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.

Single-Perspective Theories of Culture

Single-perspective theories of culture

This chapter focuses on a theory choice dilemma: What theoretical perspective will you endorse, either as a reader or as a researcher? Most organizational culture researchers have answered this question by adopting one of three theoretical perspectives: the integration, differentiation, or fragmentation viewpoints.’ In this chapter, I define and review the research supporting each of these perspectives. I show, using dialogue, how and why advocates of these three perspectives disagree with each other so vehemently. To set the stage, I review some of the organizational culture literature, summarizing part of the large volume of work that has been done in the past three decades. To do this, we need some definitions.

Defining Three Theoretical Views of Cultures in ...

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