The Research Question
Short (1998) believes that relationships are at the very heart and soul of an organizations ability to get any job done. Whether good or bad, effective or ineffective, relationships and their interactions are the organizations DNA-they create and define organizations. Without them there is no organization (p.16). Margaret Wheatley (1999) believes the following: We need to become savvy about how to foster relationships, how to nurture growth and development. All of us need to become better at listening, conversing, respecting one anothers uniqueness, because these are essential for strong relationships (p.39).
Wheatley (1999) states that a wise friend once told her that power in organizations is the capacity generated by relationships. It is an energy that comes into existence through relationships (p.40).
Because power is energy, it needs to flow through the organization; it cannot be bounded or designated to certain functions or levels. What gives power its charge, positive or negative, is the nature of the relationship. When power is shared in such workplace redesigns as participative management and self-managed teams, positive creative power abounds. For years, many people and researchers have described the positive impacts of these new relationships, power that shows up as significant increases in productivity and personal satisfaction (Wheatley, 1999, p.40).
This being the case, organizations that foster highly functional relationships are the very organizations that will benefit from them.
According to Wheatley (2003) life takes form as individuals that immediately reach out to create systems of relationships [sic]. These individuals and systems arise from two seemingly conflicting forces: the absolute need for individual freedom and the unequivocal need for relationships. She further states: it is possible to create resilient and adaptive communities that welcome our diversity as well as our membership (http://www.margaretwheatley.com/articles/paradox.html, accessed March 2003), and it is with this in mind that I frame my research question of:
What strategies would most likely assist the Alberta Division [Division] of the Navy League of Canada [NLC] in fostering and strengthening relationships amongst its internal stakeholders?
· Who are the stakeholders?
· What motivates the stakeholders to volunteer?
· What are some relationship success stories experienced through the years?
· What impact do strong relationships between the stakeholders have on the Alberta Division Navy League of Canada in meeting its goals as identified in 2002?