Journal of Business Ethics 25 (2):157 - 167 (2000)

The problem this article is concerned with is the failure ofmany large organizations in formerly socialist countries and inpublic sectors of market economies to make effective, peaceful,and ethical transformation from command to market responsiveorganization and privatization. There are at least threeimportant behavioral causes of this problem. First, organizationtransformation is blocked because the organization tries tochange "all at once" before the organization has learned how toact successfully in a new for the organization environment as amarket responsive instead of a command organization (Churchman,1971; Quinn, 1980; Nystrom and Starbuck, 1984; Mintzberg andWaters, 1985; Mintzberg, 1994; Goldman, 1994). Second,organization transformation is blocked because "all at oncechange" stimulates so much fear and political opposition thatchange is politically not possible (Argyris and Schon, 1974;Argyris, 1990; Goldman, 1994; Sachs, 1992). Third, organizationtransformation is blocked because the "guardian" ethics syndromeof command organization is less appropriate for market responsiveorganization than a "commercial" ethics syndrome (Jacobs, 1992;Harris, 1995). Gradual intrapreneurship (Burgelman, 1983; Nielsenet al., 1985) can serve as a peaceful and ethical transitionstrategy. Intrapreneurship can help bridge some of thecontradictions between "commercial" vs. "guardian" ethicssyndromes (Jacobs, 1992; Nielsen, 1996).
Keywords Philosophy   Ethics   Business Education   Economic Growth   Management
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1005973414347
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