The New Frontier
in Democratic Theory and Practice:
Organizational Forms that Simultaneously Optimize Autonomy & Community

©1997, Andrew Dinkelaker

Chapter 2 - Participatory Democracy as Process

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The Four Organizational Forms

Since each quadrant has unique characteristics that distinguish a particular quadrant from each of the others, it would follow that different types of organizational form can be associated with each quadrant and that these organizational forms will inhibit or enhance certain types of group process. Ian Mitroff in his book Stakeholders of the Organizational Mind identifies four organizational forms.1 These four forms are: bureaucratic, matrix (R & D), familial, and organic adaptive. Each of the four forms can be roughly correlated to one of the four quadrants.

Mitroff identifies the bureaucratic organizational form as impersonal and focused upon the roles to be filled not the individuals themselves. It is authoritarian with "a single leader at the top and a well-defined hierarchical line of authority that extends from the very top down to all the lower rungs of the organization."2 The bureaucratic organizational form also allows for individualism to be optimized. Individuals within bureaucracies individuate themselves through rising within the organization thereby obtaining power and independence. The individual's goal is to become part of the ruling class which has special privileges over others. The operating principle is that the cream of society rises to the top according to their merits, in other words, meritocracy.3 This is synomous to Quadrant three where the individual values being independent - not being embedded in social relationships (impersonal) - while at the same time expects decisions to be made for him or her (well-defined hierarchical lines of authority).

The matrix, also know as "research and development", organizational form shares the impersonal orientation with the bureaucratic form. However, instead of rigid lines of authority and a well defined hierarchy, the matrix organization form is more flexible allowing individuals and groups to be "freer to organize and reorganize" according to the circumstances. The matrix form is similar to what is described as "project management." Project management allows for the organization to form and re-form around particular projects with different free-agent individuals playing functional roles. For instance, on a

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particular research and development project concerned with designing an aircraft, a particular individual may be assigned the role of project manager and would be surrounded by a hand-picked crew of specialists. The structure of the organization is built around problem solving.4 "The emphasis is on discovery, invention, and production of new technologies... constantly seeking new ideas to anticipate and create new external markets, not respond to them."5 This form is similar in dynamics to that of Quadrant one where individuals are less concerned about their relationships to one another (impersonal) and more interested in the pursuit of their own good outside of the confines of set rules and structures (freer to organize and reorganize).

The familial organizational form is identified as being concerned with interpersonal relationships in the environment as well as attending to the concrete details and hard facts. According to Mitroff, the familial organization is the extreme opposite of the matrix organization. Typically the heroes of this organizational form "are those very special people who are able to create a highly personal, very warm climate in their organization ... indeed, the organization becomes just like a home, like a family."6 The following passage is an excerpt from a story a person describes to Mitroff about the ideal familial organization:

...Everyone I met was very friendly and in the days to come proved to be most helpful. My duties were explained to me quite clearly and thoroughly. The procedure with which I had to work was written in such a way that there was very little chance of misinterpretation. All the staff worked quite well with each other... the separate department heads would meet once a week with the administrator who would keep them informed of new developments. The department heads would keep the workers informed.7

Not only the extremely personal nature of organizational interrelationships but also demonstrates a highly, albeit friendly, hierarchical structure. This organizational form approximates the characteristics of Quadrant two with its strong emphasis on social interdependence (friendly and personal nature of the interrelationships) and heteronomy (hierarchy).8 Interestingly, the opposing relationship between the familial organization and the matrix organization is parallel to the opposing relationship between Quadrants one and two.

The fourth organizational form that Mitroff describes is the organic adaptive.9 The organic adaptive organization is the extreme opposite of the bureaucratic organization. Therefore if the bureaucratic organization is highly authoritarian and structured with

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well-defined roles and behaviors, then the organic adaptive would be "completely decentralized with no clear lines of authority, no central leader, and no fixed, prescribed rules of behavior."10

The above diagram demonstrates how the features of Mitroff's four organizational forms fit with the four Quadrants. Interestingly, the two systems quite clearly overlap and, as demonstrated in the above diagram, do not contradict each other.

