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Professionalism of an organisation : an examination of the Savannah Guides Ecotourism Association
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Wendy HillmanWendy Hillman
This paper analyses the ways individuals in an ecotourism association, called ‘Savannah Guides’ decide to maintain and retain their membership of that organisation. Ongoing membership includes organisational choices regarding professional presentation of the organisation and manipulation of members. Individuals are initially attracted to the group through ideals such as group cohesion and professional development. The attractions of regimented organisational conduct reflect a willingness of conformity and acceptance, but also a marked culture of submission and uniformity within the organisational structure. Accounts of ritualistic behaviour regarding initiation into the organisation and evaluation of individuals’ skills and competencies are used as measurements of acceptability by the Savannah Guides. Thus, the socialisation process became a test of personal determination, rather than merit, based on acceptability by other group adherents. A significant dimension to group acceptance is mandatory compliance with organisational activities and attendances. On the other hand, one of the glaring inconsistencies within the organisational behaviour is that individuals who are members, but who practice non-compliance, are still acceptable as group constituents. However, this does not affect the camaraderie and personal attachments that have formed between the association’s members over time. These have occurred through common interests, collective goals and necessity.