H. L. Goodall’s ground-breaking study of what people do with symbols and what symbols do to people explores the lives led by people in organizations. His narratives take on the form of six detective mysteries in which the narrator figures into the plot of the intrigue and then works out its essential patterns.
In the first mystery, "Notes on a Cultural Evolution: The Remaking of a Software Company," Goodall looks at the transition of a Huntsville regional office of a Boston-based computer software company where the lives and social dramas of the participants reflect the current state of high technology.
The second essay and perhaps the most insightful, "The Way the World Ends: Inside Star Wars," penetrates the various defenses of the Star Wars command office in Huntsville to discover its secrets and surprises. Goodall shows how media, technology, fear of relationships, and symbolic images of the future unite into the day-to-day operations of people who believe they are responsible for the outer limits of our nation’s defense.
"Lost in Space: The Layers of Illusion Called Adult Space Camp" illustrates how a supposedly innocent theme park invites participation in rituals and ceremonies designed to influence a future generation of taxpayers.
In "Articles of Faith," Goodall enters a super mall in Huntsville, noting how shopping centers provide consumers with far more than places to purchase goods and services.
"How I Spent My Summer Vacation" finds Goodall back in an academic environment, at a conference of communication scholars, where he demonstrates the difficult task of translating cultural understandings from one context to another.
"The Consultant as Organizational Detective" offers the sobering message that real-life mysteries may surprise even the most accomplished sleuth. A concluding chapter, "Notes on Method," and a new autobiographical afterword round out Goodall’s penetrating look at our symbol-making culture.
Despite ongoing efforts to maintain ethical standards, highly publicized episodes of corporate misconduct occur with disturbing frequency. Firms produce defective products, release toxic substances into the environment, or permit dangerous conditions to existin their workplaces. The propensity for irresponsible acts is not confined to rogue companies, but crops up in even the most respectable firms. Codes of Conduct is the first comprehensive attempt to understand these problems by applying the principles of modern behavioral science to the study of organizational behavior. Codes of Conduct probes the psychological and social processes through which companies and their managers respond to a wide array of ethical dilemmas, from risk and safety management to the treatment of employees. The contributors employ a wide range of case studies to illustrate the effects of social influence and group persuasion, organizational authority and communication, fragmented responsibility, and the process of rationalization. John Darley investigates how unethical acts are unintentionally assembled within organizations as a result of cascading pressures and social processes. Essays by Roderick Kramer and David Messick and by George Loewenstein focus on irrational decision making among managers. Willem Wagenaar examines how worker safety is endangered by management decisions that focus too narrowly on cost cutting and short time horizons. Essays by Baruch Fischhoff and by Robyn Dawes review the role of the expert in assessing environmental risk. Robert Bies reviews evidence that employees are more willing to provide personal information and to accept affirmative action programs if they are consulted on the intended procedures and goals. Stephanie Goodwin and Susan Fiske discuss how employees can be educated to base office judgments on personal qualities rather than on generalizations of gender, race, and ethnicity. Codes of Conduct makes an important scientific contribution to the understanding of decisionmaking and social processes in business, and offers clear insights into the design of effective policies to improve ethical conduct.
Public trust in corporations plummeted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, when “Lehman Brothers” and “General Motors” became dirty words for many Americans. In Corporate Dreams, James Hoopes argues that Americans still place too much faith in corporations and, especially, in the idea of “values-based leadership” favored by most CEOs. The danger of corporations, he suggests, lies not just in their economic power, but also in how their confused and undemocratic values are infecting Americans’ visions of good governance.
Corporate Dreams proposes that Americans need to radically rethink their relationships with big business and the government. Rather than buying into the corporate notion of “values-based leadership,” we should view corporate leaders with the same healthy suspicion that our democratic political tradition teaches us to view our political leaders. Unfortunately, the trend is moving the other way. Corporate notions of leadership are invading our democratic political culture when it should be the reverse.