For example, the organizational form bureaucracy associated with Quadrant three will inhibits exactly those processes that Quadrant four enhances. In other words Quadrant three is the shadow of Quadrant four. Quadrant three organizations center around impersonal control, certainty, and specificity. These characteristics become manifest through clearly defined "stable" hierarchical structures, specialization of roles, and impersonal relations. The opposite of the bureaucratic organization, organic adaptive organizations have the features of role flexibility, no centralized structuring system, and an emphasis on process over task. The benefits of such organizational features are enhanced creativity, innovation, high interaction and reciprocal feedback.

The organic adaptive organizational form allows for greater openness to processes that includes mutual reciprocity which comes out of the respect for the needs of the individual within the collaborative process. In contrast to bureaucracy, this collaborative process is not imposed by a preset agenda or hegemonous ideology. Folded into the term "organic adaptive" is the idea of an organism (organic) that is self-organizing (adaptive).

At this point we are going to focus exclusively on Quadrant four. Initially, any efforts to do this will be similar to the experience of "square" in his first encounter with

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"sphere" (see chapter one). In order to avoid the obstacles of experience and language that may continue to inhibit developing one's awareness and appreciation of the qualities and attributes of Quadrant four, consider this a journey to a whole new world with different rules and customs. Unlike a journey to a far away land where you can pack your goods and prepare a schedule, this journey involves turning one's beliefs inside-out much like Alice discovering the unique properties of the world inside a rabbit's home in the Lewis Carroll's novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Things happened to Alice that would not be possible in the "real" world, like shrinking and getting larger by eating and drinking, or finding a Cheshire cat that could disappear into its own smile. Alice could not operate in this newly "discovered" wonderland effectively until she was able to suspend her original belief system in the world outside the rabbit hole. Her adventures could not be explained by what she already knew. Similarly, to escape the gravity of Quadrant three's framework in order to travel to the world of Quadrant four one must actively engage in seeking to understand Quadrant four in terms of its own values and experiences. Otherwise, if this is not done, one will be stuck understanding Quadrant Four in terms of what it is not, much like describing "Life" as being "not-Death". For Alice, many of the prominent characteristics of her world outside the rabbit hole are present in Wonderland such as gardens, houses with furniture, and even some of the social rituals like "four o'clock tea". However, the principles around which these things are organized are very different than those she learned outside. In addition, a number of things are present in one world and not the other. The same can be said for how organizations exist and function within Quadrant three as compared to Quadrant four. Many characteristics associated with organizations can be found within both quadrants, but the nature, priority, and usage reflects completely opposite organizing principles. In addition, many different features are unique to that quadrant and will not be found in the other. One way of visualizing this would be to see two overlapping circles. The overlapping part exhibits those characteristics that are recognizable in both worlds, so in a way each contains a part of the other.

Implicate Order and "Process"

In order to better understand the fundamental differences between the organizational form of Quadrant three and that of Quadrant four it is necessary to describe the characteristics that one would see when one first opens the door to the Quadrant. For instance, a painter who walks into a meadow will be attuned to the shapes and colors of the environment. The meadow would reflect qualities of light and dark along with a certain mood or atmosphere. However, to a land developer, this same meadow would represent possible building sites for homes. The developer which would gauge such things as the land's proximity to the city. Though both the painter and the developer are experiencing the same field, what they see is qualitatively different. Through using different frames one can bring into relief different aspects of the same situation. The same can be said of what is valued or brought into relief when understanding organizational forms by using different frames.

