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.

Interests and Claims of Neutrality

Interests and claims of neutrality

People sort patterns of experience, preferring some patterns more than others. Interests are patterns that focus on the well-being of specific individuals or, more likely, groups of people (Nord & Connell, 1996). Having interests is the opposite of being disinterested or impartial. Culture studies have differing interest orientations. These interest orientations are difficult to decipher because they are usually tacit rather than explicit. Most organizational culture studies are written in the managerial interest, aiming to help managers improve the productivity and performance of their organizations. In contrast, other organizational culture studies are quite critical of managerial actions and priorities. Finally, many organizational culture studies (especially neopositivist empirical studies) are ostensibly value neutral, striving to reach conclusions ...

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