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Organizational Culture in Action
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Organizational Culture in Action
A Cultural Analysis Workbook

Second Edition


© 2011 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
`Applying the metaphor of method acting, this workbook is an essential primer for classes in communication and organizational culture. In a cogent and easily accessible style, it provides superb guidelines for observing, interpreting, and understanding the subtle and complex nuances of an organization's culture. The integration of qualitative research methods with cultural analyses makes this text distinctive and valuable addition to any organizational communication class' - Linda Putnam, University of California, Santa Barbara

Based on more than 20 years of experience the authors help students apply cultural insights to fostering diversity, supporting organizational change, making leadership more dynamic, exploring the link between ethics and culture, and making organizations more effective overall.

Unique to Organizational Culture in Action are the various examples the authors have included, which are taken from their consulting experience with more than 150 organizations. An example analysis from a student has also been included to show novice researchers how they too can improve their organizational performance using this workbook.

 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
Part I. CULTURAL ANALYSIS PLANNING
 
1. Introduction: Setting the Stage
Rehearsal 1.1 Applying the Drama Metaphor  
Rehearsal 1.2 Determining Your Purposes for a Cultural Analysis  
Rehearsal 1.3 Identifying an Organization  
Rehearsal 1.4 Method Acting and Getting Real  
 
2. The Significance of the Stage
Rehearsal 2.1 Creativity and Constraint  
Rehearsal 2.2 The Value of a Cultural Analysis  
Rehearsal 2.3 The Value of a Culture Analysis  
 
Part II. CULTURAL ANALYSIS BASICS
 
3. Step One--Understanding the Concept of Culture: Constructing the Set
Rehearsal 3.1 How Do You Define Culture?  
Rehearsal 3.2 Playing With Metaphors  
Rehearsal 3.3 Writing a Cultural Analysis Proposal  
 
4. Step Two--Identifying Cultural Elements: Understanding Roles
Rehearsal 4.1 Exploring Websites  
Rehearsal 4.2 Getting More From Our Stories  
Rehearsal 4.3 A Game of Metaphors  
 
Part III. CULTURAL DATA COLLECTION AND INTERPRETATION
 
5. Method Acting: Textual Analysis
Rehearsal 5.1 Selecting Texts for Analysis  
Rehearsal 5.2 Content Analysis  
Rehearsal 5.3 Critical Linguistic Analysis  
 
6. Method Acting: Observation
Rehearsal 6.2 A Potpourri of Things to Observe in Cultural Analysis  
Rehearsal 6.3 Alien Culture Observation  
Rehearsal 6.4 Note-Taking Guidelines  
 
7. Method Acting: Interviews and Surveys
Rehearsal 7.1 Sample Interview Questions for “Reading” a Culture  
Rehearsal 7.2 Alien Culture Interviews/Surveys  
 
8. Step Four--Synthesizing and Interpreting Cultural Data: Getting Inside the Character
Rehearsal 8.1 Finding a Theme  
Rehearsal 8.2 A Practice Stage  
Rehearsal 8.3 Reliability/Validity Check  
Rehearsal 8.4 Cultural Analysis Write-Up Guides  
 
Part IV. CULTURAL ANALYSIS APPLICATION
 
9. Casting Against Type: Diversity
Rehearsal 9.2 Are You a Privileged Member of Your Organizational Culture?  
Rehearsal 9.2 Diversity Survey  
 
10. Improvisation: Managing Change
Rehearsal 10.1 Forces Driving Change  
Rehearsal 10.2 Adapting Change Messages to the Culture  
Rehearsal 10.3 A Change Plan  
Rehearsal 10.4 A Change Case  
 
11. An Honest Portrayal: Ethics
Rehearsal 11.1 Ethical Heroes  
Rehearsal 11.2 Applying the Economizing Value Tension  
Rehearsal 11.3 Applying the Power Distancing Value Tension  
Rehearsal 11.4 Applying the Ecologizing Value Tension  
Rehearsal 11.5 Other Value Tensions  
Rehearsal 11.6 Ethics and Communication Leadership  
 
7. Method Acting: Interviews and Surveys
Rehearsal 7.1 Sample Interview Questions for “Reading” a Culture  
Rehearsal 7.2 Alien Culture Interviews/Surveys  
 
8. Step Four: Synthesizing and Interpreting Cultural Data: Getting Inside the Character
Rehearsal 8.1 Finding a Theme  
Rehearsal 8.2 A Practice Stage  
Rehearsal 8.3 Reliability/Validity Check  
Rehearsal 8.4 Cultural Analysis Write-Up Guides  
 
Part IV. CULTURAL ANALYSIS APPLICATION
 
9. Casting Against Type: Diversity
Rehearsal 9.2 Are You a Privileged Member of Your Organizational Culture?  
Rehearsal 9.3 Diversity Survey  
 
