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ARGOS TO EXPLORE THE “CULTURE” OF AN ASSOCIATION T N E M E G A

ARGOS

TO EXPLORE THE “CULTURE” OF AN ASSOCIATION

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World Organization of the Scout Movement Organisation Mondiale du Mouvement Scout S STRATEGY THIS DOCUMENT

World Organization of the Scout Movement Organisation Mondiale du Mouvement Scout

S

STRATEGY

THIS DOCUMENT IS A PART OF THE IMPLEMEN- TATION OF THE STRATEGY

© 1996, World Scout Bureau. Reprinted 1998. Revised 2000.

Reproduction is authorized to national Scout associations which are members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Others should request permission from publishers.

World Scout Bureau P.O. Box 241, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland

worldbureau@world.scout.org

http://www.scout.org

WARNING

TABLE OF CONTENTS

In this booklet, you will find allegorical references to mythology and ancient civilisations. Many people from Western cultures would be familiar with these references. However, even if you know nothing about these particular ancient civilisations or the mythology surrounding them, it is the meaning underlying the references that is important.

The references have been used to describe models of cultures. The characteristics of each model - related to such concepts as power, success, the place of the individual in society, or the way in which society is organised - are of a universal nature. You are, therefore, likely to find the same characteristics in the mythology of your own culture. The references to model cultures would simply be known by other names.

Foreword

1. General introduction and questionnaire

2. Four model cultures: explanation of the chart

3. An allegorical illustration

4. Description of the model cultures

5. Main features of each model culture

6. Key words

7. Characteristics of each model culture.

FOREWORD

Improving the management of Scout associations and developing the managerial capabilities of their leaders has been one of the strategic priorities of WOSM for several years.

The World Scout Bureau’s Training Service* produced resource material, such as “Management Info” and the “Management Handbook”, to support associations in this area.

However, adapting management tools from the business world to Scouting has often proved ineffective. In many cases, these tools have not been used and the management practices they presented have not been adopted by Scout associations.

It seems likely that the reason why these tools have been rejected is probably cultural. For a new approach to be accepted, it must be consistent with the values, language, traditions and other elements which, together, form what we have called an “association’s culture”- an analogy of the con- cept of “corporate culture”.

If this assumption is correct, it is essential to become aware of the various elements that constitute an association’s culture. One way of supporting associations in this area is to offer a tool that will help you to understand the culture in which you operate. Thus, when changes need to be introduced, you should be in a better position to identify the conditions and constraints that need to be considered and sorted out - and so be more effective.

* This service became the Adult Resources Service in 1993.

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1. GENERAL INTRODUCTION AND QUESTIONNAIRE

Throughout the world since time immemorial, human beings have had to find ways of dealing with their relationship to the world. They have had to solve immediate problems in order to survive (e.g. finding food, shelter, etc.). They have also tried to find answers to questions about the world, the universe, where they came from and where they were going.

The totality of the means by which human beings manage their relationship to the world - both the immediate world and the more distant one - constitutes a culture.

Before examining the concept of the culture of an association, let us first look briefly at peoples relationship to the world in general. This relationship functions at several different levels in a structured and coherent way, but each level has its own set of characteristics.

The foundation level is a universal level. This level involves a coherent set of characteristics which is specific to human beings and common to everyone: physiological characteristics, laughter, language, the ability to reflect and foresee outcomes and consequences, the ability to consciously influence the future and the nature of things, etc.

At the top is an individual level which consists of all the personal characteristics that form the personality. The personality is influenced by other levels, but it also comprises unique traits which are only present in a particular person.

Between the two is a collective level. This is where culture per se is to be found with a set of rituals, norms, beliefs, values, etc., which all members of a given human group have in common, and which makes individuals members of a given group. If one were to reject these norms and beliefs, etc., in totality or in part, it is likely that one would become excluded from the group or marginalised.

This collective level, however, is far from homogeneous and may be sub-divided ad infinitum into sub-cultures. One may speak of an African or Asian culture and, within each of them, of a Northern, Southern or Western culture, etc., and also of specific ethnic or tribal cultures. In addition to these naturalsub-cultures, one could include many others such as, for example, those of rural people or city dwellers, or those of farmers and industrialists. Further, due to a certain cross- penetration of different groups, a West African farmer will differ from a businessman from the same area, even though they both share a number of common cultural traits.

Since what we are looking at is how human beings try to manage their relationship to the world on the basis of a set of commonly accepted, shared rules and assumptions within a

given group, it should therefore be possible to observe these characteristics.

The reason for doing so is that these characteristics will considerably influence individual and group behaviour and the effective management of peoples relationship to the world.