To diagnose the cause and find a cure for our toxic attachment to corporate models of leadership, Hoopes goes back to the root of the problem, offering a comprehensive history of corporate culture inAmerica, from the Great Depression to today’s Great Recession. Combining a historian’s careful eye with an insider’s perspective on the business world, this provocative volume tracks changes in government economic policy, changes in public attitudes toward big business, and changes in how corporate executives view themselves.
Whether examining the rise of Leadership Development programs or recounting JFK’s Pyrrhic victory over U.S. Steel, Hoopes tells a compelling story of how America lost its way, ceding authority to the policies and values of corporate culture. But he also shows us how it’s not too late to return to our democratic ideals—and that it’s not too late to restore the American dream.
As we approach the end of the century, cultural, institutional, and even geopolitical change becomes the norm rather than the exception. Late Editions, edited by George E. Marcus, is a series of annuals designed to probe these changes not through the familiar academic conventions of analysis but instead through in-depth, informed conversations and interviews with individuals at the sites of these transformations. The casts of other volumes in the series include artists, oncologists, Siberian medical leaders, warhead designers, and computer junkies, all of whom take the opportunity presented by Late Editions to reflect upon the great and often puzzling shifts occurring in the cultural landscape.
Late Editions 5, Corporate Futures, questions this idea of a "cultural landscape" by focusing on the the marked investment of corporations in the concept of culture, long the purview of anthropologists and, more recently, those involved in the humanistic disciplines. Emerging in the discourse of the workplace—and traveling beyond it to traditionally alternative associations—is the idea of a "corporate culture" with its own organization, management policies and practices, and ethos. How can we understand this culture of corporations, and to what extent does it reflect self-contained communities or fragmented human existence in groups under conditions of postmodernity? Corporate Futures tackles these issues and questions through conversations with managers, financial and risk analysts, and other participants in national and international organizations.
The results—engaging, intriguing, speculative, current—continue the work begun in earlier volumes to map the terrain of the present and navigate the uncertain future.
Praise for Late Editions: "If the succeeding volumes are as compassionate and informed as the first, this series could become an essential postmodern guidebook to the world's changing cultural terrain. I plan on letting it ease me into the next century."—Catherine Gysin, Utne Reader
Before movies, radio, and television challenged the hegemony of the printed word, the Saturday Evening Post was the preeminent vehicle of mass culture in the United States. And to the extent that a mass medium can be the expression of a single individual, this magazine, with a peak circulation of almost three million copies a week, was the expression of its editor, George Horace Lorimer. Cohn shows how Lorimer made the <I>Post</I> into a uniquely powerful magazine that both celebrated and helped form the values of the time.
A report from the Woodstock Theological Center that distills conversations among the business, government, and academic communities to offer an evaluation and recommendations for creating and maintaining an ethical climate in a business corporation.
Business consultants everywhere preach the benefits of innovation—and promise to help businesses reap them. A trendy industry, this type of consulting generates courses, workshops, books, and conferences that all claim to hold the secrets of success. But what promises does the notion of innovation entail? What is it about the ideology and practice of business innovation that has made these firms so successful at selling their services to everyone from small start-ups to Fortune 500 companies? And most important, what does business innovation actually mean for work and our economy today?
In Creativity on Demand, cultural anthropologist Eitan Wilf seeks to answer these questions by returning to the fundamental and pervasive expectation of continual innovation. Wilf focuses a keen eye on how our obsession with ceaseless innovation stems from the long-standing value of acceleration in capitalist society. Based on ethnographic work with innovation consultants in the United States, he reveals, among other surprises, how routine the culture of innovation actually is. Procedures and strategies are repeated in a formulaic way, and imagination is harnessed as a new professional ethos, not always to generate genuinely new thinking, but to produce predictable signs of continual change. A masterful look at the contradictions of our capitalist age, Creativity on Demand is a model for the anthropological study of our cultures of work.
This book focuses on the theory and practice of understanding and transforming organizations with the goal to discover common ground between groups and individuals. Diamond presents a framework of reflective practice for organizational researchers, scholar-practitioner consultants, executives, managers, and workers in order to promote a more satisfying and humane work-life.