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When the term "organization" is used there is an associated series of mental pictures and ideas that immediately arise. Typically one will think of the organizational structure which is commonly represented in chart form defining each individual's role in the organization. Next, one may be to discern an organization's products and services and the tasks necessary to produce those outcomes. Another aspect of organizational life that would come to mind would be to know the who makes the decisions and how those decisions are modified and carried out. However, this picture of "organization" belongs especially to Quadrant three. These features combined describe what physicist David Bohm calls explicate order.11 The explicate order in an organization is its manifest structure associated with power, hierarchy, tasks, and roles. However, in order to make the shift into the viewpoint associated with Quadrant four another set of principles that are the inverse of the explicate order (of Quadrant three) need to be brought into relief.12 Instead of structure, roles, and tasks it is social associations, empathic/creative interrelationships, feeling fields, and the symbolic that are recognized as defining organization. The nature and quality of social relationships, along with the recognition of symbols and metaphors, appear in the foreground of what is an organization. Bohm calls this frame, which is the opposite of the explicate order, the implicate order.13

Given this brief description of the two types of ordering it becomes quite easy to discern that our current socio-political and organizational paradigm relies heavily upon the explicate order to define social systems. For example, if one wants to start an organization and be recognized for funding and tax purposes there are certain requirements that must be met in order to do this. These requirements call for a certain explicate organizational structure that includes a board of directors and a CEO. In addition, the laws and tax codes around organizations emphasize only explicate order as part of their requirements -- not having met those requirements one cannot be recognized as an organization. A useful analogy for this is how the Europeans related to Native Americans in their attempts to negotiate peace treaties for barter and trade.14 Many of

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the tribes did not have an explicate order system with clear lines of authority and roles. The tribal leader was the closest recognizable position to that of an authority figure and the Europeans insisted on making treaties with that particular person despite the fact that the tribal leader was not recognized within her/his own culture as having the authority or powers to make such decisions.15 This same ambiguous situation occurred again between the Indians and the Americans in the Midwest during the last century. The tribes, according to their cultural norms, had their own tribal government system that operated according to implicate ordering principles, not according to the explicate order of laws, structures, and power.16 When the American government wanted to negotiate with this tribal government they found that they did not know how to negotiate with what they considered to be an "amorphous" organization that did not have an identifiable leader (or CEO) who had the authority and power to negotiate on behalf of the tribe.17 Instead of honoring this form of tribal organization and trying to discover new ways in communicating and making agreements between the two, the American government opted to impose their assumptions about organization upon them.18 As a result, the American government set up a Tribal government for the Indians according to explicate ordering principles which established a governing structure with a set hierarchy, structure, and roles in order to have the Americans and the Indians work more "efficiently" together. This pseudo-organization was artificially invested with powers and duties from outside of the tribal culture. Secondly, the American government stated that it would only do business with groups that it recognized to be legitimate, which happened to be the organizational structure which they imposed on the tribes. The imposed pseudo-organization was mostly staffed by those Indians within the Tribes who desired power and wealth and in taking on these roles they were infused with the belief that they could act on behalf of the tribes.19

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This example demonstrates that when the American government was faced with the possibility of relating to or, perhaps, even becoming an organization that structures itself around the implicate ordering systems this would be avoided at all costs. In fact, a certain type of rationale is used to avoid looking at the possibility of implicate ordering as the defining characteristic for organizations. That rationale argues that focusing exclusively on implicate order (structure according to the symbol and feeling fields) would garner unproductive tasks, chaotic and unstable structures, and undirected organizational management. With this emphasis on perceiving organization as the explicate order it is expected that when we take away the power and structure of the organization we will find that the implicate order of the symbolic and social/feeling fields are weak and underdeveloped -- not to mention that the existing laws and funding sources would not know how to recognize, relate to, or function with these kinds of organizations.

To make the transition to Quadrant four one should not avoid the breakdown that usually occurs after taking away the explicate order of power and hierarchy (structure). Breaking down the existing order is only the first step in establishing an organizational environment where the implicate ordering systems have the opportunity to develop and grow within groups and organizations. An example of consciously inducing an inversion process from explicate order to implicate order is the "T-group". The T-group, which stands for training groups, and was developed in the 1950's and 1960's. The T-group establish operating environments where there are no imposed agendas or "directive" leaders. This work became popular and many groups were set up throughout the United States in the schools and within organization. From these training experiences it became clear that there are distinct stages that groups usually go through in their encounter with environments that either eliminate or reduce to a minimum the explicate order of set agendas, purpose and mission, and a stable hierarchy. M. Scott Peck, a psychiatrist, became very interested in discovering what allows some groups to work through this process and achieve a sense of interconnectivity and a level of communication that goes beyond the superficial toward a communal experience of life and living. His work eventually led him to distinguish four different developmental stages that groups go through in reaching the experience that he refers to as simply "Community". Peck identifies these four stages as Pseudo-community, Chaos, Emptiness, and Community.20 These stages are not necessarily linear in development but tend to go in that order. The stages are to be understood as aspects of how a group can relate to itself in the absence of explicate order.

