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Organizational ethos in a multicultural society - a case study

Magnusson, Susanna LU (2013) NordMedia 2013
Abstract
This paper describes and analyzes the strategies and efforts of a public organization in order to establish organizational credibility in multicultural areas. The trust-building efforts by the organization, a local rescue services in the south of Sweden, are a response to several years of social unrest, communicative clashes and hostile treatment between operative firemen and residents in areas of the city. In this paper a rhetorical perspective is introduced to analyze the relationship-building activities launched by the rescue services in order to change the organizational image and to create a more hospitable relationship between operative firemen and residents. It is argued that the rhetorical concept of ethos (credibility, trust) is... (More)
This paper describes and analyzes the strategies and efforts of a public organization in order to establish organizational credibility in multicultural areas. The trust-building efforts by the organization, a local rescue services in the south of Sweden, are a response to several years of social unrest, communicative clashes and hostile treatment between operative firemen and residents in areas of the city. In this paper a rhetorical perspective is introduced to analyze the relationship-building activities launched by the rescue services in order to change the organizational image and to create a more hospitable relationship between operative firemen and residents. It is argued that the rhetorical concept of ethos (credibility, trust) is appropriate to discern different dimensions (competence, character and good-will) in the process of establishing organizational credibility. The study, mainly based on 33 qualitative interviews, shows that there has been a clear shift in the organizational ethos towards the dimension of good-will. Investing in the community and in social issues, thus clearly demonstrating good-will, are important parts of the ethos-building activities. Key-actors in this change are a group of link-workers with immigrant background who facilitate of the residents identifying with the organization. While the efforts seem to contribute to a changing organizational ethos, there are some difficulties on the way. The main challenge seems to be the internal opposition towards the strategic shift of the organization. (Less)
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organization
publishing date
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Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
Keywords: rhetoric, organizational ethos, phronesis, arête, eunoia, community relations
conference name
NordMedia 2013
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8455c3e1-2275-4e6f-854d-d18d485f15d0 (old id 4194090)
date added to LUP
2013-12-10 13:45:39
date last changed
2016-04-16 12:34:57
@misc{8455c3e1-2275-4e6f-854d-d18d485f15d0,
  abstract     = {This paper describes and analyzes the strategies and efforts of a public organization in order to establish organizational credibility in multicultural areas. The trust-building efforts by the organization, a local rescue services in the south of Sweden, are a response to several years of social unrest, communicative clashes and hostile treatment between operative firemen and residents in areas of the city. In this paper a rhetorical perspective is introduced to analyze the relationship-building activities launched by the rescue services in order to change the organizational image and to create a more hospitable relationship between operative firemen and residents. It is argued that the rhetorical concept of ethos (credibility, trust) is appropriate to discern different dimensions (competence, character and good-will) in the process of establishing organizational credibility. The study, mainly based on 33 qualitative interviews, shows that there has been a clear shift in the organizational ethos towards the dimension of good-will. Investing in the community and in social issues, thus clearly demonstrating good-will, are important parts of the ethos-building activities. Key-actors in this change are a group of link-workers with immigrant background who facilitate of the residents identifying with the organization. While the efforts seem to contribute to a changing organizational ethos, there are some difficulties on the way. The main challenge seems to be the internal opposition towards the strategic shift of the organization.},
  author       = {Magnusson, Susanna},
  keyword      = {Keywords: rhetoric,organizational ethos,phronesis,arête,eunoia,community relations},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Organizational ethos in a multicultural society - a case study},
  year         = {2013},
}