Tag Archives: organization

Powerful Committees Aphorism

Someone asked me why a particular committee had not done a task that impeded the progress of a mutual friend.

I said:

“Because powerful committees grow thick skins.”

 

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Filed under Orgs Stuff (theory, science, studies), pithy expressions, writing

Social Movement Theory and Terrorism

I have been chipping away at an article for awhile now on terrorism as an organizational activity.  Part of my argument is to understand terrorism as at times a social movement.

Part of the fun of this for me is to learn more about social movements which has always been a topic my interests bump up against, but something I never had time to formally study.

Reading Castells (who channel Alain Tourraine, apparently), Tilly, and Giddens, among others, brought the idea of social movements into my sphere of interest.  Then I started reading and reading about the work done by institutional theorists like Haogreeva Rao and others about thinking about consumers as social movements.  For example, his book, Market Rebels, makes the case that markets are at times created by consumers, not firms.

Today, in a fit of retroactive literature scanning, I decided to check what had been said about terrorism and social movement theory.  Two interesting findings.

First, the wikipedia article cites Tilly and Tarrow (separately) defining social movements as inherently a featrue of pluralist, democratic societies.  Moreover, Tilly’s repretoire does not include any violent acts.  This surprised me.  Terrorist organizations seem to operate in such societies and also, with Al Qaeda, at a global level.  Moreover, they are also embedded in or linked to social movements and sets of social movement organizations.  So, if a social movement is a an observable collective effort to resist or adopt social change, then terrorist organizations can be part of that definition, irrespective of their geographic location.

Second, I hopped over to google scholar to see what had been written about social movement theory and terrorism.  Using those search terms, I found one article in Terrorism and Political Violence.  Who knew there was sucha  specialized journal?  C. Gentry’s article is titled: ” THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NEW SOCIAL MOVEMENT THEORY AND TERRORISM STUDIES: THE ROLE OF LEADERSHIP, MEMBERSHIP, IDEOLOGY AND GENDER”.   I am not even sure from the title if it is relevant.  That was the first hit, none of the rest seemed any better. This struck me as very odd and made me wonder if I have stumbled onto a much larger claim than I realized initially:

Terrorist Organizing must be accounted for by social movement theory.

Now, I wonder about how to use my blog.  I have never had anything like an active “readership” as far as i can tell.  I would love to get some answers or responses to what I discuss here.  But how?  Should I email Brayden King or Fabio Rojas at OrgTheory.net and say, “hey, please read this?”

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Filed under activism, organization theory, sociology, Terrorism

To Wiki or not to Wiki?

Write this email to Bryan Alexander over at NITLE to see if his input could help me make a quick dicision about “to wiki or not to wiki?”

I am thinking of trying to use a wiki for two projects.

1)      Organize the ever more cluttered and bushy set of resources i would like to draw on in my teaching.  I have been a pack rat for awhile with both print and electronic resources.   When it comes time to dip into this pool to build syllabi, I tend to ignore it as it is hard to access.  I was imagining that a wiki could help me combine tags or a folksonomy with links and some brief commentary.

2)      As a collaborative tool in a class I am about to teach on organization theory.  The plan is to have students and myself educate ourselves on  the financial crisis and work together to find out “what went on.”  I though a wiki could be used to build knowledge and resources.

My university has Blackboard and there is a wiki tool there.

I was wondering if you have any thoughts about wiki tools or platforms.  Is there one good one for academics?  Is there an “industry leader” out there?

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Filed under Living Web, pedagogy, technology