Title: Challenging traditions from a management perspective: an Egyptian case study

Authors: Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger; Anett Hermann

Addresses: Gender and Diversity Management Group, Department Management, WU Vienna, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria ' Gender and Diversity Management Group, Department Management, WU Vienna, Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria

Abstract: This paper deals with the question of how organisational values change through organisational learning. The discussion is based on empirical studies undertaken over a period of five years in a particular cultural field, namely Upper Egypt. Using the example of a national NGO, the authors show how changes in the societal environment force organisations to adapt and redefine their self-understanding and internal value structures. The social theory of Bourdieu (1982, 1983) supplies the theoretical background to our discussion, highlighting the importance of economic, cultural and social capital to the 'social field' in which an NGO acts. Furthermore, this theoretical frame can help to illuminate the role of NGOs as representatives of a social class that mobilise social groups for sustainable achievements, while at the same time being forced to adapt to cultural changes in the field in order to maintain their status and functionality as representative institutions. The paper is intended to contribute to the understanding of the highly obscure management situation regarding value shifts and, in particular, to further scholarly work on the dynamics of organisational learning.

Keywords: non-governmental organisations; NGOs; value change; habitus; social field; empowerment of women; Egypt; organisational learning; cultural change; organisational culture; female empowerment; organisational values.

DOI: 10.1504/EJCCM.2014.063383

European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management, 2014 Vol.3 No.1, pp.40 - 50

Available online: 14 Jul 2014 *

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