Social Productivity. Advancing a Concept to Think about Contributions of Social Organizations

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:45 AM
Room: Booth 65
Oral Presentation
Sara GORDON , Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, UNAM, Mexico, Mexico
Ricardo TIRADO , Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, UNAM, Mexico, D.F., Mexico
The paper deals with social productivity as a useful criteria for assessing the contributions of social organizations to civility, solidarity and quality of life.

Commonly social organizations are evaluated with these criteria: a) results, b) the impact of their actions on the world, and c) organizational capabilities.

These criteria focuses on examining contributions in a field rather intangible: values and the quality of social relations. The concept points to a poor explored field, although some notable authors wrote about it.

The social productivity concept points to consequences that are not always deliberately sought, since they are often unintended byproducts of organizations behavior. One important aspect is that the image and action of organizations is broadcasted into the civil sphere and it constitutes a role model, that is, it has an effect of social pedagogy. Another important aspect is that organizations' social performance can sometimes be negative, deteriorating social life.

Social performance can be seen in these dimensions:

1) From the point of view of the objective or performance materiality and concerns to the contributions of the material and social welfare of the stakeholders. This includes the production of benefits, training of participants in joint decision making, the implementation of the decisions and setting and enforcing rules.

2) From the point of view of the factors affecting the formation of sociality, it focus on the relationship with the environment in which the organizations operate and interact, and covers the image projected by the organization, its actions and how all this stuff interacts with other institutions and actors. These are issues which impact on social connectivity, civility, the public sphere, and the construction of the meanings which are shaping society.