Wills, John Rutgers University Press, 2017 Library of Congress PN1999.W27W55 2017 | Dewey Decimal 384.80979494
Over the past century, Disney has grown from a small American animation studio into a multipronged global media giant. Today, the company’s annual revenue exceeds the GDP of over 100 countries, and its portfolio has grown to include Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, and ESPN. With a company so diversified, is it still possible to identify a coherent Disney vision or message?
Disney Culture proposes that there is still a unifying Disney ethos, one that can be traced back to the corporate philosophy that Walt Disney himself developed back in the 1920s. Yet, as cultural historian John Wills demonstrates, Disney’s values have also adapted to changing social climates. At the same time, the world of Disney has profoundly shaped how Americans view the world.
Wills offers a nuanced take on the corporate ideologies running through animated and live-action Disney movies from Frozen to Fantasia, from Mary Poppins to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But Disney Culture encompasses much more than just movies as it explores the intersections between Disney’s business practices and its cultural mythmaking. Welcome to “the Disney Way.”
Engineering Culture is an award-winning ethnography of the engineering division of a large American high-tech corporation. Now, this influential book—which has been translated into Japanese, Italian, and Hebrew—has been revised to bring it up to date. In Engineering Culture, Gideon Kunda offers a critical analysis of an American company's well-known and widely emulated "corporate culture." Kunda uses detailed descriptions of everyday interactions and rituals in which the culture is brought to life, excerpts from in-depth interviews and a wide variety of corporate texts to vividly portray managerial attempts to design and impose the culture and the ways in which it is experienced by members of the organization. The company's management, Kunda reveals, uses a variety of methods to promulgate what it claims is a non-authoritarian, informal, and flexible work environment that enhances and rewards individual commitment, initiative, and creativity while promoting personal growth. The author demonstrates, however, that these pervasive efforts mask an elaborate and subtle form of normative control in which the members' minds and hearts become the target of corporate influence. Kunda carefully dissects the impact this form of control has on employees' work behavior and on their sense of self. In the conclusion written especially for this edition, Kunda reviews the company's fortunes in the years that followed publication of the first edition, reevaluates the arguments in the book, and explores the relevance of corporate culture and its management today.
In this intriguing ethnography, Ellen Fuller investigates how issues of gender and identity as they relate to authority are addressed in a globalizing corporate culture. Going Global goes behind the office politics, turf wars and day-to-day workings of a transnational American company in Japan in the late 1990s as employees try to establish a comfortable place within the company.
Fuller looks at how relationships among Asians and between Asians and Americans are tested as individuals are promoted to positions of power and authority. Is there pressure for the Japanese to be more “American” to get ahead in business? Do female employees have to subscribe to certain stereotypes to be promoted or respected? How these American and Japanese workers assess one another raises important questions about international business management and human resources.
Do you put family photos on your desk at work? Are your home and work keys on the same chain? Do you keep one all-purpose calendar for listing home and work events? Do you have separate telephone books for colleagues and friends? In Home and Work, Christena Nippert-Eng examines the intricacies and implications of how we draw the line between home and work.
Arguing that relationships between the two realms range from those that are highly "integrating" to those that are highly "segmenting," Nippert-Eng examines the ways people sculpt the boundaries between home and work. With remarkable sensitivity to the symbolic value of objects and actions, Nippert-Eng explores the meaning of clothing, wallets, lunches and vacations, and the places and ways in which we engage our family, friends, and co-workers. Commuting habits are also revealing, showing how we make the transition between home and work selves though ritualized behavior like hellos and goodbyes, the consumption of food, the way we dress, our choices of routes to and from work, and our listening, working, and sleeping habits during these journeys.
The ways each of us manages time, space, and people not only reflect but reinforce lives that are more "integrating" or "segmenting" at any given time. In clarifying what we take for granted, this book will leave you thinking in different ways about your life and work.
