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: Interviews and Surveys

Method acting: Interviews and surveys

How employees personally feel, think, and see the company and their work have a significant impact on the character and quality of their work, their relation to management, and their response to innovation and change.

—Deetz, Tracy, and Simpson, Leading Organizations Through Transition, 2000, pp. 1–2

Articulate the value of the culture metaphor Define major cultural elements

  • Use multiple data collection methods

    Synthesize and interpret cultural data

    Identify applications


  • Appreciate the challenges involved in interviewing members
  • Apply six general interviewing principles
  • Explain the different factors to consider when interviewing as a member of the culture versus as an outsider to the culture
  • State the five principles for conducting ethnographic interviews
  • Describe basic features of qualitative surveys

Stage Terms:

  • Ethnographic interviews
  • Levels of communication competence
  • Open and closed questions
  • Leading questions
  • Open Souls ...
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