Institutionalized: Understanding the Indoctrinated & Acculturated Workforce
Introducing "Institutionalized" on Fireside Chat - The Social Audio Podcast Platform
By Jordan Schaul (Scapegoat Strength) & Nathalie Martinek
On Friday, May 13th, we’ll launch the inaugural episode of “Institutionalized” on Mark Cuban’s social audio podcasting platform Fireside Chat. We will explore the patterned and mechanized behavioral processes that allow us to become accustomed and acclimatized to rules of engagement in workplace settings.1 We don’t typically recognize or appreciate these conditioning influences until after we remove or distance ourselves from these industrial and organizational environments.
When we become institutionalized, we adopt the beliefs and values of the organizations we serve and work for. We begin to behave according to socialized norms.2 Socialization is not specific to workplace cultures nor is it our first socialization experience. Socialization actually begins within the family system, which of course, shapes our personalities to a significant degree.3 Our values, which come from our beliefs4 are initially instilled in us by our family of origin.567
Unconsciously, we recalibrate our ethical and moral compasses in ways that align with the greater community but in doing so often we compromise our integrity and character. 8 This is particularly true for those working in toxic workplace cultures, where survival is contingent on one’s willingness and ability to conform. Our upward mobility in an organization is further influenced by our willingness to enmesh more deeply with the organizational culture. Those who are indoctrinated may seem to flourish but at a great cost. Those who resist, leave sooner than later or are dispatched.
In essence, we become more like our employer and our peers and less like ourselves. Unwittingly, we sacrifice a lot to fit into a community of associates, subordinates, and superiors to become part of the machinery of a system.
Unless you are a career entrepreneur, this institutionalization probably resonates with you. The longer we stay in these workplace cultures, the more we become acculturated.
1 An Introduction to Sociology….
2 Morris, M.W., Ying-yi Hong, Chi-yue Chiu Zhi Liue (2015) Normology: Integrating insights about social norms to understand cultural dynamics Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes Pp 1-13 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749597815000084
3 Grusac, Joan (2011) Socialization Processes in the Family: Social and Emotional Development Annual Review of Psychology Pp 243-269 https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.psych.121208.131650
4 Fowler, Susan (2017) Where Values Come From HuffPost HuffPosthttps://www.huffpost.com/entry/where-value-come-from_b_10934032
5 Moore, C. and F. Gino (2013) Ethically Adrift: How Others Pull Our Moral Compass From True North, And How We Can Fix It Research in Organizational Behavior Pp 53-77 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0191308513000026?via%3Dihub
6 Schaul, Jordan (2021) Scapegoat or Black Sheep of the Family The Accidental Science Writer
8 Martinek, Nathalie (2022) The Toxic Relationship and Workplace Checklist Hacking Narcissism