Now let us look at how this concept applies to Scouting. As we know, Scouting started as an idea formulated at a given time and in a given place - but which is assumed to be universal in nature. Since then, totally different kinds of Scoutinghave emerged with specific characteristics that go far beyond the surface of things and which have a profound effect on what people experience, how they behave, and the norms they refer to.

One could say that what we call association cultureis at the meeting point of four trends:

1. A national culture

2. Scouting

3. A philosophical or religious culture

4. The creation and history of the association

This is why, when we look closely, we could argue that there is not one Scouting but several Scoutings! Scouts de France, for example, has very little in common with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. This does not mean that one is better than the other or that one is wrong and the other right. However, one may wonder what has happened to the original valuesof the Movement as a result of its continuous expansion, the passing of time, and of the process of becoming indigenous to other cultures. Obviously cultures have not been Scoutified, it is Scouting that has become acculturated.

It should also be noted that the general evolution is not towards uniformisation (i.e. a sort of world culture) but towards increased diversification.

If the Movement accepts the fact that association cultures exist and that they influence the evolution, progress, management, recruitment strategies, etc., of associations, we will have moved one step towards greater efficiency. If, in addition, a tool can be produced to understand the main characteristics of those cultures better, associations will have the means to influence their future in a conscious way, as opposed to leaving it up to chance. It may be worth trying!

The tool on the following pages has been designed to help you to identify the main characteristics of your associations culture and to draw some conclusions as to what change can be accepted and how it should be presented and introduced in order to be successful.

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Do not forget:

There is no good or bad answer and there is no bad or good culture. The purpose of the tool is simply to help you to become more conscious of the culture in which you operate. This tool will not help you to change the culture, but it should help you to find approaches to problems that are accep- table within the existing culture. Change will only take place in the long term. This is because any change in the components of a given culture will only take place as a result of a long process of maturation and evolution, usually triggered by external influences.

On the following pages you will find a series of statements. Each statement can be completed in one of four different ways. Each option relates to a different cultural trend. You should read each of the statements and each of the options that could complete the statement.

For each option of each statement, you should distribute a score of 1, 2, 3, or 4. A 4in the box next to an option means that you think that that option corresponds the most to how things are done in your association. A 1means that you think that a particular option corresponds the least. You cannot attribute the same score (e.g. two scores rated 4) to different options in the same statement, even if you feel that more than one of the completed statements apply equally to your associa- tion.

Try the following example before turning to the questionnaire itself:

Note: In the printed version of this document, the questionnaire pages which follow are of different widths to help you to count the scores across the pages. In the electronic version, you may wish to fold back these pages along the dotted line while you complete the question- naire.

In our Association new ideas

come from the top

need to be validated by the various levels in the structure

must have a positive impact on the effectiveness of an association

are easily accessible to all and each individual is free to use them.

For each of these options you should have marked a score from 1 to 4.

And now, turn to the questionnaire itself.

What kind of association are you part of ?

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1.

The position people may be offered in the hierarchy depends primarily

on their present position - whether close to, or far away from - the position to be filled

(

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on their age and experience

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on their personal qualities - irrespective of their age, experience in the Movement or past history in the association

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on their competencies regarding the job to be done

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2.

Promotions are usually based on

length of service in the association

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the person’s potential for further development in the new position

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demonstrated competence

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demonstrated effectiveness in present and past positions

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3.

When objectives are being set for a given period

everyone has an opportunity to express ideas and influence objectives and decisions

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all ideas and opinions are studied carefully before making important decisions or setting objectives

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all ideas can be expressed, but must go through the various levels of the hierarchy and established formal channels of communication

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the organisation expects everyone to adhere to objectives defined at the top

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4.

When the association adopts a position on a particular matter

members use their skills to support the position in a practical way, provided it fits into the project on which they are working

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everyone interprets and promotes it at their own level. The entire structure is mobilised

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personal opinions that contradict the official position are not accepted, and they should not be expressed in public

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free expression of all is encouraged and individual freedom is respected. Conflicts of opinion remain an exception since the position of the association usually reflects a broad consensus

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5.

In our association, all members feel that

they are part of a united family in which authority is exercised to ensure the well-being and security of all

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they are working with others towards achieving an important goal. They really feel part of a team in which everyone is motivated to help reach the goal

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they are one element of the bigger whole - an important part of an effective and proven system in which everyone knows what they have to do

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they are personally committed to an ideal. They are fully but freely involved in their work - and feel that it contributes to their personal growth

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6.

In the day-to-day operation

members strive to achieve their objectives individually or with others. Teams or other groupings are created or dismantled according to the objectives to be met

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the Mission comes first. All members are mobilised to achieve it. Structures and customs are valid in so far as they contribute to achieving the Mission. Everything is subject to change and re-definition

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the personalities of those who founded the association still have a strong influence on the way it is today. History has not been lost and traditions are kept

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policies and rules of organisation are very important. They cover every detail and should be followed literally. There is no exception to the rule

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7.

