The challenges of the future involve the integration of peoples and cultures into a world society totally different from anything ever imagined in the past. Researchers and practitioners from the fields of business, management and leadership have proposed a giant shift from “command and control” organizations to those based on chaordic and systems theory paradigms. However, examples of this paradigm come mostly from modern western industrialized societies. What happens when we take these models out into the wide world of international cultural diversity? Anthropologists have studied a wider variety of strategies for accomplishing organizational goals in a wider variety of cultures than members of any other discipline. Anthropological evidence and perspectives on social and cultural sustainability and change have enormous potential for understanding what organizational principles will and will not work as we move from nation states to a global society. This paper proposes that anthropological data and theory supports the systems theory and chaordic organizational models as the most sustainable types of organizations for a global society. It also points out the kinds of “cultural infrastructure” that must be built into global society before this kind of organization can flourish.
|Keywords:||Anthropology, Systems Theory, Chaordic Organizations, Culture Change, Globalization, Sustainable Organizations|
Professor of Anthropology, Sociology and Anthropology Department, University of La Verne, La Verne, California, USA
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