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.

To Count or Not to Count?

To count or not to count?

It's not worth it to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar.

—Quotation attributed to Thoreau by Geertz (1973, p. 16)

Is Geertz (or Thoreau) objecting to counting? Why? Is he being serious, or is he objecting to trivial research? Does he mean that all quantitative research is trivial, or is it that culture cannot be understood with quantitative methods? Is it that orientation toward cats is only one aspect of culture in Zanzibar so that cultural researchers should not focus only on cats if they want to understand the entire culture in Zanzibar? Is it that the numbers of cats represent a relatively superficial, material aspect of culture that says little about ...

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