Concerning communication and the circulation of information

the communication flow is well established, from top to bottom and the other way round, from one level to the next

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information collected at local level may influence the decisions made at the top. Instructions transmitted from the top must be followed

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communication is possible in all directions and between all members, as needed

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communication is informal and can take place through any channel - provided it is effective. It is essentially about technical matters and is action-oriented

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8

The progress and continued development of the association depends on

the loyalty of every member towards the association and the full implementation of instructions given from the top

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the personal progress of individual members and their own sense of self-fulfilment in what they are doing. The future of the whole association depends on this

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the skills of individual members and their ability to find and carry out new solutions to new problems

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the effective functioning of a structure in which all members carefully do their part. Each person needs to stay within their particular sphere of activity and must avoid doing anything that another person considers his/her responsibility

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9.

When a problem arises

everyone tries to find a solution. Trial and erroris accepted and experimenting with new ways is always good

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each person has to find their own practical solution quickly and must take appropriate action without wasting time

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the right solution must be in the rules, in the structure or in the files. It is therefore essential to start looking for it immediately

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those at the top will find a solution because they are in charge of maintaining the integrity of the association and ensuring the well-being of its members. It is essential to ask for their views quickly, before taking any action

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10.

If a conflict arises

the only serious conflicts are those which threaten the successful completion of a project. These should be sorted out quickly - even if it means moving people to different jobs when their level of competence corresponds to the needs

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it should be resolved in a rational way. There is no room for emotions - they only impair the smooth operation of the association

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authority must put an end to it since conflict can only have a negative effect on the association and its public image

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separation from the association is totally acceptable. Keeping people in the association at the cost of losing what is considered as essential would be wrong

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11.

Both from the perspective of its philosophy and its approach, the association considers that

every member involved in the associations activities (defined by its leaders) is important and should be guided by clear instructions, transmitted through all the levels of hierarchy

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its main purpose is to accomplish a task to which all members are committed. One persons success is everyones success, one persons failure is everyones failure

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both the task and how it is implemented are important. Any action should conform to rules and follow established procedures

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everything it does is directed towards a community of people in which every individual is unique in his/her characteristics and aspirations, and everyone has equal rights

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12.

Concerning the objectives set and how they will be implemented

Each person is free to choose the appropriate means and to organise themselves as they wish. Job descriptions are not important, the main thing is to reach the goal

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People are responsible and work on their own. However, they pool their resources and share their experience with others

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Each person has the responsibility of achieving results and is accountable for the procedures followed in order to achieve those results. Established rules must be followed

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People must have the necessary formal qualifications for the job so that they can perform adequately and effectively within the limits set by their job description

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13.

In order to progress in the association and reach major positions, a person should

go from one step to the next, conscientiously fulfilling each function that has been entrusted to him/her

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show his/her personal commitment to the ideals of the association and conform ones day-to-day behaviour to these ideals. Since authority comes from the top, it is essential that members should conform to the model it wishes to promote

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show idealism, a sense of Mission, total commitment, and always be available

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demonstrate effectiveness in completing a task, take initiative without waiting for instructions and make the most of the time available without being held back by details or anything that is not action-oriented

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14.

Relationships

are formal. There is no written rule as to who may approach whom but, due to tradition, rank and hierarchy are very important. So is the power a person has over others

(

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are informal. All members are seen as equals and are involved in the same task. Doors are always open and anyone can have access to anyone else at any time

(

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are simple. When a person needs other people he/she will contact them for a specific purpose and for a given period of time, without worrying about the rank they may have in the organisation or what will happen to the relationship in the future

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are essentially functional and task-related, as presented by the rules of the association

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15.

At local level and in the day-to-day operation

each local group has a lot of autonomy. If it adopts the ideals of the Movement, it will have to find the best possible means of implementing them for itself

(

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each group has its own goals. The goals of each group are part of the collective goals of the association. Local success is part of the success of the whole. Priority must be given to carrying out the local goals and everything else is secondary

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each group is linked to other groups through structures, teams, leaders. The group knows exactly what has to be done and how

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every group belongs to the association and has to keep to the norms, to promote its ideals and activities locally. If a group deviates from the official line it excludes itself from the family

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16.

In terms of its educational proposal

the association is based on a set of values which it proposes to young people as an ideal for life. Amongst those values, effectiveness, initiative, performance, commitment to achieving results and developing skills are considered very important

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the association is based on a set of values which should be inculcated in young people. Amongst those values, order, discipline, respect for rules and established norms are considered very important

(

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the association is based on a set of values which should be inculcated in young people. Amongst those values, keeping ones word, respect for authority, obedience and attending to others first are considered very important

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the association is based on a set of values which it symbolises for young people. Amongst those values, freedom, initiative, respect for self and others, trust and acceptance of differences are considered very important

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17.

