From Management Education to Civic Reconstruction: The Emerging Ecology of Organizations

From Management Education to Civic Reconstruction: The Emerging Ecology of Organizations

From Management Education to Civic Reconstruction: The Emerging Ecology of Organizations

From Management Education to Civic Reconstruction: The Emerging Ecology of Organizations


From Management Education to Civic Reconstruction provides a unique analysis of how a combination of diverse, culturally based approaches are implicitly or explicitly built into the development of a business or organization. The author addresses key issues at the forefront of developmental management, and demonstrates methods whereby principles of ecology can be applied to different stages of organizational development at both local and global level. This text will be of interest to students and practitioners in the fields of organizational behavior, corporate strategy and management education.


Our purpose is to invite you as a manager, your organization and your society to journey through four worlds-from individually oriented education and training to organizationally oriented intellectual capital, and from inter-organizationally oriented knowledge creation to societally based civic reconstruction-mediated by our so-called 'knowledge creating ecology'. The journey begins at City University Business School, through its evolving Managment MBA programme. Alongside it first, as a strong force of political and economic tradition, the commercially and somewhat parochially based City Corporation and Lloyd's of London are individually evolving. Such an evolutionary development is from management training towards executive education and from didactic instruction towards action learning. Second, together with our programme, those Anglo-Saxon national symbols of modernity, Ford and IBM, based in the USA, and Sainsbury's, based in the UK, are converting, implicitly if not yet explicitly, physical and financial into intellectual capital.

Third, and now in transnational 'post-modern' guise, we illustrate for you how intellectual capital, or knowledge management, is evolving towards knowledge creation. Starting in the 'west' with the insurance industry in Britain, we journey transnationally towards the Austrian 'north' via the Internationales Designcenter, to the Palestinian middle 'east' through health oriented Medlabs, and to the indigenous 'south' via Thames Valley Police, drawing upon New Zealand's Maoris. In each case we cite our co-evolving relationship with knowledge intensive service industries. Finally, returning to our perennial source, that is civic society, where global knowledge creation and civic reconstruction meet, we take you to Surrey Police and to Virgin Direct, to the Body Shop and to Anglian Water.

For us at City University, then, the journey began ten years ago. In the late 1980s an entrepreneurial professor of Export Marketing at our Business School set out following the course of all pioneering ecosystems, to 'colonize' the MBA market in the UK. As such he established a project based masters programme, aimed exclusively at a largely untapped demand for accredited management education, that of practising managers. In the same period Anglian Water, one of the UK's leading water utilities, was set for the same pioneering course, through a programme of privatization. What any ecosystem knows, as it were, but neither Prime Minister Thatcher nor our entrepreneurial professor did, is that such 'colonization' is only a first step along a richly varied 'fourfold' way, that is towards a fully fledged knowledge creating ecology. Had each known this, their respectively ministerial and professorial regimes might have been even more enduring, reaching all the way to genuine civic reconstruction.

Three years later I met up with my ecologist colleague Sudhanshu Palsule in Goa, having teamed up with our pioneering professor to take the MMBA forward, at a symposium dedicated to a 'catalytic' process of turning businesses into learning communities. 1 As an economist and psychologist, I had been focusing on business and economic development in Europe and Africa. Sudhanshu Palsule, a physicist and ecologist, had been orienting himself towards business and the physical environment, in Asia and America. Some five years later, though he was unaware of it at the time, Sudhanshu would arrive at Anglian Water in the UK, via Denmark . . .

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