Pseduo-community is that stage where individuals are polite to each other and much of the communication is superficial and tends to avoid any form of disagreement or conflict. This stage is likened to the group behaving like a good hostess who knows how to move the conversation along, avoid conflict, and entertain the guests.

Chaos is that stage where conflict is openly present accompanied by feelings of anger and domination. It is within this setting that we find the experience of conversion and healing. Participants act from a more or less exclusively individualistic perspective of knowing that they are right and others are wrong and that it is their mission to convert others to their way of thinking, either through argument or other means. Secondly, there

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is also a tendency among individuals to act as savior. If another individual in the group reveals a weakness or a broken part of themselves the "savior" finds it necessary to intervene in order to care for and heal that person. Usually, this intervention is done by telling the person what they ought to do. Sometimes the "savior" will relate stories of how he/she experienced nearly the same thing years ago and proceed to state how he/she solved the problem.

In the emptiness stage individuals release the projections and baggage that they carry around with them. The effect is emptying in the true sense of the word where one creates space through letting go of what is inside. Many times this emptying process involves grief and pain as well as the release of positive projections and expectations of how the group ought to behave in order to be a functioning community. Communication at this level is very deliberate and the silence among people is alive and valued just as much as the time when someone is talking. People have let go of their need to convert or heal along with the desire to avoid tough issues.

The stage of Community is where there is a heightened awareness and experience of interrelationships and interconnectivity. Listening occurs on a very deep level where intimacy of giving and receiving surpasses the superficial interaction of two individuals talking to each other. Many times individuals will feel a sense of a "presence" in the room or a feeling that the group is much greater than the sum of its various parts. Peck describes that at this stage authentic communication occurs readily with a greater capacity for empathy and the resolution of conflict while retaining the uniqueness of each individual. These stages are experienced within a community building workshop model that is very similar to the structure and dynamics of the T-group. The workshop model has a team of facilitators who provide minimal parameters for the group and nothing else. The group is to decide what it wants to do with the time and so the process begins.21

The T-group and Community Building Workshop experiences focus on the actual experience of inverting from explicate order to implicate order. Both of these group experiences make it clear that their intention is to raise individual awareness about group behavior while the group is working with: 1) the transition from explicate to implicate awareness and 2) developing and refining the implicate order of the group as the primary frame. There are a number of other exemplary environments that involve this kind of inversion process and/or already operate out of the implicate order.

Within the field of expressive arts is the work of Natalie Rogers. Expressive arts centers around the use of art for psychotherapeutic purposes. Through accessing the creativity and freedom of music, art, and movement one learns how to unlock the creative

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process in oneself and develop the ability to unearth that potential within others. The culmination of Rogers' work is the creative connection process. we first journey inward through the expressive arts, we tap into the unconscious and become aware of new aspects of self, thus gaining insight and empowerment. Then, by connecting to at least one other person in an empathic and supportive environment, we learn ways to relate to the community. As we learn how to be authentic and empowered in a small community, we are then inspired to move to the larger circle. We become cocreative and collaborative, being able to access our higher purposes and powers. This connects us to the world -- other cultures and nature -- with compassion.22

Therefore the creative environment is seen as necessary for insight and empowerment of the individual while moving towards being cocreative and collaborative with others.

