Week 6 Entry – Going toe-to-toe with “the man”

When do you speak out? When do you back down? Going against an organization can be a daunting idea for the individual. You clearly see an injustice, but what can you do about it? What can your voice change?

The makeup of an organization is analogous with  a brain, a machine, and an organism to name a few items. Its functions and characteristics of communication change among the various traditions. In my experience at my current full-time job, I’ve had many problems in dealing with the local organization: one of those problems being getting members to adopt the new company method of employees managing and reconciling their own travel and expenses.

I realize that I see this problem through the lens of the sociopsychological and the critical traditions. The sociopsychological lens of course presents the most obstacles to solving the problem, because I’m not in a position of authority, and those who are at the top of the local hierarchy do not see the need to adapt to this company change (as I am the work-around). The critical tradition lens is the one most obvious and prevalent within the organization. The Discourse of Suspicion starts with the leader of the local organization, and is a reality for everyone within the organization.

When looking at this problem through the cybernetic tradition, I see a potential for a solution. With repeated interaction the networks of our local organization can be strengthened, and the changes can effectively take hold. But without some changes made with regard to the rhetorical tradition, the repeated interactions would have no meaning to parties in the organization. Within the rhetorical tradition is the organizational control theory.  The most effective but least tried of these controls is the concertive control. This uses “interpersonal relationships and teamwork as a means of control.” These are little used venues within our local organization. People are extremely silo-ed here in most positions higher up in the hierarchy.

However, we do have an extremely unique culture. Using the sociocultural tradition will give the best possible means of solving our aforementioned problem. We have a lot of rituals, monthly celebrations, various daily and weekly meetings. We also have a distinct enculturation process, that up until now, has been a negative experience for newcomers. Here I can make it more positive, and also solve a part of this problem by being a part of the “teaching” aspect of enculturation.

With different views from different traditions, I can see that not all hope is lost in trying to solve these issues! “The man” is somewhat less of a hulking negative figure now.

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