Re: Hierarchy LO229

Bill Weber (bweber@umce.umext.maine.EDU)
Fri, 24 Feb 95 12:24:12 EST

Michael McMaster raises the issue of need for hierarchy in any(?)
organizations in LO205. I wonder if we in modern, western organizations
have confused hierarchy with what I see as paternal authority carrying
itself out to the extreme end of the spectrum. My experience in several
organizations seems to bear this out, although I am not sure that this is
not as much about me as the organization. I do sense that we have lost, if
we in the west ever really had it, the value of hierarchy. From the
little I know of the world's cultures, hierarchy as been one essential
ingredient in sustaining that culture. The difference, I suspect, in
today's organizations has to do with valuing what I see as paternal
authority as opposed to valuing masculine and feminine authority in the
hierarchy. I see this in family systems, and both profit and non-profit
systems of organization. The duality of gender seems to me to be in more
or less healthy tension in any organization, from the smallest family unit
to the largest organization. We might advance our understanding of
organization by acknowledging and beginning to aware ourselves of this
energy in an organization. If organizations are somehow a level above
individuals, then do they carry the same kinds of energies, the conscious
and unconscious and on and on. I think that they do. I'm not so clear
about the transforming effect on organizations that these complex and
compounding energies have. But have them they do-every organization,
profit and non-profit, in which I have been involved has spoken of its
"soul" or its "temper" and its dark side(meaning unconscious).

On another note, I need to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed the give and
take in this network(the duality!) and find myself stimulated.

From: Bill Weber <bweber@umce.umext.maine.EDU>