Tension between substantive and instrumental rationalities: case study of on ecovillage in the south of Bahia
Abstract The present article aims to investigate the manifestations of the tension between substantive and instrumental rationalities in management of the Itapeba Ecovillage. It is an ex-post-facto qualitative research. Was adopted ethnography as our methodological strategy. Was applied participant observation at the Itapeba ecovillages between May and September 2011. Was adopted the substantive approach to organizations as our theoretical basis. This work introduces in the Administration Science the study on a previously unpublished kind of organization, the ecovillages. The result of the analysis of the fieldwork point to the following conclusions: instrumental and substantive rationalities are not self excluding; the process of communication provides support to balance between self-imposed normativity of management with aspirations, values and self actualization of subjects; regular gatherings, decision making, conflict management, rituals celebrations and unplanned gatherings are all part of the interpersonal relationships universe of sustainable communities; the creation of spaces designed for decision making and exercise of political life that privilege substantive rationality do not imply the reduction of typical instrumental spaces such as technical and bureaucratic ones; to participate in decision processes, to have accesses to political and power instances and the possibility to affirm personal principles are essential to conciliate personal expectancies and organizational demands; ecovillages represent a synthesis between knowledge and action, between theory and practice, and are viable answers to the current civilization crisis.