CSEND Research

Swiss Executives as Business Diplomats in the New Europe: Evidence from Swiss Pharmaceutical and Agro-Industrial Global Companies. 2005. Organisational Dynamics, Vol 34(3): 298-312.

This paper discusses the situation facing Switzerland for being in the middle of the European continent surrounded by EU member countries but at the same time being isolated due to its status as a non-EU member state. Switzerland’s relations with the EU have oscillated between confrontation and mutual accommodation thus requiring many rounds of bilateral negotiations and the creation of an alternative alliance.

Trade in Educational Services (ES) is affecting the interests of many countries in trade, economics, education and culture resulting in heated debates between government representatives, private sector investors, teacher unions and student associations on how to approach liberalisation of this sector, if at all. What ever the approach, an agreement on GATS/ES should be sufficiently flexible to safeguard the multi-functional nature of education, as well as the different needs of developing countries’ education without falling into the trap of “managed trade” nor succumbing to short-term myopic protectionism.

Organization Development (OD) Practitioners working within the UN system encounter difficulties because of ill-defined organisational structures, multiple political interferences (external and internal), cross-cultural value differences of UN staff and different management practices of UN Agency leadership best described as “Porous Boundaries”. This article introduces and defines “Porous Boundaries”, shows its relation to power politics frequently used in UN Agencies and discusses the role of the OD consultant who needs to adjust his consulting approach to match these environmental challenges.

Key words: Organization Development, United Nations, Porous Boundaries, Power factor, Role of Consultant.