Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Pull of Culture in the University Student Council

The Pull of Culture in the University Student Council

What then could be responsible for the non-ability of the University Student Council to conform to the Weberian ideal? According to Prof. Amelia Varela in her essay, the Culture Perspective in Organization Theory: Relevance to Public Administration

“…the personal preferences of organizational members are not restrained by systems of formal rules, authority, and norms or rational behavior. Instead, they are controlled by cultural norms, values, beliefs, and assumptions.”

While the members of an organization understand the formality of the organization and even the well-entrenched rules and regulations, it is culture that dictates how and why members of an organization and even the organization itself operate and deliver the way they do. The essay further adds –

“The administrative culture is but an aspect of the political culture which in turn is part of the total culture of a given society xxx The prevalent existential beliefs, values, norms and feelings that make up the administrative culture are subjective links between the events of politics and administration and the behavior of the actors in the administrative system.”

The Weberian model of bureaucracy cannot ipso facto be implemented in an organization with a culture that is deeply-entrenched that includes every member’s collective value-system, philosophy, ideology, beliefs, assumptions and norms. In the University Student Council, the culture in which it is immersed in is formed by a mix of the militant national democratic culture and the dominant contemporary youth popular culture.

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