Thursday, February 16, 2006

Participation in Organizations--Hirschman

I've previously blogged on Albert Hirschman's "Exit, Voice, and Loyalty : Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations, and States". I just got through commenting on Caleb McDaniel's blog
using Hirschman's schema in connection with the abolitionists.

There's another aspect, particularly with voluntary organizations, like alumni associations/college trustee elections and homeowner's associations: how many people have to participate to make the election/vote binding on the whole? I just got a package from the Reston Association (the closest thing Reston has to a government) changing the quorum requirement to 30 percent. My cluster association has been unable to get 10 percent participation in the annual meeting. I think Dartmouth is trying to reduce its quorum percentage. Hirschman would interpret all of these as saying "voice" is silent because the members are satisfied.

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