ERIC Number: ED232258
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Environment as Subjective Reality.
Greenfield, Thomas B.
The usual ways of thinking about organiztions represent them as physical or biological entities that respond to their environments as whole, integrated systems existing apart from individuals. Such images omit human will, imagination and moral choice. If we think about organizations in human terms, we must think about the capacity of individuals to reflect, choose, and create. If organizations are simply systems responding to environments, the individual is subordinated to an impersonal process of adjustment. Personal responsibility for action is lost. If we are to think meaningfully and helpfully about organizations, we must reach for new images. An alternative evokes the stage, the play and the actor. We may then ask new questions about organizations. Who sets the stage? Who writes the script? Who defines the role? What restraints bind the actors and why do they bind them at all? Individuals are never simply "products" of organizations and environments. The lines between script, role and actor fade as do the distinctions between organization, environment and self. Organizations are social inventions produced by individuals. Their dynamic is power wielded by individuals who bind others by imposing values on them. Individuals grow within values so that imposition becomes self-identification and commitment. (Author)
Descriptors: Creative Thinking, Dramatics, Environment, Group Dynamics, Human Dignity, Humanism, Individual Power, Locus of Control, Metaphors, Organizational Theories, Organizations (Groups), Personal Autonomy, Self Actualization, Self Determination, Social Action, Social Environment, Social Psychology, Social Structure, Social Values, Systems Approach
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 11-15, 1983).