In Nightwork, Anne Allison opens a window onto Japanese corporate culture and gender identities. Allison performed the ritualized tasks of a hostess in one of Tokyo's many "hostess clubs": pouring drinks, lighting cigarettes, and making flattering or titillating conversation with the businessmen who came there on company expense accounts. Her book critically examines how such establishments create bonds among white-collar men and forge a masculine identity that suits the needs of their corporations.
Allison describes in detail a typical company outing to such a club—what the men do, how they interact with the hostesses, the role the hostess is expected to play, and the extent to which all of this involves "play" rather than "work." Unlike previous books on Japanese nightlife, Allison's ethnography of one specific hostess club (here referred to as Bijo) views the general phenomenon from the eyes of a woman, hostess, and feminist anthropologist.
Observing that clubs like Bijo further a kind of masculinity dependent on the gestures and labors of women, Allison seeks to uncover connections between such behavior and other social, economic, sexual, and gendered relations. She argues that Japanese corporate nightlife enables and institutionalizes a particular form of ritualized male dominance: in paying for this entertainment, Japanese corporations not only give their male workers a self-image as phallic man, but also develop relationships to work that are unconditional and unbreakable. This is a book that will appeal to anyone interested in gender roles or in contemporary Japanese society.
"Renewal" is a holistic health center run by baby boomers whose political ideals were shaped by the counterculture movements of the 1960s. Through interviews and observation, Sherryl Kleinman takes us inside Renewal and shows us how its members struggled to maintain a view of themselves as progressive and alternative even as they sought conventional legitimacy.
In Opposing Ambitions we meet the members of Renewal as individuals; learn about the differences in power, prestige, and respect they are accorded; why they talked endlessly about money; and how they related to each other. Kleinman shows how members' attempts to see themselves as unconventional, but also as serious operators of a legitimate health care organization, led them to act in ways that undermined their egalitarian goals. She draws out the lessons Renewal offers for understanding the problems women face in organizations, the failure of social movements to live up to their ideals, and how it is possible for progressives to avoid reproducing the inequalities they claim to oppose.
A job is no longer something we "do," but instead something we "are." As the boundaries between work and non-work have dissolved, we restructure ourselves and our lives using social ingenuity to get things done and be resourceful outside the official workday.
In his provocative book, Resisting Work Peter Fleming insists that many jobs in the West are now regulated by a new matrix of power-biopower-where "life itself" is put to work through our ability to self-organize around formal rules. This neoliberal system of employment tries to absorb our life attributes--from our consumer tastes, "downtime," and sexuality--into employment so that questions of human capital and resources replace questions of employee, worker, and labor.
Fleming then suggests that the corporation turns to communal life-what he calls "the common"-in order to reproduce itself and reinforce corporate culture. Yet a resistance against this new definition of work is in effect, and Fleming shows how it may already be taking shape.
The key to professional success in Brazil is understanding Brazilians. But how do you understand an unfamiliar culture? Seasoned cross-cultural trainers Orlando R. Kelm and David A. Victor use Victor’s groundbreaking approach of evaluating a culture’s language, environment, social organization, context, authority, nonverbal communication, and time conception to provide a framework for understanding Brazilians and show effective strategies to overcome these communication barriers. The method, referred to as the LESCANT approach makes you the expert evaluator of the culture and helps you easily navigate hurdles that can challenge business relationships.
Each chapter of The Seven Keys to Communicating in Brazil employs memorable anecdotes, business cases on each topic from business professionals, and photographs to address key topics. The authors demonstrate how to evaluate the cultural differences between Brazil and North America and include examples of common communication mistakes. Engaging and accessible, the book helps North Americans master the nuances of the Brazilian language and achieve a real experience of the Brasil dos brasileiros.
