as a central component of a vital American democracy..." is a critically important and necessary pursuit. The earliest Puritan communities were organized through use of covenants, which were the provision for self-governance (Ibid p. 76; 2006). The town meeting is that which characterized colonial America...although it was in different sections of the country. Another form was that characterized by antifederalist Jeffersonian tradition and its voluntary associations. (Cooper, 1991; as cited by Cooper, Bryer, and Meek 2006 p. 77) Progressive reforms are believed to have changed the traditional civic engagement and are stated to have "began the pivotal process of transforming the administrative arms of government around the norms of professionalism, efficiency, scientific management and administrative management." Further stated is that the Progressives furthermore brought about reforms to the electoral process that established the referendum, recall, and initiative in many states...[resulting in] "creation of more but limited opportunities for citizens to influence the electoral process." (2006 p. 78) Struggles of many kind have ensued however toward the last of the years of the decade of the 1980s a voice was heard that referred to "governance" as being,,," differentiated from government."(Cooper Bryer and Meek, 2006) Governance is defined as interactive negotiation and collaboration among government, business and non-profit sectors" (Ibid).

III. Six Required Variables

The work of Cooper, Bryer, and Meek states that six variables are required in order to achieve a "well-functioning citizen-centered collaborative public management" and those variables are stated to be: (1) government trust in citizens; (2) citizen efficacy, (3) citizen trust in government; (4) citizen competence; (5) government responsiveness; and (6) government legitimacy.

IV. Five Approaches to Civic Engagement

Adversarial' approaches are one approach that is stated to be: " civic engagement" and one that "...employs processes and efforts that seek collective or individual forms of adversarial action to achieve desired community or societal ends." (Ibid) Second, are the 'Electoral' approaches inclusive of actions of voting, running for public office, volunteering for an issue or candidate, contributions, and participating in rallies in support or against specific candidates or issues. The third approach is the "Legislative and Administrative Information Exchange" approach. This approach is "associated with the legislative and administrative hearing" and is a tool seldom realized in effecting either engagement or education of citizenry. Furthermore, this method is limited due to the meeting site being too small allowing only a very small attendance. Harter (1997) is cited as having described the failure in this type of governance because of the limitation of the consensus allowed as a decision outside of the administrations own "self-interest and expertise" is to be feared. (Cooper, Bryer and Meek, 2006; paraphrased) Fourth is the 'Civil Society' approach stated to be one that allows citizens to interact with politicians or public administrators in the interest of affecting policy or politics."(Ibid) The Fifth Approach is stated of Cooper, Bryer and Meek (2006) to be that of the "Deliberative" approach which are those that seek to "create a universal 'us' Mansbridge 1983)." (Cooper, Bryer, and Meek, 2006) Stated to be an example of the 'Deliberative' approach is the model that is collaborative in nature. This is the model characterized by the "National Issues Forum (NIF) that effectively creates a "public dialogue on issues of importance to counter the sound-bite politics that dominate contemporary political discourse (Matthews 1999)" (Ibid) Positives outcomes have been stated in terms of "citizen efficacy and self-actualization, enhanced citizen knowledge, skills, and competency. NIF used as a pedagogical tool has been found to: (1)(enhance student knowledge about citizenship; (2) develop new civic skills; assist in the adoption of new attitudes consistent with ideals for active citizenship; students found to be more competent and open-minded in dealing with a policy issue than those not participating in NIF classrooms. (Doble and Peng, 1999) (Cooper, Bryer and Meek, 2006 paraphrased) Cooper, Bryer and Meek (2006) state that there are "five dimensions of civic engagement" which are those as follows: (1) Who is Involved? (2)Who initiatives civic engagement? (3) Why are citizens involved? (4) How are citizens involved? And (5) Where does the engagement take place?

V. Ten Lessons Learned from a Large Study of Public Networks

Agranaoff states that ten lessons derived from a large study of public networks and furthermore that the lessons were derived as well from: "...empirically...grounded-theory methodology (Strauss and Corbin 1988)" (2006) The ten lessons are stated to be:

1) "The network is not the only vehicle of collaborative management;

2) Managers continue to do the build of their work within the hierarchy;

3) Network involvement brings several advantages that keep busy administrators involved;

4) Networks are different from organizations but not completely different;

5) Not all networks make the types of policy and program adjustments ascribed to them in the literature;

6) Collaborative decisions are the products of a particular type of mutual learning and adjustment;

7) The most distinctive collaborative activity of all the networks provided to be their work in public sector knowledge management;

8) Despite the cooperative spirit and aura of accommodation in collaborative efforts, networks are not without conflicts and power issues;

9) Net works have their collaborative costs as…

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