Improvisational Jazz is another exemplary environment where implicate order is primary to defining the organization, or in this case the musical ensemble. Unlike other forms of music, improvisational Jazz centers around the emerging relationships among individuals. Wynton Marsalis, a Jazz musician and artistic director for the Lincoln Center, describes the social nature of Jazz as "learning how to reconcile differences, even when they are opposites... teach[ing] you how to have a dialogue", Marsalis goes on to say that an essential feature of Jazz is "collective improvisation, people getting together and making up music as a group."23 Typically, at the beginning a simple riff initiates the session. From there each player has the freedom to work off that initial sound in any way possible. However, the musician also keeps in mind who he/she is playing with to ensure that one is not going off into an individual trip but is taking the group with them. Other players can decide to take the lead or direct the group in a different direction. The group at some point down the road collectively ends the journey together by returning to the original riff.

Within the field of education Paulo Friere's approach emphasizes the creation of implicate order learning environments. Friere, a radical educator, is best known for his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed which offers a critique of the prevailing model of education which is based on task, structure, and content -- explicate order. In its place Friere offers an approach to education that is based on establishing a mutual relationship between the educator and the learner. As a result, the educator ensures that whatever one is teaching is dependent upon the needs of those who are there to learn. The learner then becomes the central focus of the educational process. So if the learner expresses a need or confronts an issue the educator must relate to the learner on their own terms not by imposing a preset agenda or content.

Several other examples of implicate order organizations or environments are Abraham Maslow's work on organizations, Carl Roger's work on person-centered psychology, Victor Turner and Paul Goodman's development of communitas, the

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movement within dance of "Contact Improvisation", and the theatrical processes and exercises of Augusto Boal.

What is brought into relief in all of these examples of implicate order organizations is the experience of "process" as the reconciliation of autonomy and social interdependence. This definition of process is qualitatively distinct from the usual understanding of process as procedural and rule governed behavior. Rather, process is defined as behavior that manifests regularity. It is in these implicate order organizations that we discover that in order to become attuned to this definition of process one must develop a more sophisticated level of listening, entrainment, empathy, and synchronization out of which arise free associations and social ritual. In other words, it is the recognition of implicate order as the organizing principle around which these groups and organizations form. The explicate order organization (structure) naturally arises out of the implicate order of relationships and culture. The best way to maintain awareness of the symbolic and feeling fields is to remain continually in "process" -- continually reconciling autonomy with social interdependence.

Given the nature of these different types of exemplary environments within the fields of music, theater, education, and organization one finds that democratic values arise as a common theme. This is because democracy is a minimalist meta-form (structure) which ensures and promotes Quadrant four process and in turn promotes creativity, self-managed change, and interdependence.

