Saner, R; Yiu, L, (2004) Organisational Culture of UN Agencies: The Need for Diplomats to Manage Porous Boundary Phenomena

Diplomats responsible for interfacing with UN Agencies need to recognise and manage overt and covert aspects of the Organisational Culture of UN Agencies, which are distinct from mainstream public and private sector organisations. Particular features of UN organisational cultures for instance often consist of complex informal organisational structures, multiple political interference's (external and internal), inter-cultural value differences of staff and different management practices. Porous Boundary Phenomena from the authors' point of view is one of the major factors which impose constraints on the performance of UN and in itself mirrors the client system that the UN is serving.

While diplomats use the UN system as one of the major fora for negotiations and coordination, they also monitor and try to guide the direction of the UN system. Hence, diplomats need to understand the specific organisational characteristics of the UN Agencies, i.e., the porous boundary phenomenon, and learn how to manage the interface with UN organisational culture in a mutually beneficial manner.