Organizational Culture

provides a sweeping interdisciplinary overview of the organizational culture literature, showing how and why researchers have disagreed about such fundamental questions as: What is organizational culture? What are the major theoretical perspectives used to understand cultures in organizations? How can a researcher decipher the political interests inherent in research that claims to be political neutral – merely “descriptive”?

Expert author Joanne Martin examines a variety of conflicting ways to study cultures in organizations, including different theoretical orientations, political ideologies (managerial, critical, and apparently neutral); methods (qualitative, quantitative, and hybrid approaches), and styles of writing about culture (ranging from traditional to postmodern and experimental). In addition, she offers a guide for those who might want to study culture themselves, addressing such issues as: What qualitative, quantitative, and hybrid methods can be used to study culture? What standards are used when reviewers evaluate these various types of research? What innovative ways of writing about culture have been introduced? And finally, what are the most important unanswered questions for future organizational culture researchers?

Intended for graduate students and established scholars who need to understand, value, and utilize highly divergent approaches to the study of culture. The book will also be useful for researchers who do not study culture, but who are interested in the ways political interests affect scholarly writing, the ways critical and managerial approaches to theory differ, the use and justification of qualitative methods in domains where quantitative methods are the norm.

Introduction and Overview

Introduction and overview

When organizations are examined from a cultural viewpoint, attention is drawn to aspects of organizational life that historically have often been ignored or understudied, such as the stories people tell to newcomers to explain “how things are done around here,” the ways in which offices are arranged and personal items are or are not displayed, jokes people tell, the working atmosphere (hushed and luxurious or dirty and noisy), the relations among people (affectionate in some areas of an office and obviously angry and perhaps competitive in another place), and so on. Cultural observers also often attend to aspects of working life that other researchers study, such as the organization's official policies, the amounts of money different employees earn, reporting relationships, ...

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