Organizational Change and the Third World: Designs for the Twenty-First Century

Organizational Change and the Third World: Designs for the Twenty-First Century

Organizational Change and the Third World: Designs for the Twenty-First Century

Organizational Change and the Third World: Designs for the Twenty-First Century

Synopsis

A continuing problem in the development of Third World countries is the lack of sufficiently trained people who can both organize and carry out organizational changes for improved results. Organizational Change and the Third World explains how to achieve organizational change through improved management. Executives in public and private sectors, government officials in developing countries, or educators in public administration can turn to this book for sound advice on improving organizational effectiveness.

Excerpt

Organizational development has brought about significant increases in efficiency and productivity in the Third World, but, as a discipline, it traditionally has had one fundamental flaw. It does not address the most important component of any development program--the beneficiaries themselves. in this book, Allen Jedlicka asserts that these individuals play a critical role in organizational change, and his expertise provides practitioners with the tools to help bring them into that process.

I share Jedlicka's commitment to this process. To move into the twenty- first century, and to work toward real development in which the poor and disenfranchised gain power and autonomy over their lives, they must be part of the development process. Program beneficiaries must be involved in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the very programs that have an impact on their lives. More importantly, beneficiaries must be prepared by development organizations for the day when they will be responsible for project management.

However, as most of us have found out in the field, creating meaningful mechanisms for the participation of project beneficiaries is not as simple as it would appear at first glance. Even the thought of "those" people having a say in project design, let alone management, puts most administrators and program managers into a cold sweat because it involves sharing power with an external group--people who are generally viewed paternalistically if not with contempt. Staff members do not recognize the value of their input. Talk of increasing participation in program implementation creates high levels of stress in the organization. Staff members begin to fear that if they do their jobs well and beneficiaries really do gain greater control over their environment, they will lose their jobs.

Jedlicka's book tackles this problem head on. He presents a strategy for bringing beneficiaries into the development process that, because it threatens the status quo of program staff, must include both attitudinal and institutional changes. He correctly asserts that the management style and systems of these organizations must change in order for this to happen. Before the beneficiaries are able to provide meaningful input into program management, program staff must understand and accept the importance and usefulness of joint decision making and appreciate the knowledge and expertise of their client groups. To prepare the organization for meaningful participation by the client group, Jedlicka presents a series of training sessions that challenges program staff to change their attitudes and helps sensitize them to the need and urgency of including their clients in the development process.

That clients can play an active and effective role has been repeatedly . . .

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