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Title: An examination of organisational issues in third sector organisations which undertake nonviolent direct action
Author: Carroll, Malcolm C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 4315
Awarding Body: Aston University
Current Institution: Aston University
Date of Award: 2008
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Th is thesis is an examinat ion of organisat ional issues faced by Third Sector organisations which undertake nonviolent direct action. A case sWdy methodology is employed and data gathered from four organisations: Earth First! ; genetiX Snowball; Grecnpeacc; and Trident Ploughshares. The argument commences with a review of the literature which shows that little is known of the organ ising of nonviolent direct action. Operational definitions of 'organ isation ' and "nonviolent direct action' are drawn from the literature. ' Organisation' is conceptualised using new institutionalism. 'Nonvio lent di rect act ion ' is conceptualised using new soci al movement theory. These concepts inform the case study methodology in the choice of case, the organisations se lected and the data gathering tools. Most data were gathered by semi-struclUred interview and participant observation. The research findings result from theory-building arising from th ick descri ptions of the case in the four organisations. The findings suggest that nonviolent di rect ac tion is qualitatively different from terrorism or violence. Although there is much diversity in philosophies of nonviolence, the practice of nonviolent d irect action has much in common across the four organisations. The argument is that nonviolent direct action is an institution. The findings also suggest that new institutionalism is a fruitful approach to st udies of these organi sations. A long with nonviolent direct action, three other institutions are identi fied: ' rules'; consensus decision-making; and 'affinity groups'. An unanticipated fi nding is how the four organisations are instances of innovation . Tentative theory is developed which brings together the seemingly incompatible concepts of in sti tutions and innovation. The theory suggests preconditions and then stages in the development of ncw organisational forms in new social movements: innovmion. The three pre-conditions arc: the existence of an institutional field ; an 'institution-broker' with access to different domains; and a shared 'problem' to resolve. The three stages are: unlocking existing knowledge and practice; bridging different domains of practice or different fie lds to add, develop or translocate those practices; and establishing those practices within their new combinations or novel locations. Participants are able to move into and between these new organisational forms because they consist of familiar and habitual institutional behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Business and Administrative studies