Practice, power and meaning:Frameworks for studying organizational culture in multi-agency rural development projects

Lewis, David and Bebbington, Anthony J. and Batterbury, Simon P.J. and Shah, Alpa and Olson, Elizabeth and Siddiqi, M. Shameem and Duvall, Sandra (2003) Practice, power and meaning:Frameworks for studying organizational culture in multi-agency rural development projects. Journal of International Development, 15 (5). pp. 541-557. ISSN 0954-1748

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Abstract

Culture has received increasing attention in critical development studies, though the notion that there are important cultural differences within and between development organizations has received less consideration. This paper elaborates elements of a framework for studying organizational culture in multi-agency development projects. It draws on selected writings in anthropology and in organizational theory and suggests that these two bodies of literature can be usefully brought together, as well as on insights from ongoing fieldwork in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and Peru. At the centre of this framework is the analysis of context, practice and power. Where development projects involve multiple organizations (such as donors, government agencies, non-governmental organizations and grassroots groups) an analysis of cultures both within and between organizational actors can help explain important aspects of project performance. The paper argues that organizational culture is constantly being produced within projects, sometimes tending towards integration, often towards fragmentation. This fragmentation, indicative of the range of cultures within development organizations, is an important reason why some projects fail, and why ideas stated in project documents are often not realized, especially in the case of the newer and more contentious objectives such as 'empowerment'.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of International Development
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3303
Subjects:
ID Code:
134466
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
22 Jun 2019 08:55
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Sep 2020 05:10