What is "Culture"? LO20052

GA RANDELL (G.A.Randell@Bradford.ac.uk)
Tue, 1 Dec 1998 12:17:33 +0000 (BST)

Replying to LO20024 --

As many others have on this list I too have struggled with constructs and
concepts like 'culture', 'leadership', 'motivation', 'morale'; all so
seductive but so elusive and slippery to pin down. Writing an article one
day outside in a Yorkshire summer not unexpectedly it rained and there was
a superb rainbow and with it came an insight. All those constructs are
like rainbows, magnificent to observe, can be seen and admired when
present and noticed when absent, but cannot be touched, measured or bought
or sold. They are all outcomes of interactions. If sunlight and raindrops
are positioned exactly (53 o?)you see a rainbow; if you get 'right' what
is inside a person and what is 'inside' their job you get motivation. One
of the great nonsenses of organisational activity is the statement that "
he works hard because he has motivation". Rubbish! these constructs cannot
cause anything to happen, except perhaps admiration or sadness! Then
'culture' is the outcome what is inside people interacting with what is
inside their society. To change it you can either or both work on what is
inside people, especially their education, or what is inside their society
eg standards of behaviour, laws, music, libraries, buildings etc. Other
great aspects of life are also outcomes of interactions and can also be
called rainbow concepts. Love is the outcome of what is within two people.
Beauty comes from what is inside a person interacting with an object or
environment. Freedom is what a person thinks it is interacting with the
regulations of a state, to increase it you can lower peoples expectations
or change the regulations to meet more peoples' expectations! By calling
all these great outcomes "rainbow concepts" does not belittle them, the
magnificence of a rainbow cannot be denied, but I hope it focuses
discussion and research on to the components and dynamics of the
interactions that cause them.
Gerry Randell
Emeritus Professor, University of Bradford, UK.


GA RANDELL <G.A.Randell@Bradford.ac.uk>

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