In the activities offered to its members, the association emphasises

task allocation, personal responsibility and the role of the leader in setting an example and stimulating others

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developing skills, based on the idea that practical skills are necessary for a person to take an active part in society

(

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the systematic division of labour and responsibilities, the allocation of roles according to the level of training of each person

(

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personal development opportunities, as the progress of the whole group depends on the progress of each individual member

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18.

In the management system of the association

functions are not delegated by an authority. They result from a need and are allocated according to the skills and aspirations of the people concerned

(

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there is no job description. Jobs may change according to the associations priorities (incorporated into specific projects) and each persons competencies

(

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every member has a specific place in the system - close to the centre of power or far away from it - and applies the guidelines he/she has been given at his/her own level

(

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each member has a specific place on the organisation chart and works according to a job description. Subordination is rational, and is needed in order to ensure proper coordination

(

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WHAT CULTURE?

1. For each line across pages 5, 6 and 7, add the scores you allocated to each statement option (e.g. the score for the first option of Question 1 (p. 5), the score for the first option of Question 7 (p. 6) and the score for the first option of Question 13 (p.7) ), and enter the total in the corresponding space (A to X) in the right-hand side column.

2. Enter the totals from boxes A to X in the corresponding segment of the disc below.

X A B W C V D U E T F S G R H
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3. Add all the totals from the segments of the same design (6 of each) and enter the final score in the corresponding box below.

and enter the final score in the corresponding box below. S R A P A B

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enter the final score in the corresponding box below. S R A P A B C

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4. Enter the final scores in the chart below according to the design code. Use the scale on the diagonal axes to mark the score for each design code. By drawing a line from one mark to another, you will obtain a shape that you could colour in. This shape will give you a visual image of how you see the cultural tendency in your association.

ROME P O Y W H E C R R A R E I P
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5. Consult the notes on the following pages.

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2. FOUR MODEL CULTURES: AN EXPLANATION OF THE CHART

The chart is designed around two main axes:

• Equality - hierarchy

• Person - task

The equality-hierarchy axis concerns hierarchical distance. A visual image to illustrate this concept is a pyramid. The height (and shape) of the pyramid represents the level of importance attached to the concept of hierarchy, the place of each person in the hierarchy and the status attached to each hierarchical level.

The person-task axis concerns the relative importance of being(person) as opposed to doing(task). It also relates to the concept of how much attention is paid to people as individuals, the place in the system that others accord the person, as well as to the goals of the organisation and the means by which they will be reached.

If we combine these two axes and consider their main characteristics, we can establish four different types of culture:

1. ROME

The combination hierarchy/person indicates an inclination towards power.

2. SPARTA

The combination hierarchy/task indicates an inclination towards structures.

3. PHOENICIA

The combination equality/task indicates an inclination towards results.

4. ATHENS

The combination equality/person indicates an inclination towards participation.

Of course, the names used to represent these types of culture, i.e. Rome, Sparta, Phoenicia and Athens, are allegorical. In the pages that follow you will find a brief description of the main characteristics of these four models of ancient cultures. Again, the models are allegories. While the models correspond in general terms to the history of these cultures, not all of the details will be historically accurate. This does not matter. The purpose is to provide a mental image - or a series of images - that can be remembered and will help visualise the models proposed. You will then find lists of key words or phrases as well as tables to help you to see the main characteristics and consequences of your associations culture more clearly.

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3. AN ALLEGORICAL REPRESENTATION

ROME

The Roman Empire - a unique symbol of unity, splendour and power. The Emperor - an emblematic figure - is the centre of power and holds the destiny of all in his hands. Through him, customs and traditions govern a society based on worship, a sense of duty to the city and commitment to a community in which each member has a place. There is little tolerance for any citizen - freed man or slave - who rebels or refuses to submit to the established order. However, for the citizen who accepts submission, the shoulder is strong and the burden is light. This submission ensures the cohesion and strength of the whole. In return for their submission, everyone in the Empire enjoys the Roman Peace that has put an end to their quarrels, guarantees their well-being and gives them protection against any aggression from outside. Beyond the borders of the Empire lurk the barbarians and all the dangers against which one needs to protect and defend oneself. Let it never be said that the barbarian is in Rome!

SPARTA

Society is organised and structured in order to meet the needs of this martial city. A hierarchical society with its class of equals(i.e. equal amongst themselves) and who have the power; its ilotes(those who carry out orders and ensure the status and wealth of the first group); and its pertequesspread across the mountains. This system ensures the delegation of power to a small number of people, the transmission of orders through an effective structure and the perpetuation of the system through the selection of the fittest. Authority is present everywhere, watching over public life, the education of young people and the behaviour of all citizens. Bravery, endurance and discipline are the essential virtues through which the system (considered perfect), will last for ever. If any of these virtues is questioned, the entire structure will be shaken, the established order will collapse and the city will be ruined.

