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Democracy, Culture and Cohesion Published: Sunday, March 25, 2007 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel Morales

We are living complex times, full of competitiveness challenges.  At a societal level this, condition requires of economic growth, government agility and facilitation, robust industry sectors, solid infrastructure and healthy social and political cohesion.  At an institutional or team level, the competitiveness drive demands agreement and trust regarding goals, roles, processes and the healthy management of feelings and emotions.  Both, at the societal and institutional levels the aim is for delivering consistently good decisions, policies, programs, and outputs; consistently effective and efficient implementation; and producing consistently innovative ideas.  The integration of these dimensions produces the entrepreneurship spirit or culture which is fundamental for growth, development and progress.  An entrepreneurial society, institution or human-being are the ones that can create and implement ideas to impact performance and results.  This is a formidable predicament because the best manner to impact progress is by way of ideas and not by control.

InPuerto Ricowe have to come to terms with the empirical proposition regarding the connection between team cohesion and team execution and effectiveness.  Highly cohesive societies (agreement and trust foundation) tend to be more successful and efficient in facing the challenges of competitiveness and in solving the problems of this titanic task.  But and important perspective here is that cohesion is not in conflict with pluralism, diversity or heterogeneous environment.  We are referring to a kind of dramatic challenge, vision, strategy or task cohesion which uses the goals of a huge and complex problem at hand to bring the society, the organizations or the people together.  Task cohesion develops as a result of the difficulty of the task at hand. (Brain Mullen & Carolyn Cooper, “The Relation Between Cohesion and Performance”)

There are two core and interesting empirical propositions of organizational design. (1) If the challenge or task at hand is solving and interpersonal problem, use confidence, social awareness and trust development technologies; (2) If the challenge or task is that of solving a technical or process problem (like offering a wider variety of products, services, cycle time reduction, cost management and operational excellence) focus on the proper skill mix of talent and expertise.  Of course, designers of these complex projects have to be ready for achieving an adequate combination of both flavors.  After all leadership is about the intelligent combination of people side leading with the technological and process aspect of these ventures.  A WORD OF CAUTIOUSNESS: AT THE END OF THE DAY CULTURE, CONTEXT OF ENVIRONMENT WILL DETERMINE THE SCOPE OF SUCCESS AND ACCOMPLISHMENT.

The execution-result oriented leadership is about managing task cohesion to maximize pluralistic and diversity membership while minimizing the disadvantages of antagonistic tension and conflict.  Task cohesion depends on the competencies mix of the members (social and technical).  Exercising leadership is a socio-cultural-technical task.

The degree of cohesion, still within a pluralistic and diverse culture and environment is a foundation of societal and institutional competitiveness.

Copyright 2007 QBS, Inc.


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