Concept of the day: Organizational hypocrisy
Political scientists have interesting lenses on the world, but today I learned about the idea of organizational hypocrisy. I found it to be an intriguing concept to share with a broader audience.
“Organizational hypocrisy” carries a broad definition that the discourse, decisions, and actions of an organization may operate seemingly independent of one another. In other words, talk does not necessitate action. Particularly in institutions one may observe that vision statements differ significantly from reality on the ground. Investigations and promises of institutional change occur over long time horizons and may placate persons who desire immediate change.
I think the presence of organizational hypocrisy is essential given how reforms can come in various high-pitched waves. Many organizations work slowly to incorporate the latest fad. Like any innovation decision, commitment comes through testing the various ideas. If you can commit to a program in a piecemeal fashion over time, then it is much easier to envision moving more fully towards that program.
Change invites chaos. The more an institution deals with people, the more sense it makes to try to mitigate chaos associated with change. For instance, imagine living in a school district that adopted every educational fad suggested by a parent immediately. The decision process simply wouldn’t work. Sometimes people suggest things to organizations where the best response is politely diplomatic, “Thank you very much for your suggestion; we will consider the matter [relative to the stack of literature that suggests your suggestion would be remarkably bad for our context.]”