EDEV_503 Week 3_2

I agree with your characterisations of the organisational cultures in Bilgi and Inti. From the information given, it does appear that Bilgi emphasises democratic and liberal values (Laureate, 2011a). And by the same token, Inti’s focus on the development of the student combined with its attention to the needs of industry are equally clear (Laureate, 2011b). Yet both sets of statements derive from a single source, the Laureate video, which showcase only a particular view of the organisation: in this case, the view of the top management. Do you think that it’s possible to be certain of characterisations where the potential for skewedness is high? Bess and Dee (2012) have a chapter on conflict in organisations, and their case study centres on how different components have diverse viewpoint, ways of storing information, mandates and operational practices (Vol 2, Ch 2, p. 487-534). Without various inputs from different components, I feel that a characterisation of the institution is at best an academic exercise.

This week’s discussion is founded on a single perspective from which we are tasked with discovering an organisation’s culture. The implausibility of this task needn’t distract us from seeing the core issues in organisational culture.

I agree with you when you offer reasons for people resisting change. Adding to your list, Bourdieu offers potentialities for tension. Various strands and levels exist within an organisation or societal structure. It is possible for a positive and well-meaning overall goal to be realised differently at different levels successfully yet the eventual outcome be negative (Swartz, 1998). I’ll give a personal example to illustrate this point in a higher education setting. Many years ago when I was just starting my university career as a lecturer, I was impressed by the institution’s emphasis of developing critical thinking in students. To promote this, my seminar class worked hard on critical thinking skills (as I understood them then). In particular, I encouraged students to question my statements, which often contained deliberate logical, factual or bias errors. After two years, most students were able and willing to point out those mistakes. I was thrilled. In Japan, a Confucian heritage country, I had produced students who displayed strong characteristics of individuality, meritocratic thinking and personal strength to express themselves. I was taken aside by the dean later who informed me that some of my seminar students were acting inappropriately in other classes. I had successfully realised a mission of the university in my mind, but the outcome was a net negative for the students and the faculty who felt let down by my actions.


Bess, J. L., & Dee, J. R. (2012). Understanding college and university organisation: Theories for effective policy and practice: Volume II – dynamics of the system. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus.

Laureate. (2011a). Goals of the Institution: BİLGİ University.

Laureate. (2011b). Organisational Mission and Culture: INTI University.

Swartz, D. (1998). Culture and power: The sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. Chcago: University of Chicago Press.

About theCaledonian

Scot living in north Japan teaching at a national university.
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