Decision-Making and the Creation of Countercultural Organizational Power Structures

Daniel Macon Chick


Organizational decision-making helps to define, reflect, and create cultural values. This study examines an instance in which organizational change occurred at a small, private, Liberal Arts College in central Kentucky. This paper’s purpose is to examine the threshold at which cultural members opt to work outside the already established guidelines. The crisis affecting this organization occurred after several faculty members took umbrage with several decisions made at the administrational level. These faculty members banded together in a formalized movement to enact change, acting in countercultural fashion (i.e. challenging organizational norms, recommending changes in leadership and management practices). For this case study, participants were selected from employees of this institution. The researcher conducted interviews to learn participants’ perspectives on various subjects such as their personal opinion on organizational decision-making processes, structure, and administrational transparency after decisions have been made. Another key consideration was how that relates to their support of a movement counter to current organizational norms and why each was used to justify the creation of such a movement. This study is intended to further the understanding of crises and change movements in organizations and larger cultures in danger of movements that run counter to current organizational norms, as well as to enhance the organizational learning processes for those who have already experienced social upheaval within their organization


Organizational Change; Employee Communication; Employee Motivation

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