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کد مقاله سال انتشار مقاله انگلیسی ترجمه فارسی تعداد کلمات
28954 2000 61 صفحه PDF سفارش دهید 23550 کلمه
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عنوان انگلیسی
The kibbutz for organizational behavior
منبع

Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)

Journal : Research in Organizational Behavior, Volume 22, 2000, Pages 283–343

کلمات کلیدی
- رفتار سازمانی
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پیش نمایش مقاله کیبوتس برای رفتار سازمانی

چکیده انگلیسی

The kibbutz is the equivalent of a laboratory for organization science. Its scope of activities, which includes agricultural and industrial production, the socialization and education of children, management of communal consumption, and national defense, is broader than any other organization. It therefore demonstrates the potential to extend organization to areas of life traditionally governed by other institutions. The kibbutz has also experimented with a number of practices aimed at balancing equality with progress. The success of the kibbutz by paying all participants the same, regularly rotating managers out of their posts, and eschewing hierarchy challenges widely held beliefs about motivation, control and coordination in organizations. Some efforts at equality failed, notably those regarding gender, but even the kibbutz's failures are informative about organizations. We analyze and integrate research on kibbutz structure, practices and external relationships in order to distill lessons for organization behavior.

مقدمه انگلیسی

As much as any twentieth-century organizational form, the kibbutz has captured the imagination and attention of the public and the research community. Countless books, papers and theses in fields such as psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, and education have focused on the kibbutz. Volunteering on a kibbutz has been a rite of passage for tens of thousands of young people, Jews and Gentiles, from around the globe. The political, military, and economic history of Israel has, at least until recently, given a starring role to the kibbutz. Even today, when a common perception is that the kibbutz has been marginalized, the organizational form still receives significant coverage from the world's major newspapers (see, for example, the front-page article in the New York Times, April 18, 1998). Given all of the analysis of this organizational form, the question we address in this chapter is natural: What can be learned from the kibbutz about organizations and behavior within them? Yet, most kibbutz researchers have not only failed to answer this question, but have acted as though it were illegitimate. These researchers, who were often also kibbutz members, have emphasized the idiosyncrasy of kibbutz experience instead of the possibility of generalizing from the kibbutz to other organizational forms. They have characterized the kibbutz as a unique social artifact to be analyzed on its own terms, rather than as a type of organization. In contrast, we take the position that there can be real gains to organization science by thinking about kibbutzim (plural) as 'normal', at least in the sense of demonstrating the operation of some structures, processes and practices, which in different degrees and combinations, are relevant to other organizations. 1 At the same time we try to generalize from the kibbutz to other organizations, we give full recognition to the ways that kibbutzim are different from other organizations. Indeed, it is these differences that account for the public and scholarly interest in kibbutzim, and which create the unusual conditions that make kibbutz experience so valuable as a laboratory for organization science. The fundamental differences between kibbutzim and many other organizations, particularly the American organizations that are the focus of so much organizational research, flow from the utopian-socialist ideology of the kibbutzim. Utopianism fascinates the Western world as a response to the fundamental tension of modernity, that between merit and equality (Ben-Rafael, 1997). Reference to utopia is fed by the common criticism that Western society sacrifices too much equality in the interest of progress. The kibbutz may be the finest example for those who claim a better balance can be struck between equality and progress. Against what is perceived as the natural tendency of communes and collectives towards oligarchy, kibbutzim have maintained a very-high level of direct democracy for decades. The case for the kibbutz is also strong on the criteria of progress. The feasible comparisons show that kibbutzim are more productive than the organizational forms they compete with. The record of kibbutzim for both innovation and adaptation to technological change is good. The evidence for human