Author: Lynn Caudwell
‘What makes an organization, what it does and the way it does it, ‘Christian?’ (Jeavons, 1994, p139)
This question will be explored and the resulting concepts used as a basis for comparing the strengths and weakness of OCAI and Aspire tools in relation to Christian culture. These findings together with brief reflections on using the OCAI tool in ‘SIL’, a faith-based non-profit organization will guide the conclusion.
Distinctiveness of the Christian Context
In the evolving organizational culture debate one definition states that group culture is;
a pattern of shared basic assumptions that was learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and , therefore, to be taught as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel… (Schein, 2004, p17)
I could expand on those discussions. However in this paper the word ‘Christian’ means that we have to step further back. When an organization calls itself ‘Christian’ I suggest that it already has a distinctive culture. We are not talking about any set of assumptions learned by a random group, as in Schein’s definition. Christian organizations are made up of people who already come with a deeper set of basic beliefs that are shared to a greater or lesser extent by others who join them.
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