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.

Method Acting: Observation

Method acting: Observation

Step Three: Use Multiple Data Collection Methods to Understand the Elements of Culture

Articulate the value of the culture metaphor Define major cultural elements

  • Use multiple data collection methods

    Synthesize and interpret cultural data Identify applications

To concentrate, one must have an object of concentration; one cannot concentrate abstractly. The simple presence of an object will not induce concentration. If you look at a chair and try to concentrate, nothing will happen. If you start asking yourself simple questions—How wide is the chair? How tall is it? and so on—simple concentration will take place.

—Strasberg, A Dream of Passion, 1987, p. 131


  • Identify four major observation roles
  • Describe ways to enhance the validity and reliability of observation data
  • Practice recording observations in field notes

Stage Terms:

  • Obtrusive and unobtrusive observation
  • Complete ...
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