development is similarly impressive, with kibbutz members being overrepresented in parliament and the elite units of the army, and (in some research) scoring better than the non-kibbutz population of Israel in tests of intellectual ability. For scholars of organization, society's general interest in utopianism should be magnified, because that ideology gives the most prominent role to organizations. In capitalism the primary mechanism of control is the market and in scientific socialism it is the state, but in utopianism, organizations serve this role. New utopians such as Jones (1982) echo the old anarchist model of an institutional structure absent a central government, with cooperative organizations as the bedrock of social order. The kibbutz illustrates this fundamental role of organization: the kibbutz life, from cradle to grave, is the organized life. The influence of kibbutzim on their members has traditionally been 'total' in that the scope of the organization encompasses all aspects of life. The extensiveness of organizational influence on the kibbutz represents part of the unique contribution of kibbutz experience to organizational behavior. We are aware of no other context where there has been so much systematic experimentation with the extension of organization into areas of life traditionally governed by other institutions. Cooking and eating, leisure, childrearing, and even power relations between the sexes have at times been within the scope of these organizations. The scope of organizational influence on the kibbutz shows organizational behavior applied to new tasks, and provides an unusual manipulation of some of the things that affect commitment and identification to the organization. It also provides a fresh look at, for example, work groups. A work group on the kibbutz may consist of members who have known each other all their lives, and who have extensive opportunities for interaction outside of work. Ideology also conditioned the relationships between kibbutzim and their environment. Throughout their history, kibbutzim have operated in a mixed economy, which contained powerful organizational forms representing capitalist and utopian ideologies. As a result, there were competing ideological influences on the participants and potential participants of kibbutzim, and kibbutzim therefore made significant efforts at individual socialization. Their efforts in this regard are informative of the potential of organizations to affect individual ideology. Similarly, ideology was salient in kibbutzim interorganizational relations, with organizations representing rival ideologies often operating to discourage or change kibbutzim, while organizations sympathetic to utopianism operated to help them. These processes had implication for the internal operations of kibbutzim, but also for the dynamics of ideological belief and practice in the wider society. Kibbutz research therefore provides a rare opportunity to see the role of formal organizations in the rise and fall of ideologies. In sum, the public and researchers have found kibbutzim interesting because of their utopian ideology, which has three implications that make kibbutzim fertile ground for discovering certain things about organizations. First, the ideology recommends a set of practices designed to achieve participant equality. These practices demonstrate the organizational effect of extreme levels of features, like job rotation and equal pay, that exist to some extent in many other organizations. Second, the ideology makes organization the preeminent mechanism of social control, extending the scope of organization to new domains and creating organizations that approach completeness in their influence on their members. Third, the ideology was in conflict with others in the relevant environment, creating the variance necessary to identify the role of ideology in organization-environment relationships. The rest of this chapter describes research on the kibbutz and draws conclusions about what that research says about organizations broadly. Reflecting our assertion that there are gains from treating the kibbutz as a 'normal' organization, we structure our review of kibbutz research using an open systems model of the type that will be familiar to all organizational researchers. We begin inside the organization, addressing first the research on kibbutz structure, and then research on kibbutz work. Then we consider the community maintenance issues of kibbutz organization. Finally we move outside the organization to consider kibbutz-environment relationships and then we consider the interdependence of the internal organization and the environment by analyzing the kibbutz experience of organizational change. Before tackling the organizational research on kibbutzim, however, we briefly describe the organizational form and its history.

