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Loss of Communal Sustainability: The Kibbutz Shift from High-Trust to Low-Trust Culture


  • Shapira, Reuven


What is the connection between leaders' morality and the output performance of organizations? Can their morality explain, through trust, continuity and change of organizational cultures? These questions are fraught with so many complexities that· they can be untied only by Simon's (1992) proposal that organizational research should be analogous to zoology where an attempt is made to understand animals by a profound investigation of their immense variation. However, in the case of humans such investigation depends also on the finding of the right vantage point for proper interpretation of the criss-cross tapestry of cultures (Geertz, 1973), which makes a very complex organization. By studying this tapestry in the case of the kibbutz system a new picture is exposed than that portrayed by customary kibbutz research approach. It enables the explanation of both how most kibbutzim remained adaptive and creative for some six decades, and why have they lost creativity almost of a sudden, recently. A preliminary idea for preventing that process, based on leaders' continuation in office being conditional on growing trust, is herein presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Shapira, Reuven, 1999. "Loss of Communal Sustainability: The Kibbutz Shift from High-Trust to Low-Trust Culture," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 27(1).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlorco:61945

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    Cited by:

    1. Harvey S. James Jr. & Michael E. Sykuta, 2006. "Farmer trust in producer- and investor-owned firms: Evidence from Missouri corn and soybean producers," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 135-153.
    2. Golovina, Svetlana & Nilsson, Jerker, 2009. "Difficulties for the Development of Agricultural Cooperatives in Russia: The Case of the Kurgan Region," Journal of Rural Cooperation, Hebrew University, Center for Agricultural Economic Research, vol. 37(1).
    3. James, Harvey S., Jr. & Sykuta, Michael E., 2004. "Farmer Trust In Agricultural Cooperatives: Evidence From Missouri Corn And Soybean Producers," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 19974, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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