Cultures in Organizations

Cultures in Organizations : Three Perspectives

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Description

This is essentially a textbook in organizational culture. But, unlike most textbooks authors, Professor Martin is making a contribution to the field in that she focuses on a way of looking at the field that is new. In the past, those who have studied organizational culture have usually done so from one of three perspectives: 1) "Integration" - all members of an organization share a consensus of values and purpose; 2) "Differentiation" - there are frequent conflicts among groups in organizations with limited consensus; 3) "Fragmentation" - there is considereable ambiguity in organizations with consensus coexisting with conflict, and much change among groups. The author argues that the best way to view organizations is to see them through all three perspectives - each revealing a different kind of truth. The author has done extensive research studying the organizational culture of a large California high technology firm (which is not identified in the book). She interviewed many employees at different levels and in different departments, and used surveys to extend the interviews. Her work is like an ethnography in which the researcher's own perspectives and cultural norms have to be accounted for. As a result, the book explores what she learned from her studies and how she learned it.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 244 pages
  • 156 x 232 x 16mm | 421.84g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • line illustrations, tables
  • 0195071646
  • 9780195071641
  • 1,644,094

Back cover copy

Despite the surge of interest over the last decade in cultural phenomena in organizations, researchers of widely differing disciplinary backgrounds, epistemologies, methodological preferences, and political ideologies continue to disagree about fundamental issues - with good reason. Consolidating a diverse array of theoretical and empirical studies into an analytical framework that clarifies and challenges the assumptions that have guided organizational culture research, this pathbreaking book delineates three competing perspectives and offers a way out of the conceptual chaos caused by conflicts among these viewpoints. This analysis acknowledges incommensurabilities without creating pressures toward assimilation, while offering insights unavailable to any single perspective. Exploring links to major intellectual developments (postmodernism, feminist theory, environmental dependence) within and outside of organizational theory, Cultures in Organizations brings a critical, interdisciplinary perspective to the field. This theoretical approach has an extensive empirical base, drawing on studies of a wide variety of organizations, including a large multi-national electronics corporation, the Peace Corps, universities, small non-profit organizations, and several large and small private-sector companies. By alternating between theoretical abstractions and studies of particular organizations, Joanne Martin delineates and bridges divergent approaches to the study of cultures in organizations, offering a breadth and an openness to multiple viewpoints not available elsewhere.show more

About Joanne Martin

Joanne Martin is Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business and also, by courtesy, in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. Author or co-author of four books and numerous articles, she has served as Chair of the Organization and Management Theory Division and as a member of the Board of Governors of the Academy of Management, and is a fellow both of the American Psychological Society and of the American Psychological Association.show more

Review quote

'This is an excellent book - it is adopted for my undergraduate Human Resource Management Course.' Stephen Wood, London School of Economicsshow more

Rating details

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