• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17
  18. 18
    18
  19. 19
    19
  20. 20
    20
  21. 21
    21
  22. 22
    22
  23. 23
    23
  24. 24
    24
  25. 25
    25
  26. 26
    26
  27. 27
    27
  28. 28
    28
  29. 29
    29
  30. 30
    30
  31. 31
    31
  32. 32
    32
  33. 33
    33
  34. 34
    34
  35. 35
    35
  36. 36
    36
  37. 37
    37
  38. 38
    38
  39. 39
    39
  40. 40
    40
  41. 41
    41
  42. 42
    42

Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons Joseph LaPalombara Wolfers Professor of Political Science and Management School of Management Yale University A chapter for the "Process of Organizational Learning" section of the Handbook of Organizational Learning, ed. Meinolf Dierkes, A. Berthoin Antal, J. Child & I. Nonaka. Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming. DRAFT: Please do not cite without author's permission. Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons Joseph LaPalombara Yale University Political Organizations and Their Milieu Organizational learning derives most of its knowledge from research on organizations in the private sector, particularly from the study of the firm. Its rich interdisciplinary quality is reflected in the range of social sciences that have contributed to the field's robust development. The contribution from political science, however, has been minimal (reasons are suggested in the chapter on 'politics' by LaPalombara in this volume). The mutual failure of political scientists to pay more systematic attention to organizational learning and of organizational learning specialists to extend their inquiries into the public/political sphere is unfortunate in at least three senses. First, a general theory of organizational learning is unlikely to emerge unless and until what is claimed to be known about this phenomenon is shown to be the case (or not) in the public/political sphere as well. Second, sufficient evidence in political science-even if not gathered with organizational learning as the central focus-shows that organizations in the public/political sector do differ in significant ways from those in the private sphere. And third, considerations of power and its exercise are so ubiquitous in public/political-sector organizations, indeed they are so central to an understanding of these bodies, that one wonders why such meager attention has been paid to this concept in the literature on organizational theory and organizational learning. The present chapter is intended to show that the integration of political science into the field of organizational learning will be improved and that knowledge about organizational learning itself will be deepened if increased attention is ...read more.

Middle

The search is broadened as well as intensified in order to identify aspects of the environment that might impinge on corporate success. The quality of intelligence relevant to business operations at home and abroad is improved, as is the knowledge about the location and means of access to points in the decision-making process that relate to public policies affecting the foreign investor. A keen sense that each environment has its unique aspects as well as dimensions that are general to any environment impels the firm to sharpen its analytical instruments and thereby try to improve its learning. Efforts to create a total quality system come to include not just the production, distribution, and servicing of a firm's products but also the firm's ability to recognize power and power struggles for what they are and to attune its learning methods to profit from this new capability. Types of Power Distributions and Equilibria Although power equilibria are never permanent, they tend to last for a long time. The reform of governmental bodies tends to be greatly resisted because, even when reforms are relatively mild, they threaten existing equilibria (Seidman 1977). As a rule, unless quick and deep change is the goal, it is better for an organization (inside or outside the public/political sphere) to learn how to operate within an existing equilibrium than to make efforts to change it. Indeed, it is almost axiomatic that, where a radical departure in public policy is intended, creating a new organization is far preferable to seeking achievement of these new goals through the existing system (Levin and Sanger 1994: 172-3). Events of this kind, though rare, provide highly fluid opportunities to achieve first-mover advantages as new networks and a new equilibrium are established. In this regard, it makes a difference whether the overall configuration of the political system is monocratic or pluralist, unitary or federal, highly centralized or characterized by broad delegation or devolution of powers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Other subfields, such as political parties and interest groups, should also be on this future research agenda. This is simply not enough systematic knowledge about the kinds of things these organizations learn, about whether or not such learning proceeds in a self-conscious way, and about the uses to which such knowledge is put. Illumination of any of these dimensions might also be fruitfully utilized by those nations (still growing in number) said to be in transition. They are not necessarily headed toward democracy or, for that matter, toward market economies as they are traditionally understood. If experts can teach these nations something about the economic marketplace and about how the organizations found in the marketplace learn and utilize knowledge, then why not recognize that this effort is both needed and possible in the political sphere as well. Attention to organizational learning will, I believe, also help improve the understanding not only of the emergence and spread in Western politics of the so-called Third Way, but also of the future implications of this momentous change. Adopted by many former left-wing political parties and more or less accepted by a number of key interest groups associated with them, this new departure promises to bring major transformations in the political systems of many countries. This phenomenon would not have spread as it has without a good deal of learning that is centered in organizations. It goes without saying that the particular configuration that the Third Way takes on in each country will be organizationally centered. It will also bring into existence dynamic interactions, some of them perhaps brand new, among the kinds of organizations that are found in the public/political as well as the private spheres. In order to look at these phenomena more systematically than in the past, we should use the concepts and theoretical questions that derive from work in the fields of organizational theory and organizational learning. They encourage more of the cross-fertilization and interdisciplinary knowledge that presumably represents a widely shared ambition. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Compare and contrast the pluralist, elitist and Marxist theories of the state.

    Hence, Bachrach and Baratz's proposed method of identifying non- decisions leaves unspecified a crucial step in the explanation of the exercise of second-dimensional power. Their technique for empirical application of the concept consists firstly in the study of the actual decision-making process within the political arena and the resultant outcomes.

  2. What are the main advantages and limitations of the trait and type approaches to ...

    However, one of the most obvious difficulties with such an approach is that it uses most often as its basic data personality tests with paper and pen. Since the answers are usually so simple, such as "Yes", "No", the questions are difficult to answer in a definite manner, but if the answer spaces are all blanks, there is no test.

  1. This essay is aimed to discuss the meaning of ideology and it different uses ...

    For liberal the belief of the primacy of individual is the characteristic theme and has had important implication for liberal thought. Conservatism aspires for the preservation of the best establishes society, and opposes radical change; a desire to maintain established customs and institutions.

  2. Does the mass media have a direct effect on British Politics?

    more likely to read a newspaper with a similar political outlook to themselves, so the newspaper re-inforces their political views instead of totally shaping them. This theory "claims that the media do not create or mould public opinion, but merely reflect or reinforce it" (Budge & McKay,1993:121).

  1. Compare the views about the nature and development of Carl Rogers and George Kelly. ...

    Kelly proposed 11 corollaries to explain his structure on the nature and development of personality. Some of which include the organisation corollary; the belief that humans create a construct hierarchy which they use to anticipate future events, the dichotomy corollary; a belief that for every construct there has to be

  2. 'Parties do not matter anymore.' Discuss.

    As Martin Wattenberg commented: 'for over four decades the American public has been drifting away from the two major political parties.' The statistics seem to support this; in 1952 for example, 47% of the electorate regarded themselves as either 'strong' or 'weak' Democrats.

  1. Devolved power has all the advantages of unitary systems but none of the disadvantages ...

    One such example of this is in Wisconsin, where the state government introduced vouchers to deal with the public school system. This is also seen in the UK, with numerous examples coming from Scotland (which is the largest and most powerful of the new bodies, having tax-varying powers and primary legislative authority in domestic policy areas)

  2. To what extent is the global system now multipolar?

    The United Nation Security Council has five permanent members who have the power to veto but also have the biggest influence when it comes to resolutions; therefore you could argue that there is great sense of multi-polarity as these five have the most influence and not just one member nation state.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work