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 Four—Synthesizing and Interpreting Cultural Data: Getting Inside the Character

Step four—Synthesizing and interpreting cultural data: Getting inside the character

Step Four: Develop Your Interpretation of the Culture Through Data Synthesis and Interpretation

I must have at least a dozen pages or more of just notes, and more notes. Of course, I also have draft after draft of cultural elements. The process has been interesting, but it is not realistic. No one can really spend this much time. The pay-off just cannot be worth it!

—Anonymous, Cultural Analysis Student

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

  • Synthesize and interpret cultural data

    Identify applications


  • Explain the interpretive nature of cultural analysis
  • Learn how to combine elements to develop cultural themes
  • Create an overall characterization of the ...
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