نتیجه گیری انگلیسی

Recent interpretations of economic history, and the related evaluations of organizational forms, celebrate the triumph of capitalism. The alternative of state socialism seems destined for the junk-heap of failed social experiments. Many commentators seem to have doomed the kibbutz by association. In truth, the kibbutz is in much better condition than contemporary observers admit, but was never as glorious as observers of the past have boasted. The reality is an organizational form that has exhibited notable robustness and adaptiveness in an environment that was turbulent and often hostile. It can claim successes that will evoke envy from the stakeholders of many capitalist-hierarchical organizations. It has generated economic performance better than its alternatives, while achieving difficult political objectives, and maintaining a level of workplace democracy that appears to flaunt the 'iron law' of oligarchy. At the same time it has incurred failures that would appear to its founders to be devastating. Once sacred organizing principles have been sacrificed, principally those of self-labor and gender equality. The socialist society that all of the kibbutz federations pursued has not materialized. To begin to summarize the implications of the kibbutz for organizational behavior, it is useful to think about how the kibbutz model would be received if it was introduced into the contemporary landscape of dominant understandings about organization. What if a consultant proposed to senior management that hierarchical authority be abolished, and that social relations between employees be cultivated as the basis for emergent, normative control? If the founder of a dot-com enterprise explained to a venture capitalist that the organization would pay every participant in the organization the same, that it would give jobs to them as long as they and the organization both lived, and that she herself would soon become the mail clerk thanks to mandatory jobrotation? Or if an MBA student recommended to classmates that the subject-organization of a case study undertake not only to manage its production process according to a set of values that reflect economic and noneconomic goals, but also to directly provide policing for its headquarter city? No doubt these proposals would be met with ridicule. Their advocates would probably be told that it is simply impossible for organizations to do these things while satisfying the material desires of their participants. Yet, the kibbutz has done all of these things and has a good record of providing for participants. What should organizational behavior make of a model which is almost antithetical to our most accepted ideas about how to succeed as an organization, yet succeeds anyway? Our position is that the kibbutz experience should be interpreted for organizational behavior as an expansion of the possible. Yes, the kibbutz demonstrates the feasibility of a novel organizational configuration. But that configuration is not so novel as to be unrelated to other organizations. Instead, the kibbutz shows us what to expect when we push at the edges of familiar organizations - more integration between social and economic interests of participants; more democracy; more emphasis on the intrinsic value of work; more reliance on the collective good as a an internalized value and as a basis for social sanctions. In closer detail, we divide the lessons from the kibbutz into three sets. The first two mirror our common categoroziation of influences on organizational behavior and performance as intra-organizational configurations or inter-organizational relations. The third points to ideology as a previously under-emphasized influence on organizations. As to internal organization, the kibbutz demonstrates the feasibility of a control system that is decentralized and reliant on social control. This is in stark contrast to the pervasive hierarchical model. Whether social control is more or less satisfying to its subjects is an open question, but there can be no doubt that social control is very powerful. Often, we are more influenced by the approval of our peers than by the coercion of organizations (Nee & Ingram, 1998). Some capitalist organizations have stumbled across the benefits of social control, but there is little in the way of systematic advice to managers about how to use social control effectively. (Ineffective use of social control is fairly common, for example, at Levi Strauss, where group incentives resulted in the brutalization of under-performing group members [King, 1998].) Beyond demonstrating the power of social control, the kibbutz illustrates the complete system of components necessary for it to fluorish. To begin with, there is a close coupling between the work and non-work spheres on the kibbutz. This creates cohesion which gives social sanctions their teeth. A worker that shirks in the field must face her coworkers over the dinner table. Social control on the kibbutz also relies on a socialization system that promotes collective values. These values go a long way to promoting cooperation, as indicated by the superior performance of kibbutz children in games that reward collective action. The socialization mechanisms used to produce these collective values are also notable. These mechansims are sufficiently powerful as to produce behavior that would be called 'irrational' by those who expect individuals to maximize individual utility. 7 The final component of the internal configuration of the kibbutz is workplace democracy. Again, the processes by which the kibbutz produces and maintains democracy are interesting in the face of pressures to oligarchy. Workplace democracy produces commmitment to the organization. Associated practices such as job rotation produce more expert and satisfied workers. At the interorganizational level, the kibbutz storey is again one of collective action, as federations achieve ends that no lone organization could. The federations illustrate a broad pattern of interorganizational mutualism, with help and sharing of resources occurring across most aspects of economic, political and social life. This mutualism produces results, such as interorganizational learning, that are ellusive goals for many organizations in Western economies. The success of the federations indicates something about the glue that secures interorganizational relations. The thick ties between kibbutzim in a federation produce a level of interdependence which is used to encourage individual kibbutzim to contribute to collective efforts of the federation (just as social relations within the kibbutz are used to encourage members to adhere to group norms). The performance of this system has been remarkable, as the federations, and other superorganizations such as the Histadrut, provided corporatist governance to Jewish society under the British Mandate. Through their collective efforts, the kibbutzim conquered land, settled immigrants, and helped win Israel's War of Independence. They absorbed many responsibilities that we normally associate with states, and their example prompts the recognition that organizations provide political order as well as rely on it. Kibbutzim also demonstrated an interesting array of competitive interorganizational relations. Their experience alerts us that organizations compete on multiple dimensions. Kibbutz rivalries with other organizational forms were based on competition for resources (with moshavim), the defense of ideological organizing principles (with capitalist banks) and even influence over new immigrants (with development towns). And their most significant competitive relationship is of a type that is almost unrecognized in organizational theory. Since the inception of the state of Israel, there has been intense competition between that organizational constellation and the kibbutzim. This competition has involved rhetoric and resources, and has been costly to kibbutzim. It is perhaps most significant for explaining the decline of the kibbutz in public perception, and the more recent economic difficulties they have experienced. The final lesson is about the role of ideology for understanding organizational behavior. By now it is clear that kibbutzim's internal organization and external relations can only be understood in the context of their utopian ideology. There is no other way to understand why, for example, they chose not to employ outside labor when it was profitable, or why capitalist organizations coerced them to reverse that policy. Despite the obvious relevance of ideology to kibbutzim, however, our position is not that they are 'ideological organizations'. We believe that ideology affects all organizations, that General Motors is no less ideological than Kibbutz Degania. The salience of ideologies is lower in countries like the United States where organizations that make products and provide services are relatively homogenous in their commitment to capitalism's ideology. The difference for the kibbutzim is not that they are more ideological, but rather that their ideology differs from that of many organizations in their economic system. So, when looking at the kibbutz, we can see an ideological contrast from the organizations with which they interact. This contrast produces variance in the organizational practices employed by kibbutzim and other organizations. It also produces interorganizational conflict. These results of ideological contrast alert us that ideology operates to influence organizations, but we must realize that it is operating even in economies where there is less contrast in the ideologies that organizations pursue. We advocate recognition of and attention to the ideological character of all organizations as a means to a clearer understanding of why they do what they do.

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