10. Improvisation: Managing Change
Rehearsal 10.1 Forces Driving Change  
Rehearsal 10.2 Adapting Change Messages to the Culture  
Rehearsal 10.3 A Change Plan  
Rehearsal 10.4 A Change Case  
 
11. An Honest Portrayal: Ethics
Rehearsal 11.1 Ethical Heroes  
Rehearsal 11.2 Applying the Economizing Value Tension  
Rehearsal 11.3 Applying the Power Distancing Value Tension  
Rehearsal 11.4 Applying the Ecologizing Value Tension  
Rehearsal 11.5 Other Value Tensions  
Rehearsal 11.6 Ethics and Communication Leadership  
 
12. The Director’s Chair: Symbolic Leadership
Rehearsal 12.2 Assessing Yourself as a Leader  
Rehearsal 12.3 Case Study of Cultural Leadership  
 
13. Reading Reviews: Organizational Effectiveness
Rehearsal 13.1 How Do You Measure Effectiveness?  
Rehearsal 13.2 Finding the Drawbacks of the Best Fit  
Rehearsal 13.3 Gauging Effectiveness  
 
14. Opening Night: Conclusion
Rehearsal 14.1 Action Plan for Professional Communication Development  
Rehearsal 14.2 Organizational Development Action Plan  
 
Appendix: Example Student Analysis
 
References
 
Index
 
About the Authors
Rehearsal 6.1 Identifying Six Types of Rites/Rituals  
Rehearsal 9.1 Assess the Multiculturism of Your Organization  
Rehearsal 12.1 Identifying Leader Reframing Practices  

Supplements

Student Study Site

An open-access student study site includes:

  • E-Flashcards: This study tool reinforces student understanding of key terms and concepts that have been outlined in the chapters.
  • SAGE Journal Articles: A “Learning from SAGE Journal Articles” feature provides access to recent, relevant full-text articles from SAGE’s leading research journals. Each article supports and expands on the concepts presented in the chapter.
  • Web Resources: These links to relevant websites direct both instructors and students to additional resources for further research on important chapter topics.
  • Web Quizzes: Flexible self-quizzes allow students to independently assess their progress in learning course material.
  • Example Papers: These "executive summary" focused reports and papers provide a fuller discussion of methods and data. Some papers represent the work of an individual student, whereas others are dyad or team based projects.
Instructor Teaching Site

A password-protected instructor teaching site includes:

  • Discussion Questions: Chapter-specific questions help launch discussion by prompting students to engage with the material, and by reinforcing important content.
  • Essay Questions: Essay questions for every chapter will aid instructors in assessing students’ progress and understanding.

"This workbook does a tremendous job of making a lot of complex information easy to understand and apply to real situations."

John Gribas
Idaho State University

"Excellent and most applicable for any organization going through restructuring."

Kumiko Watanuki
DePaul University

Still reviewing, would like to add a new course or change text in Capstone.

Dr Michele Kegley
Business & Economics, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash
February 19, 2014

Useful for supplementary reading and gaining another aspect of culture.

Mrs Sarah Harper
Hotel Tourism & Retail Management, Robert Gordon University
September 24, 2013

Fantastic book to help students walk through an organizational cultural assessment.

Dr Barbara Clemenson
Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Case Western Reserve University
November 12, 2011

It's very interesting, but didn't quite work for me.

Dr Lucy Ford
Management / IB, St Josephs University
September 30, 2011

wow what a book!!!. for me as a lecturer it is full of inspiration for teaching. for students it is clear and concise.

Mrs Anne Fenech
Health Sciences, Southampton University
January 28, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

1. Introduction


Preview this book

Gerald W. Driskill

Dr. Gerald W. Driskill (Ph.D., University of Kansas; M.A., & B.A., Abilene Christian University)is an Associate Professor of Speech Communication at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He has taught graduate classes in Organizational Culture and Intercultural Communication since 1993 at UALR. He has taught Managerial Communication in Bangkok, Thailand and has also published a number of organizational communication articles from observation and interview transcript analysis in a multinational firm to analysis of communication patterns in day care cultures. He has served as a President of the local chapter of ASTD (American... More About Author

Peggie Angela Laird Brenton

Dr. Angela Laird Brenton (Ph.D., University of Kansas M.A., University of Oklahoma, B.S.E. & B.A., Oklahoma Christian University) is Dean of the College of Professional Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She has taught graduate classes in Organizational Culture since 1982 at UALR, Pepperdine University, Abilene Christian University, and Southwest Missouri State University. She has published a number of articles using qualitative research methods to study organizational communication--from critical linguistic analysis of organizational texts to analysis of organizational identification. She collaborated on the... More About Author

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