This article studies the organisational view inherent in a public management and leadership development programme. Organisational views are important to study as they guide and frame the actions of the members of the organisation. In the management and leadership development programme under investigation the organisational view was a linguistic-discursive representation that was empirically inept, but which nevertheless was offered as a guide to the managers. Inspired by Clifford Geertz’s notion of religion we suggest conceptualising the presented organisational view as the deep organisation. The analysis contributes to the literature on public management and leadership development programmes by calling attention to the implicit concepts of organisation that on the one hand provide managers with the motivation and authority to carry out their daily ordering of the constantly fluctuating empirical organisation, while to some extent making managers immune to experience-based learning on the other. The notion of the deep organisation expands our understanding of the layered nature of assumptions about organisations, through which seeming contradictions can be handled. In the discussion we outline three important implications of the analysed organisational view.
Bibliographical notePublished online: 28. April 2021.
- Management development
- Leadership development
- Identity regulation
- Clifford Geertz