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“Our Poverty Is a World Full of Dreams:” Reforming the World Bank

“Our Poverty Is a World Full of Dreams:” Reforming the World Bank Global Governance 11 (2005), 369–388 “Our Poverty Is a World Full of Dreams:” Reforming the World Bank Catherine Weaver and Ralf J. Leiteritz Under what circumstances do international organizations change their operations and routines? Examining the recent Strategic Compact reform initiative, we argue that change in the World Bank is “triggered” by a complex set of factors stemming from changed interests and norms in the Bank’s environment. The process of change, however, is some- thing shaped by organizational culture, which is defined as the deeply embedded ideologies, norms, and routines that govern the expectations and behavior of bureaucratic staff. This organizational culture represents the internal friction that propels change in a slow, path-dependent direc- tion that produces outcomes that are not necessarily congruent with the preferences of the organization’s powerful shareholders or the intentions EYWORDS: World Bank, Strategic Com- of internal reform initiators. K pact, organizational culture, organizational reform, James Wolfensohn. erhaps the most succinct description of the World Bank in this past decade is that of an international organization that is “over- P The Bank is simultaneously faced stretched and underloved.” with declining levels of official development assistance, a rapidly expanding development agenda, and increasing competition from pri- http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations Brill

“Our Poverty Is a World Full of Dreams:” Reforming the World Bank

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1075-2846
eISSN
1942-6720
DOI
10.1163/19426720-01103007
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Global Governance 11 (2005), 369–388 “Our Poverty Is a World Full of Dreams:” Reforming the World Bank Catherine Weaver and Ralf J. Leiteritz Under what circumstances do international organizations change their operations and routines? Examining the recent Strategic Compact reform initiative, we argue that change in the World Bank is “triggered” by a complex set of factors stemming from changed interests and norms in the Bank’s environment. The process of change, however, is some- thing shaped by organizational culture, which is defined as the deeply embedded ideologies, norms, and routines that govern the expectations and behavior of bureaucratic staff. This organizational culture represents the internal friction that propels change in a slow, path-dependent direc- tion that produces outcomes that are not necessarily congruent with the preferences of the organization’s powerful shareholders or the intentions EYWORDS: World Bank, Strategic Com- of internal reform initiators. K pact, organizational culture, organizational reform, James Wolfensohn. erhaps the most succinct description of the World Bank in this past decade is that of an international organization that is “over- P The Bank is simultaneously faced stretched and underloved.” with declining levels of official development assistance, a rapidly expanding development agenda, and increasing competition from pri-

Journal

Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International OrganizationsBrill

Published: Aug 3, 2005

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