Aspects of organisational decline and crisis: the multi-dimensional crisis in the United Kibbutz Movement
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15643
The thesis refers to the occurrence, evolution and analysis of a multi-dimensional crisis in the kibbutzim affiliated with Israel’s largest Kibbutz Federation, the United Kibbutz Movement. Concurrent with and preceding the all-encompassing crisis, a latent if persistent organisational decline is known to have affected most of the kibbutzim. The thesis, therefore, simultaneously addresses aspects of organisational decline and organisational crisis. None of the aforementioned phenomenon have as yet been appropriately researched within the framework of the kibbutz. It is generally argued that the kibbutz developed a large measure of organisational inertia, was shielded by a favouring task-environment, hence numbed its boundary spanning capacity. Adverse environmental jolts triggered a major crisis which exposed a wide variety of structural-organisational dysfunctions. This study encompasses a relatively large number of aspects consanguine with theories of both organisational decline and crisis. A number of reasons highlight the scholarly requisite in attending to these topics. On the one hand, the literature on organisational decline and crisis from different disciplines, posits often contradictory directions for both the synthesis of a coherent body of knowledge and prescriptions for crisis management. On the other hand, negative organisational trends within the kibbutz system have been very passably addressed. Since both decline and crisis digress from normative organisational conduct that underscores growth, they present somewhat more challenging research topics. Growing awareness as to the accelerated pace of organisational retrenchments and business failures alike have invoked academic as well as managerial interest. The rarity of either cross-sectional and specifically longitudinal data reflecting the dynamics of crisis and decline have resulted in proliferous theoretical treatises that, almost invariably lacked a comprehensive empirical substantiation. This thesis encompasses a population of crisis-ridden organisations based upon a longitudinal data-base. The study investigates antecedents, causes and responses to the crisis, employing statistical methodologies (Multiple Correspondence Analysis, Multiple Discriminant Analysis and Pooled Regression Analysis), hitherto not applied in the emerging discipline of organisational decline, crisis and demise. The findings support important theoretical propositions relevant to the roots of organisational response and organisational mobilisation towards a turnaround or organisational change. Essentially, many of the theoretical presumptions are akin with the normative dichotomy between not-for-profit and business organisations. To a large extent, these theories have been found to adequately mirror the situation in the kibbutz despite the structural co-existence of business and public domains under one organisational framework. The study points to three major types of crises; an economic, demographic and a crisis of meaninglessness. These may not be viewed singularly but should be conceptualised as a multi-dimensional or multi-facetted crisis. Indications abound as to the existence of vicious circles entailing the organisational, economic and demographic facets of the kibbutz. Empirical findings lend support mainly to theories ranging from brain-drain, prediction of organisational crisis, organisational goals and resistance to change. The thesis systematises a modest basis for further research as well as advances robust methodologies to facilitate future analyses of declining and demising organisations.
The University of Waikato
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Mis-numbered pages 50, 52, 145, 325, 368, 414, 464. Missing pages 402 - 403.
- Higher Degree Theses