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1. Ian Mitroff. (1983). Stakeholders of the Organizational Mind. p. 58. The development of his framework will be the topic of Chapter three.
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2. Mitroff. (1983). p. 51.
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3. An expression of this idea can be found in Plato's argument for having society ruled by philosopher kings. A.H.M. Jones (1978) describes that Plato's argument stems from his belief that "government was an art, demanding the highest skill, and should therefore be entrusted to a select few." (p. 46). Furthermore, Peter Bachrach (1967) comments, "through a rigorous process of selection and education, Plato hoped to produce a new breed, a new kind of philosopher and a new kind of ruler." (p. vii). Phase three of democratic theory, "democratic elitism", owes a great debt to Plato's articulation and defense of a small elite ruling the majority (however, Plato was insistent on rejecting elitism defined either by tradition or wealth).
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4. "Ad-hocracy" is a term that is commonly used to describe any situation where an organization comes up with an ad-hoc form following the need to solve a particular problem.
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5. Mitroff. (1983). p. 52.
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6. Mitroff. (1983). pp. 54-5.
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7. Mitroff. (1983). p. 55.
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8. Similarly, the Chinese philosophy of Confucianism understands that the best form of organization would be one that is based on family where the establishing social harmony is of utmost importance.
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9. Within the field of organizational development the term "open systems" is also used to describe a similar organizational type.
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10. Mitroff. (1983). p. 53.
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11. Bohm, David. (1980). Wholeness and the Implicate Order. p. 150.
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12. Furthermore, Bohm states (1980), " has to observe the new situation very broadly and tentatively and to 'feel out' what may be relevant new features. From this, there will arise a discernment of the new order, which will articulate and unfold in a natural way.... This order is not to be understood solely in terms of a regular arrangement of objects or as a regular arrangement of events. Rather a total order is contained, in some implicit sense ... 'enfolded' within it." (pp. 148-9).
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13. Individuals within other fields have distinguished dichotomies similar to Bohm's explicate order vs. implicate order. For example Michael Polanyi, Knowing and Being: Essays by Michael Polanyi (1969),describes explicit vs. tacit knowledge, Noam Chomsky Cartesian Linguistics: A Chapter in the History of Rational Thought (1966), identifies surface vs. deep structure in linguistics, and associated with Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams (1913), is the distinction between manifest vs. latent meaning. In exploring the features of Quadrant four "organization" one is bringing into relief the qualities that are latent in Quadrant three "organizations" and comprise (from the point of view of Quadrant four) the deep structure of the organization.
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14. Sharon O'Brien, American Indian Tribal Governments (1989), summarizes the historical relationship between Indian nations and the United States: "Originally, the U.S. congress respected Indian nations as independent sovereigns and regulated their relations with them through treaties. By the 1830's ...Congress embarked on a policy of forced removal of eastern tribes to lands west of the Mississippi River. As western lands grew scarce, the government established reservations, frequently fighting battles of attrition and starvation to force tribes to relinquish their lands. After finally subduing the tribes, Congress passed a series of laws designed to assimilate Indians into white society. Legislation passed included bills aimed at destroying tribal government, culture, language, and communal landholdings." (p. 35).
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15. O'Brien (1989) states that for many tribes "leaders lacked the power to dictate or to enforce their decisions. Their rule depended on their performance, their powers of persuasion, and the respect they were accorded. To remain in power, they needed the support and approval of their people." (p. 16).
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16. Jerry Mander, In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations (1991), states that "the majority of native nations... were small, non-imperial, non-hierarchical, usually matriarchal, and democratic societies." (p. 227).
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17. In addition, Mander (1991) states that this difficulty was most evident in the attempt to buy up tribal lands: "For example, communal ownership of land, combined with consensus decision-making, made it profoundly difficult for American's to make deals or by land from Indians, or even trade for land, because all members of the tribe needed to agree. Direct military action, therefore became a more viable option. In recent times, more legalistic means have been found to subvert traditional Indian government forms..." (p. 227).
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18. Jerry Mander (1991) cites Alvin Josephy for a summary of this impact: "Instead of enabling each tribe to choose its own form of government, which in many instances would have meant a revival or adaptation of a traditional system conforming closely to the cultural heritage of the people, the implementation of the Act [Indian Reorganization Act of 1934] resulted in the government unilaterally imposing on the Indians an unfamiliar system [emphasis added] that guaranteed continued non-Indian control. ...The [new] governments were given no real power." (p. 281).
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19. Mander. (1991). p. 282-3.
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20. Peck, M. Scott. (1987). The Different Drum. pp. 86-106.
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21. The Foundation for Community Encouragement (FCE) is an organization that developed out of Peck's philosophy of community. FCE conducts a training series to enhance learning and experimentation with these principles. The community building workshop model is useful in uncovering these principles and allowing for individuals to directly experience them firsthand. However, the more advanced trainings move away from these basic principles -- "community building first, task second". The "Leadership Education Program", FCE's most advanced training program available for the public, misses in its attempt to integrate task and process because the ordering of its principles were reversed -- task first, then community building. Throughout the training the emphasis was placed on how to infuse the existing tasks (be it a group activity or explicit outcome objective) with process. The objective of the training is to encourage participation in various tasks that are predetermined by someone outside of the group (be it a leader or the corporation where one works) thereby assuming a Quadrant two perspective.
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22. Natalie Rogers. (1993). The Creative Connection. p. 9.
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23. UTNE READER. (March - April 1996). Scherman, Tony. The Music of Democracy: Interview with Wynton Marsalis. pp. 30-31.
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