PHOENICIA

A people of active and daring merchants who go beyond the limits of the known world. They are never frightened to ven- ture beyond the Strait of Gibraltar. They sail to collect tin from the Spanish mines, and murices (a shell-fish) from the coasts of Africa to produce Tyrian purple dye. They export timber, glassware and even skilled manpower. They are the first to become involved in huge projects abroad: amongst other things, they built the Temple of Jerusalem. They have established colonies in Cyprus, in Crete and as far away as Spain and Africa. It is even thought that they invented the alphabet which was later passed on to the Greeks. They are prosperous not only through their success in commercial tra- ding, but also because they are open to outside influences - especially those that can enrich their city-states. Each city-state has its own king and gods but was united by a common civili- sation.

ATHENS

At the time of Pericles, Athens was at the zenith of its glory. After a series of conflicts and many changes it now sails on quiet waters, but it can rise at any time to swallow up everything. Thanks to its economic prosperity and cultural influence, Athens has been the cradle of ancient civilisation. With its democratic institutions, it has created the unequalled model of a city run by all citizens on the principles of political and civic virtue. The freedom that the system permits has generated a boom in high-level thinkers. This is reflected in the richness of philosophy and science (astronomy and mathematics in particular), literature, history and theatre. The architecture illustrates Athensgreatness, and is a show-case of the power of creativity and of the daring and know-how of its architects.

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4. DESCRIPTION OF MODEL CULTURES

ROME

Collectivist and hierarchical. The culture is strongly oriented towards power and centralisation. Hierarchical distance is high with a few people at the top and many more at the bottom of the pyramid. Hierarchy is perceived as being in the nature of things. Those at the top make decisions and enjoy some independence. People at other levels implement decisions within a framework set by the level above them. The system can be very effective since very clear directions are easily transmitted and the system itself is not questioned. Power has always existed and it can only be exercised by a few people (who thus deserve some privileges that others will not have). Amongst these privileges is the status that comes with the position. Mainly as a result of the difference in status, those in power are not easily accessible. They must be seen as different from others in order to retain their power. Considered to be emblematic figures, they set (or maintain) the norms and references and make decisions for the good of the community.

All members are considered - and consider themselves to be - part of the same family. At the head of the familyis a father- figure who provides security and who is both strict and benevolent. Relationships between people are close, and the group easily exercises moral and manipulative pressure on its members. The groups norms and rules are important and must be respected. If a person rejects them or acts in an individualistic way, he or she is likely to be rejected or marginalised by the others. It is difficult to transgress the established norms in this culture as it offers each person a strong sense of belonging and a clear identity. People get satisfaction and a feeling of security from being part of the group and adhering to its values. The established order of things is natural and is not questioned. Authority is always present in a diffuse form. Power is political - it is transmitted by those already in power and does not depend on the task that a person performs.

Those who have been brought up in the system usually feel comfortable in it. For those who do not, the only alternatives are to try to take power by force or by manipulation or to leave and join another organisation with a different culture, i.e. one closer to their aspirations.

SPARTA

Hierarchical and task oriented, this culture emphasises structu- res and systems. A persons status depends on his or her place in the hierarchy and this place is attached to a specific function. Functions are distributed according to the positions to be filled, as they appear on the organisation chart. Formal qualifications for all functions are required, and these are stated in the regulations. The power that any person may have, the authority that any person may exercise on others and that persons social status is related to the function. Everyone has a place in the structure of the group (or community), knows exactly what he/ she has to do and how it should be done (it is all explained in the rules and regulations). People act within the rules and the framework expected of each function. Subordination to other people is rational in nature, to ensure effectiveness and coordi- nation. Total loyalty to the system is expected from all. Conformity is the rule and one of the keys to success. Conflicts must be avoided - because they are irrational. The way in which rules are established avoids conflict or ensures that they can be resolved very quickly. What people do is important (the culture is task oriented), but the way in which things are done i.e. according to established rules, is even more important. The rigidity of the framework provides security and comfort to those who need a clear framework, set of rules and instruc- tions. It is unbearable for those who need space to express their specificity, to formulate and develop their ideas.

PHOENICIA

Basically egalitarian and task-oriented. All members are equal and start with the same potential. Success depends on personal effort. There is a goal to be reached, a task to be performed and everyone works to the best of their abilities and resources, in their own way.

Producing results is essential and people are judged on their

success and failure. The culture is heaven for those determined to do things, for winners who invest all they have in achieving

a task and spare no time or effort. Status and social recognition

will come with accomplishments, demonstrated competence and effectiveness in the job. Formality, theories, rules and age are irrelevant. Daring and, especially, success are the main things.

