Does information define the individual in the organization, or do symbols and artifacts serve that purpose?

Do any of these quotes resonate with you?

"We are living on a wandering planet", he beautifully observed. "From time to time, thanks to the aeroplane, it reveals to us its origin: a lake connected with the moon unveils hidden kinships. I have seen other signs of this." This idea of connection - an idea that was both environmentalist and humanist in its implications - joins all of Saint-Ex's writing, right through to his mystical work, Citadelle, unfinished at the time of his death (he died as he dreamed, disappearing in July 1944 during a reconnaissance flight over the Mediterranean). Up in his sky-lab, Saint-Ex developed a socialist version of heroism: a belief ... that "human solidarity was the only true wealth in life, mutual responsibility the only ethic".

Air of danger | Robert Macfarlane

More about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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But what is Flight to Arras?

an MB-174, like was flown in the book,
I have been up there to seek once more the proof of my good faith, in the skies over Arras. I have committed my flesh to that endeavour. All my flesh. I committed it when loss seemed certain. I gave everything I could to the rules of the game ... In other words, the right to participate. To be bonded. To commune. To receive and to give. To be more than myself. To accede to that sense of fullness which is growing so strongly within me. To experience the love that I am experiencing towards my comrades, that love which does not come surging from somewhere outside, which does not seek expression - ever - except, to be truthful, at farewell dinners ... My love for the Squadron has no need of words. It is formed only of bonds. It is my very substance. I am one with the Squadron. That is all there is to it.
  1. Does the above speak to you. if you want more, glance over Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Uniforms ask to be taken seriously, with suggestions of probity and virtue (clergy and nuns, judges when robed), expertise (naval officers, senior chefs, airline pilots), trustworthiness (Boy and Girl Scouts, letter carriers, delivery men and women), courage (U.S. Marines, police officers, firefighters), obedience (high school and university marching bands, Ku Klux Klan), extraordinary cleanliness and sanitation (vendors of ice cream on the streets, operating-room personnel, beauty salon employees, food workers visible to the public, and, in hospitals, all wearers of white lab coats, where a single blood stain might cause shame and even dismissal).
  1. And see how it relates to Paul Fussell's ruminations on uniforms.

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You don't have to read these unless you wish to, but we might touch upon them in conversation

thinking about organizational culture
Despite their comparative neglect analytically, uniforms play a key role in the delineation of occupational boundaries and the formation of professional identity in healthcare.
  1. Timmons, S., & East, L. (November 01, 2011). Uniforms, status and professional boundaries in hospital. Sociology of Health and Illness, 33, 7, 1035-1049.

Culture as a concept has had a long and checkered history ... In this context managers speak of developing the "right kind of culture" or a "culture of quality," suggesting that culture is concerned with certain values that managers are trying to inculcate in their organizations.
  1. Chapter 2, Uncovering the levels of culture, pages 16-27 in Schein, E. H. (1985). Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

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things we'll talk about

  • how do artifacts, espoused values, and basic underlying assumptions change how individuals feel about their organization?
  • let's have some examples from you all
  • do different individuals perceive the same organization differently?
  • how do our interactions with elements of UNC's culture affect the way we feel about it?
  • how do personal, visible identifiers like uniforms impact an individual's sense of belonging in an organization?

If the session will include an in-class exercise, it will be noted here.

slides for session 07

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something to take away

senegal fast food

Amadou and Mariam, and their place in, plus Manu Chao and his place in, with some comments about them from their Wikipedia entries

Amadou & Mariam are a musical duo from Mali, composed of the couple Amadou Bagayoko (guitar and vocals) (born in Bamako 24 October 1954) and Mariam Doumbia (vocals) (born in Bamako 15 April 1958). The pair, known as "the blind couple from Mali" met at Mali's Institute for the Young Blind, and found they shared an interest in music.
Manu Chao (born José-Manuel Thomas Arthur Chao on June 21, 1961), is a French singer of Spanish origin (Basque and Galician). He sings in French, Spanish, English, Galician, Arabic and Portuguese and occasionally in other languages.

Amadou & Mariam - Senegal Fast Food by Tchefari

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