Voluntary Agencies: Challenges of Organisation and by David Billis, Margaret Harris (eds.)

By David Billis, Margaret Harris (eds.)

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Extra resources for Voluntary Agencies: Challenges of Organisation and Management

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Thus if any single commitment is resolutely pursued, without considering the web of other related commitments i~ which it is embedded, the results will always be contentious and, indeed, morally questionable. In general, decisionmaking becomes ever more difficult the stricter and more diverse the criteria that must be satisfied. Hence the familiar strategies of functional separation of activities, the quasi-resolution of conflict, local rationality, and the sequential attention to goals (Cyert and March, 1963).

Was Red Rope endorsing behaviour and cultural stereotypes which 36 How are Values Handled? ' (Batsleer, 1992, pp. 50-1). This example suggests that the values and commitments of social movement organisations, especially small and medium-sized ones whose internal processes are more informal, are more likely to be ambiguous and hence open to conflicting interpretation. By contrast, in large and well-established organisations, especially those associated with the dominant values and beliefs in society, the meaning of values and commitments are to a greater extent governed by convention.

Clearly, earlier caveats about the preliminary status of the framework developed in this paper become more relevant than ever. That said, one test of the concept is whether it helps to make sense of the experience of staff and managers in voluntary agencies. To the extent that it clarifies significant features of some of the predicaments they experience from time to time, it may also enable more informed and discerning judgements to be made. But there can be no question of deriving formulae for the management of values issues - as if the judgements involved could be expressed in a 'how to do it' checklist.

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