Standardizing Civil Society : Interpreting Organizational Development in the Tension Between Instrumentalism and Expressivism

University dissertation from Stockholm : Santérus Academic Press

Abstract: This book focuses on empirical phenomenon of organizational development, which seems to be trusted as the solution to many problems in civil society and the key to ‘the good society’. But can organizational development fulfil such expectations?As civil society becomes increasingly prominent in local struggles, national debates, and international politics, scholars are paying attention to how it should be promoted and developed. One approach deployed to foster a vibrant civil society is organizational development. In addition to improved project and organizational performance, it is believed that more and better organizing will promote desirable qualities inherent in civil society and therefore the development of a good society.In this book the author questions if organizational development within civil society can fulfil such expectations. Drawing on institutional theory and studies of cooperation among trade unions, faith-based organizations, and organizations of people with disabilities, he argues that organizational development of civil society organizations was never meant for implementa- tion. Instead it serves more as a legitimacy device for the involved actors in addition to protecting organizational praxis from conflicting internal and external demands. 

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