The culture is primarily pragmatic and result-oriented. People who share that culture are convinced of the quality of what

they have to offer - their product, their ideas, their project, etc.

- and do all they can to convince others, to selltheir product. Everyone is strongly motivated to succeed in implementing his/

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her objectives, getting organised, managing time and resources in the best possible way, working alone or with others to achieve the task.

The only value of the structure is in its usefulness in supporting individuals in the achievements of their task. It is not considered as permanent and must be modified whenever necessary, which means whenever it is likely to slow progress or prevent initiatives.

ATHENS

Essentially egalitarian and person-oriented, devoted to ensuring the progress and full development of the individual. The quality of a group depends on the quality of its individual members and the progress of the group depends on the progress of individuals. People complement each other and the strengths of some compensate for the weaknesses of others. Individual qualities are combined to benefit the group as a whole.

The group respects the specificity of each person and his or her freedom of expression. Differences are accepted and no one is expected to conform to a preset, ideal model. Everyone has a right to participate in the management of the community. Whenever necessary, networks are established through which individual resources can be pooled together.

The culture is idealistic and advocates a strong personal commitment to its values. A sense of mission is very strong and the community counts on the voluntary commitment of each person to help make its endeavours successful. The ultimate goal (the ideal) is far away and can never be achieved in full. There will always be room for more initiative, new ideas and creativity even though the fruit of such efforts will not succeed at all times. The community - like the individual members - may operate on a trial and error basis, provided that they remain flexibile, realise when they make mistakes and move away from them. Anything can be subject to redefinition at any time. People get satisfaction from feeling that they are contributing to a great cause of their own free will. This, in return, provides recognition, enrichment and opportunities for personal development.

Page 24 - ARGOS: To Explore the Cultureof an Association

5. MAIN FEATURES OF EACH MODEL CULTURE

ROME

Collectivist and hierarchical

Father figure sets standards and makes decisions

Father knows best, for the good of others

Intimacy, family-type relationships

Moral pressure, manipulative

Experience, wisdom and status come with age

Being part of the group provides security (danger is outside)

Strong sense of belonging

Pre-set values transmitted from generation to generation

Satisfaction in being a member

Centralisation = one (final) decision-making centre

Members are expected to give full commitment

Sanction is a loss of affection/rejection

Many things are taken for granted (not questioned)

Authority is diffuse but present everyhwere

Power is political, not related to task

Power and differential status are natural

Concern for the security and well-being of members

Importance of growing through the system

SPARTA

Hierarchical and task-oriented

Bureaucratic division of labour

Prescribed roles and functions

Importance of structure versus function

Decision-making power is structural

Long distance along hierarchy

Relationships are formal and specific

Relations are function-related

Status is ascribed to role

Importance of formal/professional qualifications

Importance of rules

Act by the book

Change needs a change of rules/structure, etc.

No intrusion of personal bias

Subordination is rational and needed for coordination

Organisation chart/job descriptions, etc.

• “Management by P.O.R.

Learning = accumulating skills

Loyalty to system

Conformism

Reliability and accountability

Rigidity

Conflicts are irrational

Page 26 - ARGOS: To Explore the Cultureof an Association

PHOENICIA

Egalitarian

Impersonal or task-oriented

Ends are more important than means

Teamwork, group effort

No fixed job - need to do whatever is necessary to complete the task

Time is important

Effective use of time essential

Get on with the task

Pragmatism

Practical, not theoretical

Problem-centred

Importance of demonstrated competence

Internal motivation (task achievement)

Importance of performance, results

Achieving objectives

Management by objectives

People get together to achieve objectives

ATHENS

Egalitarian

Person-centred

Progress of group results from individual progress

Organisation/group is secondary to fulfilment of individuals

Organisation supports individuals, values self-expression, stimulates creativity

Little or no structure

Individuals complement each other

Organisational loyalty comes second to freedom and self- expression

People work on their own but share resources, compare experiences

Minimum hierarchy

Spontaneous networking

Intense emotional commitment towards changing the world, idealism

Sense of mission

Internal value driven

Anything is open to redefinition

Leadership is achieved (not ascribed)

Conflicts lead to split or trying another alternatives

Trial and error is accepted

Page 28 - ARGOS: To Explore the Cultureof an Association

6. KEY WORDS

ROME

SPARTA

PHOENICIA

ATHENS

Power

Structure

Results

Person

Hierarchy

Task

Equality

Equality

Person

Organisation chart

Task

Initiative

Experience

System

Competence

Tradition

Formalism

Rules

Conformism

Values

Status

Resonsibility

Expression

Creativity

Rigidity

Order

Risk

Criticism

Security

Job description

Objectives

Ideal

Family

Integration

Projects

Doubt

Position

Collectivity

Trial/error

Committment

Certainty

Leader

Contribution

Community

Adherence

Training

Team

Peers

Father

Evaluation

Participation

Tradition

Centralisation

Page 30 - ARGOS: To Explore the Cultureof an Association

7. CHARACTERISTICS OF EACH MODEL CULTURE

 

POWER

PERSON

PARTICIPATION

EQUALITY

RESULTS

TASK

STRUCTURE

HIERARCHY

ROME

Autocratic. Strong and centralised. Paternalistic in the interest of all. Moral pressure on individuals. Political in nature, not related to task. Considered natural, no longer questioned.

