Creating a Nonviolent Culture in a Modern Organization

Author: Miriam Baermann, Stephen A. Engelking
Language: English

Increasing violence amongst youth in society, burn-out as a widespread disease and scandals in companies are only some of the headlines which appear regularly in the news media. Politics scarcely seems to have any success in fighting violence and injustice in society and in the world. The thesis here suggests that people do not have to wait for a savior such as a politician but that everyone can contribute to a less violent, more peaceful and just world. It will be demonstrated that organizations have an enormous influence on society and this book deals with the possibilities which an organization has to contribute to a less violent culture.

By the term “organization” all forms of organized groups of people who come together for a certain purpose are meant, for example schools, clubs, public social aids and others, whilst we mainly concentrate on companies in our research. The intention is to focus particularly on the issues related to the theme of creating a nonviolent culture in the workplace. In the first part on culture, we deal with several questions regarding culture, including such fundamental questions as What is organizational culture?, What are the dimensions of culture? and is it possible to in­ fluence it and if yes, how does it work? In the second part, we take a look at the terms violence and nonviolence and a survey of how these aspects occur in society and organizations is made. The third part is the largest and deals with the qualities of leadership and with the organizational conditions which are necessary to create a nonviolent culture. We hope it will become clearer to the reader that nonviolence is not a strategy or a formula to be used. It can appear very different in different situations. There are component elements which can promote it and there are certain principles that cannot be violated if one wishes to establish true nonviolence. Nevertheless, there is no one patent formula nor one exclusively correct way of creating a nonviolent culture. It requires considerable creativity and endurance to create it and can take a variety of forms.

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