This book is a practical guide to “reading” the culture of organizations and to understanding the implications of culture for organizational effectiveness. Sharing their experiences from over 25 years of consulting and teaching, the authors make the process of cultural analysis practical and applicable. Beginning with an explanation of the theories of organizational culture, the book provides guidance on collecting information, leading students through qualitative research methods of observation, interviewing, and analyzing written texts. Students come away equipped to apply cultural insights to fostering diversity, supporting organizational change, making leadership more dynamic, understanding the link between ethics and culture, and achieving personal growth.

Key Features

Application activities are integrated throughout each chapter: Inviting students to apply the concepts learned, these activities can also be used in class or for assignments.; Four contexts chapters contain topical cases and examples: These chapters demonstrate the value of cultural analysis as students consider the implications for change, ethics, diversity, and leadership.; Includes numerous real-life examples: Based on the authors' extensive consulting experience, these examples help students see the material applied in context.; NEW! Expanded discussion of ethics with related cases, and sections on multicultural organizations, generational diversity, the use of dialogue groups, and intercultural training bring the text thoroughly up to date.

An Honest Portrayal: Ethics

An honest portrayal: Ethics

Step Five: Identify Applications for Organizational Diversity, Change, Ethics, Leadership, and Effectiveness

To preserve our deeper desires amid the pressures of the modern corporation is to reserve our souls for the greater life we had in mind when we first took the job.

—David Whyte, The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Modern America, 1998, p. 298

Articulate the value of the culture metaphor Define major cultural elements Use multiple data collection methods Synthesize and interpret cultural data

  • Identify applications


  • Learn the major value tensions that influence communication and ethics
  • Develop critical questions to ask concerning culture and ethical value tensions

Stage Terms:

  • Value tensions
  • Economizing values
  • Power aggrandizement values
  • Ecologizing values
  • Teleopathy
  • Organizational conscience

Too Much Bad News

When the curtain is raised or when the screen ...

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