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.

Writing About Cultures: A Crisis of Representation?

Writing About Cultures: A Crisis of Representation?

Writing about cultures: A crisis of representation?

Whether quantitative or qualitative methods are used, representational approaches to knowledge production rest on a privileging of the consciousness of the researcher who is deemed capable of discovering the “truth” about the world of management and organization through a series of representations.

—Knights (1992, p. 515)

Many cultural researchers write in the traditional language of the social scientist, scientific journalese, and present results in traditional scientific style (theory, hypotheses, methods, results, and conclusion). When studies are written in this apparently objective, ostensibly factual style, it appears as if the author is saying, “Here is what is true.” Ethnographic researchers are more likely to abstain from explicit claims of objectivity and “scientific” writing styles, but ...

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