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.

A Three-Perspective Theory of Culture

A three-perspective theory of culture

In this chapter, I advocate using all three of the theoretical perspectives introduced in Chapter 4 in a single cultural study. I discuss examples of several three-perspective studies of organizations so you can see how the different viewpoints highlight very different aspects of a culture. Common misunderstandings of the three-perspective approach will be highlighted. Attributes, limitations, and blindspots in the three-perspective approach will be discussed, and other ways of thinking about culture will be introduced. If you are a cultural researcher, this chapter will leave you with some questions: Which theoretical perspective will you choose to use? One of the three perspectives? Will you vacillate across the perspectives, from study to study, depending on your objectives? ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles