Humanitarian principles and organisational culture: everyday practice in Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland

Humanitarian principles and organisational culture: everyday practice in Médecins Sans Frontières-Holland
11 pages

Authors
Hilhorst, Dorothea
Schmiemann, Nadja

Editors
Eade, Deborah
Journal
Development in Practice Volume 12 Issue 3 & 4 Development and the Learning Organisation

Publication date
01 Aug 2002

DOI
10.1080/0961450220149834

Publisher
Oxfam GB
Routledge

Type
Journal article

Organisational principles or value standards are considered crucial for maintaining quality in humanitarian assistance. Research among staff members of Médecins Sans Frontiéres-Holland (MSF-H) showed that fieldworkers construct their own interpretations of principles and priorities in response to demands placed on them in the field. Organisational principles are important for the performance and the well-being of volunteers: they serve as beacons, identity markers, and interpersonal 'glue'. It also becomes apparent that while in practice staff members renegotiate the formal principles of their organisation, they also adhere to patterns of organisational culture resulting in a number of ordering principles they deem typical of their organisation.

KeywordsNetherlands

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