Te kura i Awarua : understanding, valuing and practising tikanga in Māori businesses and organisations : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Business, School of Management, Massey Business School, Massey University
Over the last three decades, there has been a heightened awareness and interest in tikanga in various sectors and industries, including business. There is currently some debate on the relevance and value of tikanga in Māori businesses and organisations, and this study contributes to this debate through an analysis of literature and case studies involving discussions with those connected to Māori businesses and organisations in a local, national and international context. The overarching research aim is: How is tikanga understood, valued and practised in Māori businesses and organisations?
The study draws on multiple worldviews, as well as various methodologies and research methods, underpinned by values such as: whakapapa; ahi kā; tikanga-a-whānau, a hapū; tiakitanga; te ara whanaunga; manaaki tangata; and hāpainga mahi. The study also sources inspiration from a body of literature rarely reviewed in studies of business and management (traditional waiata), as well as the views of kuia and koroheke of Ngāti Ruaka/Ngāti Hine, Whanganui River. A literature review was also conducted on tikanga generally, and tikanga in Māori businesses and organisations specifically.
All five case studies were able to articulate their understandings of tikanga, as well as cite examples of tikanga, the issues that prevent some from implementing tikanga to a greater degree, and the strategies used by them to introduce, induct, and infiltrate tikanga within their respective contexts. All five case studies were able to practise tikanga at various levels, and to varying degrees, within their organisations. It is clear, therefore, that tikanga is relevant, respected, practised and contested today in Māori organisational and business settings, as it was in traditional and post-contact times. Māori values and practices reflect customary notions and understandings, but are applied in contemporary times, places and spaces.
Future implications that this study gives rise to include the development of a deeper understanding of tikanga in business; differentiating between tikanga, and kaupapa or kawa; acknowledging the fluidity of tikanga; and appropriate and consistent application of tikanga. Tikanga are protocols that inform a way of life, and as such, are informed by worldviews of those involved in Māori organisations, as well as kaupapa or kawa. A simple, conceptual
framework has been created to assist with understanding the various elements that influence tikanga, as it is understood, valued and practised in Māori businesses and organisations.