The world in which we live

Unhindered conservatism is not a way forward, but in fact, blocks the creativity and innovativeness which is a must for progress and development

Distasteful behaviours, inequalities, injustice, conflicts, tensions, poverty, ignorance, illiteracy, disease, deceit and crime are the consequences of feudalism and feudalistic attitudes, directly or indirectly. At times, human society appears to be an exact duplicate of the animal world. Thankfully, humans have started to understand that rights and obligations go together. There is difference between achievement and ascription. Universalism is better than particularism in decisions and actions. Merit has to be base of all decisions. Strengthening the education system will make reform possible.

Self-serving agendas do not promote national aspirations and public interest. What is happening all around is against the national interests of Pakistan. Forces destabilising the government and damaging the image of the state must be taken to task. Immaturity and incapacity cause problems and issues contributing to lack of cooperation. There is a need to understand the true meaning of people’s representation and right to govern. The need is to correct wrongs, all wrongs. But there is method even in madness.

Thankfully, emotional detachment empowers one to confidently uncover more and more. Engaging by choice, not by demand, enables us to dig deeper than ever. Welcome thoughts and feelings, ought to be let out unhindered. We must dance with them and empower them to affect change. Focus on possibilities of success, not the potential for failure. Stay close to reality; make sure your imagination is used not to escape reality — but to create it. Permit yourself a drift for a while, pressure is removed, certainty returns to you for a way forward.

A problem of state the solution of which the courts regard as belonging exclusively to the discretion of the executive or legislative branch is a political question. Supreme Court is rightly advised not to deal with political questions.

Politicians need to understand the true significance and meaning of liberalism. They have to draw a line between liberals and extremists. The focus must be on avoiding the dangerous consequences of religious extremism turning into terrorism. This is an existential question which must be addressed through an integrated approach by all pillars of the state as a collective responsibility. We must respect the constitution and strengthen our institutions. Pakistan’s Sacrifices in the war on terror must be given due recognition. Peace and stability are essential for socio-economic development and cultural harmony leading to unity and diversity. Our leadership’s whole mindset needs to be changed.

A nation that stops debating and rethinking leaves no space for new ideas to emerge. Unhindered conservatism is not a way forward, but in fact, blocks the creativity and innovativeness which is a must for progress and development.

Illegal protests, disloyalty to the state and its organs should not be permitted. Such displays are never in the public’s interest. At the same time, it is important that until someone is proven guilty, nobody should be arrested or subjected to any coercive measures by law enforcing agencies. Accountability is necessary, however, investigations should be transparent and without prejudice.

We need a general theory of modern organisation which can explain the behaviour commonly observed in our bureaucracies. Organisational behaviour is in large part institutional in nature and can be explained through an analysis of the system of order in which behaviour occurs.

While technical specialisation advances at a rapid rate, the cultural definitions of authority roles do not. Hence a gap of increasing width is created between those who have the right to make decisions in modern organisations and those who have the ability

Modern bureaucratic organisations are a composite of the traditional and the new. While technical specialisation advances at a rapid rate, the cultural definitions of authority roles do not.

Hence a gap of increasing width is created between those who have the right to make decisions in modern organisations and those who have the ability. The resulting insecurity and friction gives rise to bureaucratic practices in the pathological sense, which is termed ‘bureaupathic’ behaviour. Conformity, dependence on regulations and quantitative standards and the need to control are some of the forms of bureaupathic behaviour.

Modern organisations are run utilising a system of human behaviour composed of several sub-systems: the authority subsystem, the status subsystem, and the technical subsystem. The impact of these three upon inter-personal face-to-face communication creates a fourth subsystem, the group or affective subsystem often called ‘informal organisations’. Analysis of these subsystems contributes to our understanding of the world in which we live and work. It helps us understand the nature of conflicts and approaches to resolving conflicts and administering change.

Leadership is a function of the situation, including the kind of people, the kind of problem and the kind of group. Adequate organisational performance is possible through the balancing of productivity along with maintaining the morale of team members.

It is important to understand the significance and implication of organisation culture, organisation development, and organisation change.

Organisational culture is a pattern of basic assumptions that are taught to new personnel as the correct way to perceive, think, and act on a day-to-day basis. Some of the important characteristics of organisational culture are observed in behavioural regularities, norms, dominant values, philosophy, rules, and organisational climate.

While everyone in an organisation will share the organisation’s culture, not may do so to a uniform degree. There can be a dominant culture, but also a number of subcultures. A dominant culture is a set of core values that is shared by a majority of the organisation’s members. A subculture is a set of values shared by a small percentage of the organisation’s members. Some organisations have strong cultures; others have weak cultures. The strength of the culture will depend on “sacredness” and intensity. Sharedness is the degree to which the organisational members have the same core values. Intensity is the degree of commitment of the organisational members to the core values.

A culture typically created by a leader who forms a core group that share a common vision. This group acts in unison to create the cultural values, norms and climate necessary to carry on the leader’s vision. In maintaining this culture, enterprises typically carry out several steps such as the following: careful selection at entry-level, experience required is taken into account, careful adherence to the organisation’s most important values, and finally, a recognition and promotion of individuals who have done their jobs well and who can serve as role models to new personnel in the organisation.

In order to remain competitive and to survive, organisations have to change their culture. Organisational development is a long-term effort to improve an organisation’s capacity for problem solving and renewal — particularly through a more effective and collaborative management of organisational culture with special emphasis on the culture of formal work teams. Simply stated, organisational development is a planned process of change in the organisation’s culture through the utilisation of behavioural science technology, research and theory.

There is need to understand the distinctions between power, authority, and influence, and political perspective of power in organisation.

Who Knows?

Life is time-bound though,

here are a few moments for us to share,

intimately, without shackles,

utilise this time available free,

lest we have to repent,

the rest of life,

today is the summit of beauty and love in the best of glory,

who knows what is in stock for tomorrow?

The writer is a former Director, National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA), Government of Pakistan, a political analyst, a public policy expert, and an author. His book, post 9/11 Pakistan, was published in the United States

Published in Daily Times, March 4th 2018.