Cultural Approach to Communication

  1. Culture
    • systems of shared meaning-organizational culture is the residue of employees’ performances-the actions by which members constitute and reveal their culture to themselves and others.
    • -(everything the employees are doing is creating a residue).
  2. An ethnographically based theory:
    to find out who people think they are, what they think they are doing, and to what end they are doing it. Referred to as this thick description (tracing the many strands of a cultural web and tracking evolving meaning).
  3. To achieve a thick description:
    one must start with a state of bewilderment. Pay particular attention to the language, metaphors, stories, ritual, and nonverbal cues people use surrounding the organization. This will indicate structure (hierarchy or non hierarchical). It is most important to listen to their interpretation of the story-not supply your own.
  4. Stories that are repeated indicate how the organization views itself.
    • a. corporate stories- carry ideology of management.     
    • b. personal stories- reflect how personnel would like to be seen by the organization.
    • c. collegial stories- positive or negative antidotes told about others-how the company ‘really works’.
  5. Ritual:
    • reflects multiple aspects of cultural life. Perceived as nearly sacred and have strong resistance to change.
    • -They may serve as a point of contact between the organization and the surrounding culture.
  6. The critique:
    • Most employees’ join a company long after they’ve been socialized into the values of a larger society.
    • -Critical theorists want to expose and awaken while Anthropologists want to describe and interpret.
    • -The cultural approach does not want to change the culture, it seeks create better understanding of the web. For some, this is too modest.
Card Set
Cultural Approach to Communication
Cultural Approach to Communication