Organising Ethics: The Case of the Norwegian Army
Keywords:Professional ethics, organisational ethics, the Norwegian Army, institutional theory, interdisciplinarity
This article shows how institutionalism, a theory in organisational social science, provides a model for diagnosing organisational challenges that influence the ethical practices and integration in the Norwegian Army. Institutionalism provides tools for analysing the differences between expressed values and actual practices and for understanding the organisational dynamics that unfold at the crossroads of the organisation's formal structure, informal culture and stakeholder relations. In this article we present and discuss such differences and dynamics in the Norwegian Army based on findings from a survey and a number of workshops. We also provide some suggestions for effective implementation of strategies for strengthening ethics in such an organisation. We argue that the perspective taken in this project is also relevant for other highly professionalised complex organisations and that such interdisciplinary research will strengthen practical ethics' potential for real impact.