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Community is Not a Place But a Relationship: Lessons for Organizational Development.

Boyes-Watson, Carolyn
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Public Organization Review: A Global Journal.5: 359–374.

The premise of this article is that organizations need to be ‘‘organized’’ differently if we want to reinvigorate
the power of community in contemporary life. A central theme within the current reform
movement toward restorative justice is the devolution of authority from formal governmental systems
to community. In order to effectively socialize young people, communities and families must perform
certain functions well. As more and more societal activities take place within organizations, we face
the dilemma that the weakened communities create a demand for increasing involvement of public
organizations in the life of the community. Yet modern organizations do not effectively perform
functions unique to families and communities. Drawing on insights from a unique community-system
partnership in restorative peacemaking circles, this paper argues we may need to reinvent our
organizations so that they learn to behave as members of the community. (author’s abstract)


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