Organisational Politics

Yet another look at organisational politics, now I’m not as annoyed as I was yesterday. Cryptic? Hopefully enough to save me from the thought police.
We know we’re not the only ones on the wrong side of organisational politics; a squint at some of the other blogs we are linked to will give an abundance of examples of organisational politics getting in the way of people working effectively in any number of fields. Our friend Simon’s latest blog even begins with politics:

I did a report a while back for a major church about how they could be and should be using IT in their mission. Politics took over and they rejected the report…

I suspect our organisation isn’t the worst. When I was thinking about signing up, I sent my CV around to 12 organisations, and eventually came to the conclusion that ours was the “least worst”. The voluntary sector in general is a strange beast, but having operated in various voluntary organisations, both secular and Christian, I am convinced that the Christian voluntary sector is measurably worse than average.

Why is this? Two things spring to mind. One, we operate on a shoe string: “If you pay peanuts you get monkeys”. But that was also true of the small secular voluntary organisation I last worked for peanuts for, but politics didn’t seem to be a major issue there (apart from when we had to deal with social services, and then the bad politics were all theirs). And two, “All institutions are oppressive”; because by defining a system you are either bending the exceptions to make them appear to fit, or excluding them altogether. But that is also true of any defined system including those of the secular voluntary sector. I promise I don’t have rose tinted spectacles, there are some pretty bad, patronising, plain nasty voluntary organisations out there, particularly in the field of disabilities, but if you’re looking for case studies of poor decision making, you’ll find the Christian sector hard to beat. Why is this?

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