The effective functioning of a democratic society—including social, business, and political interactions—largely depends on trust. Yet trust remains a fragile and elusive resource in many of the organizations that make up society's building blocks. In their timely volume, Trust and Distrust in Organizations, editors Roderick M. Kramer and Karen S. Cook have compiled the most important research on trust in organizations, illuminating the complex nature of how trust develops, functions, and often is thwarted in organizational settings. With contributions from social psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, economists, and organizational theorists, the volume examines trust and distrust within a variety of settings—from employer-employee and doctor-patient relationships, to geographically dispersed work teams and virtual teams on the internet. Trust and Distrust in Organizations opens with an in-depth examination of hierarchical relationships to determine how trust is established and maintained between people with unequal power. Kurt Dirks and Daniel Skarlicki find that trust between leaders and their followers is established when people perceive a shared background or identity and interact well with their leader. After trust is established, people are willing to assume greater risks and to work harder. In part II, the contributors focus on trust between people in teams and networks. Roxanne Zolin and Pamela Hinds discover that trust is more easily established in geographically dispersed teams when they are able to meet face-to-face initially. Trust and Distrust in Organizations moves on to an examination of how people create and foster trust and of the effects of power and betrayal on trust. Kimberly Elsbach reports that managers achieve trust by demonstrating concern, maintaining open communication, and behaving consistently. The final chapter by Roderick Kramer and Dana Gavrieli includes recently declassified data from secret conversations between President Lyndon Johnson and his advisors that provide a rich window into a leader's struggles with problems of trust and distrust in his administration. Broad in scope, Trust and Distrust in Organizations provides a captivating and insightful look at trust, power, and betrayal, and is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the underpinnings of trust within a relationship or an organization. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Series on Trust
When you start a new job, you learn how things are done in the company, and you learn how they are complained about too. Unpopular Culture considers why people complain about their work culture and what impact those complaints have on their organizations. John Weeks based his study on long-term observations of the British Armstrong Bank in the United Kingdom. Not one person at this organization, he found, from the CEO down to the junior clerks, had anything good to say about its corporate culture. And yet, despite all the griping—and despite high-profile efforts at culture change—the way things were done never seemed fundamentally to alter. The organization was restructured, jobs redefined, and processes redesigned, but the complaining remained the same.
As Weeks demonstrates, this is because the everyday standards of behavior that regulate complaints curtail their effectiveness. Embarrass someone by complaining in a way that is too public or too pointed, and you will find your social standing diminished. Complain too loudly or too long, and your coworkers might see you as contrary. On the other hand, complain too little and you may be seen as too stiff or just too strange to be trusted. The rituals of complaint, Weeks shows, have powerful social functions.
You can find a Starbucks coffeehouse almost anywhere, from Paris, France to Paducah, Kentucky, from the crowded streets of Thailand to shopping malls in Qatar. With nearly 200 of them in New York City alone, this coffee retail giant with humble beginnings has become an actor and icon in the global economy. As we sip our cappuccinos, frappuccinos, and our double half-caf venti low-fat mochaccinos, many of us wonder if Starbucks is a haven of civilization or a cultural predator, a good or bad employer, a fair trader or a global menace. In this entertaining and provocative ramble through Starbucks's ethos and actions, Kim Fellner asks how a coffeehouse chain with a liberal reputation came to symbolize, for some, the ills of globalization.
Armed with an open mind and a sense of humor, Fellner takes readers on an expedition into the muscle and soul of the coffee company. She finds a corporation filled with contradictions: between employee-friendly processes and anti-union practices; between an internationalist vision and a longing for global dominance; between community individuality and cultural hegemony. On a daily basis Starbucks walks a fine line. It must be profitable enough to please Wall Street and principled enough to please social justice advocates. Although observers might argue that the company has done well at achieving a balance, Starbucks's leaders run the risk of satisfying neither constituency and must constantly justify themselves to both.
Through the voices of Central American coffee farmers, officers at corporate headquarters, independent café owners, unionists, baristas, traders, global justice activists, and consumers, Fellner explores the forces that affect Starbucks's worth and worthiness. Along the way, she subjects her own unabashedly progressive perspective to scrutiny and emerges with a compelling and unexpected look at Starbucks, the global economy, our economic convictions, and the values behind our morning cup of joe.