Re: Anthropology and organizational culture

Colley Stacy Ann (
Mon, 8 May 1995 15:09:12 -0500

David, first of all you will have to get your hands on the june or july
isssue of Journal of Applied Behavioral Sciences. It is still in press,
but there will be several articles that are directed to your interest.
I have read two of them and they are excellent, I mean excellent!

I feel the same way that you do about culture as deriving meaning through
it's environment and transmitting it between members. Are you familiar
with Anthropological theories or are you from the organization back
ground. I'm assuming your the latter so I can recomend some theories to
look for when focusing on this stuff to weed out your disinterest.
Symbolic theory is derived from interpreted anth and focuses on just what
you said, the way in which meaning is assigned to cultural phenomena and
how it is transmitted between members. It moves beyond shared
assumptions and focuses on individual experience and meaning.
Cultural ecology is another theory that would interest you because it is
sees culture as the responses to external and internal environment which
includes influences of other sub-cultures.
One more thing, check out a book by Gareth Morgan called Images of
Organization. By sage publications 1986. This book is so easy to read
and is comprised of twelve chapters that explore different metaphors to
alalyze organization with. This is actually enjoyable quick reading
too. This helps in seeing all the different ways in looking at them and
shows what methodological implications follow.
Until later