Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The End of Economic Man, Chapter 1 (pt 2)

If this guy is going to become an expert on organization, you’d think that he’d have at least a little sympathy for a movement that substituted organization for social goals, but he has none. You need to have a real goal. In the “European tradition, the justification of power must be the central issue.” (p 14)

I wonder how much Drucker followed the development of the social organizations on the Internet. He died in 2005, so he must have seem some of it. So many of these groups formed so naturally around an idea that the participants gave no thought to the justification of power. But I can remember when I was interviewing early network organizers, I found that they had a tremendous difficulty justifying power.

Flaming. I think that the term is still current. It was a phenomena on the early email based groups. Individuals who had some emotional response to a network discussion would express their opinions in long, invective-filled, emails. Many, many of the early group leaders were reluctant to discipline people who disrupted group discussion. They had to justify their power and didn’t want to do it. They thought that the organization would run itself.

Well we know better now, at least a little better. We know that organizations don’t run themselves, that leaders have to justify their power and that organizations have to have a purpose. Nothing is emptier than a discussion group with no purpose.

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