Manchester City Council’s officers and members have shown stunning incompetence since 2009 (well, earlier) on climate change. They have been relentlessly incapable of keeping their own promises, let alone taking on good ideas from outside of the walls of Castle Grayskull. It’s a pattern that repeats in other fields too, I’m told. There’s just a very very sick culture at play, driven by targets (often missed) and a desire not to let those higher-up know that things are going wrong. The austerity cuts probably also led to ‘evaporative cooling’, with competent staff leaving or taking early retirement, since the selection process for who would stay was not based on merit but on toadying ability.
This quote below, which is not about Manchester City Council, might as well be.
Organizational culture has an important influence on an organization’s innovativeness; it is of specific importance whether tradition or continuous change is a value in the organization (Kanter,1985). People try to adjust to a certain culture and if changes are desired, the individuals will be much more motivated to search information about possible changes and improvements.However,strong cultures tend to be xenophobic and reluctant to everything that is different, hinder the process of change and foster inbreeding (Kotter,1996). These kinds of cultures are unfavourable to innovation,especially if the ideas for innovation come from outside the organization,which is known as a Not Invented Here(NIH) syndrome (Fagerberg,2004).
Since organizational culture also influences the employees’ perception of the external environment (Oden, 1997), consequently, they are also reluctant to assimilate and use external information because they are incapable of recognizing their value, even though they might be aware of them. Therefore, these kinds of cultures leave little room for the absorption of the external sources of knowledge,especially if they contradict the existing beliefs (Van DenBoschetal.,1999).
Murovec, N. and Prodan, I. 2009. Absorptive capacity,its determinants,and influence on innovation output: Cross-cultural validation of the structural model. Technovation, Vol. 29, pp.859–872. page 862
What is to be done?
Well, social movement organisations could have a look at their OWN absorptive capacity, couldn’t they?