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Public Organization Review

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 359–374 | Cite as

Community is not a Place but a Relationship1: Lessons for Organizational Development

  • Carolyn Boyes-Watson
Article

Abstract

The premise of this article is that organizations need to be “organized” differently if we want to re-invigorate 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.

Key words

restorative justice community building systems thinking organizational learning social capital organizational reform 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Suffolk UniversityBostonUSA

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