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Patchwork LeviathanPockets of Bureaucratic Effectiveness in Developing States$
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Erin Metz McDonnell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691197364

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691197364.001.0001

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Protection: Coping with and Remaking Disruptive Environments

Protection: Coping with and Remaking Disruptive Environments

(p.84) 4 Protection: Coping with and Remaking Disruptive Environments
Patchwork Leviathan

Erin Metz McDonnell

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that interstitial niches face ample environmental challenges and therefore engage in considerable work to protect themselves. Even when niches concentrate distinctive staff whose prior experiences are well-aligned with the organizational goals, and whose knowledge of, and commitment to, bureaucratic comportment have been strengthened by participation within the small-group culture, niches still operate in environments that are tremendously inhospitable to their aims, offering both unintentional disruptions and active interference. This chapter analyzes the organizational strategies that niches employ to ensure that their ability to regularly and effectively accomplish their organizational goals is not negatively affected by their environment. Organizational responses include internal coping mechanisms and external projects of reshaping. Internal coping mechanisms are ways in which the highly effective niches modify processes and practices within their work group to mitigate vulnerabilities to outside interference.

Keywords:   interstitial niches, outside interference, organizational strategies, organizational responses, organizational goals, internal coping mechanisms, environmental challenges

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