Expected to be totally committed to the ideals and values of the organi- sation. Belonging to the group pro- vides satisfaction. Need to conform and obey orders.

Limited to consultation that may influence the leader when he/she makes the decisions.

Those who have power also have privileges.

Maintaining the cohesion of the or- ganisation is most important.

The organisation must be strong, cohesive, recognised by others and consistent with its goals and ideals.

Pyramid-shaped, rigid and central- ised. Facilitates the distribution of strength and power.

High hierarchical distance.

SPARTA

Aristocratic. As strong as provided for in the regulations. Not to be ques- tioned. Function-related, linked to formal qualifications. Based on ra- tional elements to ensure proper functioning of the system.

Expected to follow rules in imple- menting tasks. No personal initia- tive, acts as instructed within the framework of established rules and according to place in hierarchy. Iden- tified in terms of function.

Within the limitations of the rules and regulations. Formal democracy is more important that its contents.

The rules and regulations apply equally to all members.

Results are less important than the way in which they have been achieved.

Task is important. It must be car- ried out in accordance with the es- tablished rules. Everyone in his/her own place contributes to the whole.

Pyramid-shaped, rigid and central- ised. A system to managethe as- sociation. Necessary to keep the or- ganisation together. Everyone knows what has to be done.

High hierarchical distance.

PHOENICIA

Technocratic. Comes from demon- strated competence. Exercised in re- lation to tasks and will pass from one person to the next depending on the task at hand.

Identified by knowledge and com- petence in fulfilling tasks. Must per- form effectively in achieving objec- tives. Free to choose appropriate means to obtain results. Works with others as appropriate.

Setting objectives. Free to work with others to achieve results. Demon- strated competence is a condition for participation.

Equal opportunities for those with equal competence.

Everyone must be effective and suc- ceed in the task he/she has accept- ed to carry out.

Status comes withsuccessful imple- mentation of task. A job to be done is the justification for a function. Each individual is recruited for a spe- cific task.

Very little structure. Networks are formed and disappear according to needs or to complete a set of objec- tives.

Low hierarchical distance.

 

Democratic. Shared by all those who

Feels in charge of a mission that will also bring self-fulfilment. Guid- ed by internalised set of values. Directly involved in running the or- ganisation. Personal progress is a condition for collective growth.

Very broad spectrum. Definition of aims, objectives and means. Every-

Equal opportunities for all, whatev- er their individual characteristics may be.

Self-fulfilment and personal growth come first, they determine the progress of the whole group.

Self-fulfilment is the essential task

Little or no structure. The individual is more important than the struc-

Minimal hierarchy.

participate in the life of the commu-

to be pursued

One must grow first.

nity.Exercisedthroughballot,some-

   

ture.Networksandspontaneousas-

ATHENS

times by delegation.

body is involved in the operation of the organisation. Direct democracy.

   

sociation are customary.

 

EDUCATIONAL GOAL

ADULT-YOUTH

ATTITUDE TO CHANGE

YOUTH PROGRAMME

ADULT RECRUITMENT

LEADERSHIP

ATTITUDE TOWARDS

MOBILITY OF LEADERS

RELATIONSHIP

DEVELOPMENT

VALUES

 

An ideal to strive for. Adherence to well-established principles. Sense of hierarchy in all aspects of life. Sense of service to others and responsibil- ity towards them.

Well-meaning authority which pro- vides security and a positive direc- tion. Importance of a set model. The leader sets the norms to which others must conform.

Respectforestablishedsystemsand tradition are essential. Any change needs to be considered with suspi- cion.Positivechangecanonlycome from a decision made at the top.

Traditionalactivities,ceremoniesand formal activities are important. Ac- tivities are essentially based on com- petition. Large meetings and gath- erings are essential as opportunities for the familyto get together, united around its leader.

Preferably within the organisation:

Usually centralised to ensure cohe- siveness of the whole system and conformity to established principles. Trainers are agentsof a central authority and have the responsibili- ty of getting people to adhere to orientations and decisions.

Traditional values are proven and cannot be questioned. They are transmitted from generation to gen- eration, based on the conviction of elders and on the basis of the living example they provide.

