24 Chapters
Medium 9781855758162

CHAPTER SIX: Institutional abuse: caught between professional vocation and system's efficiency

Karnac Books ePub

Eduardo Acuña and Matías Sanfuentes

Introduction

This chapter analyses the working conditions at a public health geriatric hospital and the distress caused by such conditions to the professionals working there. Such dissatisfaction stems from the abuse of power perceived by health professionals at the hospital and in the Chilean public health system in general. The latter, guided by the principle of maximizing efficiency in health care, imposes a labour regime that dehumanizes and impoverishes working relations. Abuse has devastating effects on mental health, as it causes persistent suffering in workers, fear of the competition existent at the workplace, unhappiness originated by eventual unemployment, and the overall abusive treatment and injustices. Abuse has the peculiarity of subduing health care workers to a collective state of resignation with respect to a hospital's labour conditions and the suffering that emerges from them. Individuals feel they are subjected to overwhelming dynamics that override their capacity to resist and emancipate with a view to changing this situation. Professionals consider that abuse in hospitals is the institutional expression of how public health is practiced in Chile, with the underlying assumption that workers are disciplined in an official, systematic, anonymous, and authoritarian way in order to achieve organizational efficiency.

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Medium 9781855758162

CHAPTER TWO: Tolerating discrimination: discriminating tolerance

Karnac Books ePub

Farhad Dalal

The problem

Over the past few decades, large sums of money and much time and effort have been dedicated to the task of dismantling the structures and processes of inequality. And, although many changes in society have indeed come about because of these efforts, it is also the case that, to a large degree, racism, sexism, and the like continue to flourish. For example, recent statistics show that, despite these enormous efforts, pay differentials between men and women have actually widened in the last few years. Other sets of official statistics show that in the five years from 2004–2009 there has been a 70% increase in the numbers of Black and Asians stopped and searched on the streets of Great Britain. At the same time public, private, and voluntary bodies publish “Race Equality Schemes” and make proud public pronouncements in Equal Opportunity statements that they subscribe to the values of inclusivity, non-discriminatory practice, and so forth. There is quite a gap between what institutions say they are doing and what is actually happening.

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Medium 9781855758162

CHAPTER EIGHT: Reflective citizenship: an organizational perspective

Karnac Books ePub

James Krantz

Introduction

My goal is to explore questions of citizenship from an organizational perspective. Of the multiple roles people carry in their organizations, three prominent roles have been evolving dramatically in character and importance as we shift into the digital age. These are the work role, the role of organization citizen, and the professional role. While it is well recognized that the professional role has become an increasingly important source of sentience, identity, and affiliation, it is the other two that are at the centre of this chapter—the work role and that of organization citizen. My central proposition is that organizational citizenship is becoming an increasingly important element of relatedness to the enterprise for two reasons. One is that the work role is diminishing in importance, given the evolving nature of work organizations. The other is that the organizational citizen role links people dynamically with the political realm in organizations, which is increasingly important in globalized, highly diverse organizations.

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Medium 9781855754416

7. A Large-System Intervention: The Influence of Organisational Culture

Laurence J Gould Karnac Books ePub

7

LIONEL F. STAPLEY

The aims of this chapter are to examine the influence of organisational culture; to identify some of the problems that it creates for those working in organisations; and to demonstrate a practical means of analysing this elusive phenomenon. The approach taken will be to outline the theory and then apply it to a large-system intervention in a health-care organisation as a means of showing how that knowledge can be helpful—even essential—in providing the desired understanding necessary to guide our consultation efforts.

Whenever we think of large-system interventions it inevitably means not only looking at the way that individuals and groups relate to each other, but more especially the way they relate to the organisation itself. It also requires an understanding of the way that processes in society affect the dynamics of the organisation. Part of our analysis must, therefore, be concerned with the prickly and troublesome problems associated with organisational culture.

Organisational culture has a significant influence on the dynamics of an organisation, and it is well-recognised and accepted that any change within an organisation will be affected by the organisational culture. Ignorance of the organisational culture or, worse still, attempts to deliberately work against it will render change exceedingly difficult and perhaps impossible. And, even where we are not seeking to influence the organisational culture per se, it will still be important that we understand and work with the culture if we are to have the best possible chance of achieving desired change. This is more especially the case when it comes to large-system interventions where the organisational culture will have a considerable impact on the dynamics under review.

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Medium 9781855759794

1: “The 'Leicester' model” revisited

Karnac Books ePub

Eric J. Miller

The “Leicester conference” is an intensive two-week residential event devoted to experiential learning about group and organizational behaviour. Its purpose is educational. The first conference in 1957 was a collaborative venture of the Tavistock Institute and Leicester University, where it had strong support from the professors of adult education and sociology. That joint sponsorship continued for several years, until their retirement. Since that beginning, the conference has been held once and sometimes twice a year, and with two or three early exceptions it has always been at Leicester—hence the label.

In the first conference (Trist R Sofer, 1959) the only experiential event was the “study group” of about 12 members with a consultant; the rest of the programme was made up of lectures, seminars, and visits to organizations. The year 1959 brought the addition of an intergroup exercise (Higgin R Bridger, 1964), in which I was a rather bewildered consultant attending my first conference. This was followed in the early 1960s by the large group and a second version of this inter-group which involved the “here-and-now” study of relations between the membership and staff (Rice, 1965). Lectures were phased out; apart from review and application groups, all events were experiential. By the end of the 1960s the “Leicester model” of today was becoming crystallized; innovations since have been minor or temporary. By then, too, the model was being disseminated, particularly in the United States. These were shorter conferences—typically a week, or even just a weekend. Leicester itself remained (and remains) the only two-week conference, bringing together an increasingly international membership of, usually, 50–70 people drawn from a wide range of occupations, with a similarly diverse group of around 12 staff.

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