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Collegiality

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Collegiality is the relationship between colleagues.

Colleagues are those explicitly united in a common purpose and respecting each other's abilities to work toward that purpose. A colleague is an associate in a profession or in a civil or ecclesiastical office.

Thus, the word collegiality can connote respect for another's commitment to the common purpose and ability to work toward it. In a narrower sense, members of the faculty of a university or college are each other's colleagues; very often the word is taken to mean that. Sometimes colleague is taken to mean a fellow member of the same profession.

Sociologists of organizations use the word collegiality in a technical sense, to create a contrast with the concept of bureaucracy. Classical authors such as Max Weber consider collegiality as an organizational device used by autocrats to prevent experts and professionals from challenging monocratic and sometimes arbitrary powers. More recently, authors such as Eliot Freidson (USA), Malcolm Waters (Australia) and Emmanuel Lazega (France) have shown that collegiality can now be understood as a full fledged organizational form. This is especially useful to account for coordination in knowledge intensive organizations in which interdependent members jointly perform non routine tasks -an increasingly frequent form of coordination in knowledge economies. A specific social discipline comes attached to this organizational form, a discipline described in terms of niche seeking, status competition, lateral control, and power among peers in corporate law partnerships, in dioceses, in scientific laboratories, etc. This view of collegiality is obviously very different from the ideology of collegiality stressing mainly trust and sharing in the collegium.


Collegiality in AcademiaEdit

There has traditionally been a strong element of Collegiality in the governance of Universities and other higher education institutions. These are environments where individual independence of thought and mutual respect are necessary, particularly in institutions with a strong research base. Collegiality is often contrasted with Managerialism which has a more hierarchical structure, with professional managers in leading positions. A Managerial approach is often proposed as being more agile and effective at quick decision making, whilst critics suggest that its appeal is rather that it is more likely to comply with commercial and government wishes.

ReferencesEdit

  • Lorenzen, Michael. (2006). Collegiality and the Academic Library. E-JASL: The Electronic Journal of Academic and Special Librarianship 7, no. 2 (Summer 2006).


External linksEdit


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