Organizational democracy at work. Shaping participation through strategic planning in university

Author/s Carmela Barbera, Roberto Lusardi, Stefano Tomelleri
Publishing Year 2024 Issue 2023/2
Language English Pages 32 P. 162-193 File size 565 KB
DOI 10.3280/SO2023-002007
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This article discusses whether and how strategic planning can promote the development and dissemination of organizational democracy in knowledge-intensive organizations. This research is inspired by the theoretical approach known as strategy-as-practice, in which strategic planning is considered a process of co-construction of meanings and actions involving multiple actors engaged in negotiation dynamics, through situational interactions in daily practice. Adopting a strategic ethnography approach from a methodological point of view, we examine the participatory strategic planning process conducted from January 2022 to April 2023 at the University of Bergamo. By analyzing ethnographic reports, formal documents, and working drafts, four strategic practices (Collective decision making, Platform and process alignment, Emotional coordination, and Organizational diplomacy) are identified as connected to two key enabling factors (synergic approach and consensus on organizational change) that can support and facilitate the spread of work environments more sensitive to the principles of organizational democracy. Implications for both theory and practice are discussed.

Keywords: Strategic Planning; Strategy-as-practice; Organizational Democracy; Higher Education; Action Research.

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Carmela Barbera, Roberto Lusardi, Stefano Tomelleri, Organizational democracy at work. Shaping participation through strategic planning in university in "STUDI ORGANIZZATIVI " 2/2023, pp 162-193, DOI: 10.3280/SO2023-002007