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Narrow management: The quest for unity in diversity : a study of resource dependence and institutionalisation in nonprofit organisations : the case of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
1998 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall purpose of this study is to identify some of the problems facing management when the activities in an organisation are to be integrated as a unified whole, but when the work itself is beingsupported by a variety of external organisations with different interests and identities. The study focuses particularly on the role of central management and its ability to manage the work according to an overall purpose and common organisational identity. The traditional assumption may be that constraints in this connection emanate from internal "goal incongruences" as between management and sub-units, or from the problem of "infusing" the organisational system with a value. In a similar vein popular management books may emphasise the crucial role of the top leadership in creating "fit" or even "conflicts" between different internal units, in order to achieve dynamic growth and progress.

The present study adopts a somewhat different perspective. It shows how internal problems of integration may also emanate from the macro-institutional resource environment. This situation can be particularly problematic for non-profit organisations receiving support from different donors and operating in social and cultural contexts which perhaps differ greatly from modern institutional environments.

The problematic issues are identified here in theoretical terms by reference primarily to new institutional studies of organisational analysis. It is argued, for instance, that institutionalisation has its roots in the pressure to acquire external resources, the belief in rationality and the general drive for modernisation in society. This means that organisational structures and processes are adoptedfrom an external environment rather than being developed on a basis of the organisation's own policies or the local realities. Drawing on religious sociology, a typical differentiation between "sacred and profane" aspects is identified, and a certain "internal secularisation" is noted, both of which can cause integration problems in religious organisations.

The problems raised by these and other studies are illustrated by a case study of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church, Mekane Yesus. The results of the study suggest that the problem of integrating work can generally be described in terms of a "narrow" management mode, imposed by the pressure to obtain financial support from different partners and by a focus on a variety of projects and a modern development, rather than by rationalities based on the overall purpose and identity of the organisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1998. , xv, [1], 232, [4] p.
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 75
Keyword [en]
Business studies
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-1158ISBN: 99-2772320-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-1158DiVA: diva2:160708
Public defence
1998-12-11, hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Uppsala, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 1998-11-20 Created: 1998-11-20Bibliographically approved

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