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.

Step Three: Method Acting: Textual Analysis

Step three: Method acting: Textual analysis

It is easy to create tension by trying a simple experiment. Try lifting something, such as an edge of a piano or a heavy table. At the same time, try to solve a simple mental problem, such as multiplying 75 by 6—an intellectual exercise that would normally involve little difficulty. You will discover it is nearly impossible to do so while lifting the heavy object.

—Strasberg, A Dream of Passion, 1987, p. 125

Articulate the value of the culture metaphor Define major cultural elements

  • Use multiple data collection methods

    Synthesize and interpret cultural data Identify applications


  • Distinguish among the major types of textual analysis
  • Explain major guidelines for analyzing a text

Stage Terms:

  • Textual analysis
  • Content analysis
  • Rhetorical analysis
  • Critical linguistic analysis

Step Three: Use a ...

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