Mobility of leaders is hierarchical, normally upwards. Lateral moves

arewaitingpositionsanddown-

leaders must have gone through all the steps. Attitude towards the ide- als and ultimate goal will be an es- sential criterion for selection. Unre- stricted adherence to the system is required. Probation period before confirmation of appointment.

ROME

ward moves are sanctions.

SPARTA

Success in ones endeavours, high level of achievement. Keeping norms and following established patterns. A person who can be trust- ed. Ensuring personal progress in societythroughacquiringrecognised qualifications.

Importance of challenge and fair com- petition. The relationship is based on trustandconfidence.Othersmustlive up to the trust and confidence they are given. Many opportunities to gain qualifications.

Change can only be accepted when the norms have been changed. When rules and norms are amend- ed, change becomes a necessity to conform to the new rule. Change can only come after a long and careful consideration of all factors involved.

The framework is set by the organ- isation. Competition and challeng- es are important to prove oneself. Theprogressiveschemeandsystem of recognition of skills and compe- tencies (tests and badges) are an essential component of the pro- gramme.

According to clearly set norms of selection and preferably within the organisation. Open to people who can be trusted as respectful of the system and its ways of operation. Recruitment will be on theoretical criteria and evidence of formal qual- ifications.

Aims at producing people who can work effectively within the system. Transmission of norms and rules within which action will take place. Formal recognition of qualifications is essential, one must have gone through an imposed training cycle.

Order and tradition are essential values to be transmitted. They will ensure harmony and peace for the future. Loyalty to the system and personal qualification are the two conditions on which trust and confi- dence are given to an individual.

Mobility from lower steps up- wards according to qualifications and the requirements of the sys- tem. Competition is important. Promotion is a reward.

 

Initiative and flexibility in problem solving. Developing an ability to cooperate with others. A duty to achieve. Ability to take charge of

Mutual agreement on the set goal. The relationship is established and develops progressively around the means to achieve this goal. Devel- opsmotivationandinitiativethatwill provide the means to be success- ful.

Any change that is likely to make the system more effective is wel- come. The purpose of change is to improve performance and obtain better results.

Education takes place mainly through activities. Activities need to be clearly directed towards an educa- tional objectiveandmotivateyoung people to achieve something and be successful. Activities provide op- portunities to acquire skills and dem- onstrate competencies.

A

person is recruited for a specific

Training aims at developing func- tional effectiveness. The emphasis is on developing skills to achieve and prove successful. Training will be

Adherence to a value system is per- sonal. Essential values are: loyalty to the ultimate goal and compe- tence to pursue it. Solidarity and co- operation in pursuing the ultimate goal are also necessary.

One may move from one task to another according to demonstrat- ed competencies and achieve- ments in completing a project. Personal status is based on com- petence.

task and on the basis of practical

competencies. High motivation is

PHOENICIA

essential together with a potential

 

to

develop skills. The ability to suc-

decentralised if it is more effective. Cost effectiveness in training is es- sential.

oneself and act out of internal moti- vation.

 

ceed is essential.

 

Caring for others. Ability to work on ones own but also to cooperate in an autonomous way. A person who is deeply involved but shows respect for other peoples feelings and con- victions. Egalitarian, non-judgmen- tal , accepting of others. Adaptable and open to change.

Based on equality and careful at- tention to individual needs. Adapt- able to differences. Empathy. Accept- ance of ones own limits by the leader: the other person has knowl- edge and has a right to develop fur- ther than me. Acceptance of differ- ences. A strong will to share inter- nal motivations.

Considered as legitimate, change is easily accepted when it is consist- ent with ideals and ultimate goals. It must be decided by all or, at least, everybody should have a sense of ownership. Cannot be introduced by force. Change is the norm since nothing is established for ever.

Gives equal importance to interper- sonal relationships and the techni- cal aspects of completing an activi- ty. Puts more emphasis on cooper- ation than on competition. Activities should support personal progress and group dynamics. It offers many opportunities for active youth par- ticipation.

Open in principle

provided that the

Training must be close to individu- als and their specific needs. Imple- mentation must be flexible and norms can be adapted. Functional training must be deeply rooted in personal development. Learning to dolargely depends on learn- ing to beand cannot be dissoci- ated.

Self-respect and respect for others areessential valuesfromwhicheve- rything else will flow. Each person should develop a personal set of values to guide his/her life. He/ she should also continually check that proclaimed values are effec- tively adhered to and practised.

Mobility across the entire net- work, according to needs. Tasks

person shows an open mind, dis-

plays a positive attitude towards other people and acts in a support-

are allocated according to needs, expectations of individuals and

ATHENS

iveway.Beingautonomousandtak-

demonstratedcompetence.Com-

ing initiative are essential.

pletion of a task leads to assess- ment and reassignment accord- ing to the needs of the associa- tion and expectations of the in- dividual.