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Controlling Organizational Culture

Bikic, Mirel LU and Wemne, Olle LU (2017) MGTN59 20171
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Organizational culture has been studied throughout the centuries as it has been assumed to enhance the organizations’ abilities to reach objectives. The Corporate-Culture School has argued in favor of this assumption, but have been subjected to criticism as it tends to rule out critical thinking and disregards the complexity of culture. In contrary, scholars of Critical Management Studies argue in favor of deeper understanding which embraces ambiguity, contradictions and symbolic aspects based on personal perceptions and experiences. In the limelight of the two perspectives, there seems to be a need for a conceptual bridge which unites the opposing schools and takes their respective points of view into equal consideration. The purpose of... (More)
Organizational culture has been studied throughout the centuries as it has been assumed to enhance the organizations’ abilities to reach objectives. The Corporate-Culture School has argued in favor of this assumption, but have been subjected to criticism as it tends to rule out critical thinking and disregards the complexity of culture. In contrary, scholars of Critical Management Studies argue in favor of deeper understanding which embraces ambiguity, contradictions and symbolic aspects based on personal perceptions and experiences. In the limelight of the two perspectives, there seems to be a need for a conceptual bridge which unites the opposing schools and takes their respective points of view into equal consideration. The purpose of this study has been to explore and understand how organizational culture can be used as a strategic control mechanism. To enable this understanding, we have aimed to develop a critical analysis based on the perception and experiences of organizational employees. The study is based on a qualitative case study, which has been conducted with a triangular and abductive method consisting of semi-structured interviews, document analysis and study of previous research of the selected organization. Our findings indicate that the organizational culture is perceived as a natural, yet strong and unifying mechanism, which aligns the employees towards common goals. Even though employees do not feel controlled, their experiences of the culture correspond with many of the elements from the Corporate-Culture School; thus indicating in favor of the assumption that organizational culture can be utilized as a control mechanism. The control mechanism is present in the shape of leaders, recruitment processes, the physical environment, different tool-kits and the legacy of the founder. The study contributes to the understanding of organizational culture, as it provides a theoretical and methodological middle ground between the Corporate-Culture school and the Critical Management Studies. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Organizational culture has been studied throughout the centuries as it has been assumed to enhance the organizations’ abilities to reach objectives. The Corporate-Culture School has argued in favor of this assumption, but have been subjected to criticism as it tends to rule out critical thinking and disregards the complexity of culture. In contrary, scholars of Critical Management Studies argue in favor of deeper understanding which embraces ambiguity, contradictions and symbolic aspects based on personal perceptions and experiences. In the limelight of the two perspectives, there seems to be a need for a conceptual bridge which unites the opposing schools and takes their respective points of view into equal consideration. The purpose of... (More)
Organizational culture has been studied throughout the centuries as it has been assumed to enhance the organizations’ abilities to reach objectives. The Corporate-Culture School has argued in favor of this assumption, but have been subjected to criticism as it tends to rule out critical thinking and disregards the complexity of culture. In contrary, scholars of Critical Management Studies argue in favor of deeper understanding which embraces ambiguity, contradictions and symbolic aspects based on personal perceptions and experiences. In the limelight of the two perspectives, there seems to be a need for a conceptual bridge which unites the opposing schools and takes their respective points of view into equal consideration. The purpose of this study has been to explore and understand how organizational culture can be used as a strategic control mechanism. To enable this understanding, we have aimed to develop a critical analysis based on the perception and experiences of organizational employees. The study is based on a qualitative case study, which has been conducted with a triangular and abductive method consisting of semi-structured interviews, document analysis and study of previous research of the selected organization. Our findings indicate that the organizational culture is perceived as a natural, yet strong and unifying mechanism, which aligns the employees towards common goals. Even though employees do not feel controlled, their experiences of the culture correspond with many of the elements from the Corporate-Culture School; thus indicating in favor of the assumption that organizational culture can be utilized as a control mechanism. The control mechanism is present in the shape of leaders, recruitment processes, the physical environment, different tool-kits and the legacy of the founder. The study contributes to the understanding of organizational culture, as it provides a theoretical and methodological middle ground between the Corporate-Culture school and the Critical Management Studies. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Bikic, Mirel LU and Wemne, Olle LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A Critical Case Study of a Retail Company's Organizational Culture
course
MGTN59 20171
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Critical Management Studies, Corporate-Culture School, Organizational Culture, Management Control Systems, Cultural Controls, Control Mechanism, Mats Alvesson
language
English
id
8917226
date added to LUP
2017-06-19 17:27:29
date last changed
2017-06-19 17:27:29
@misc{8917226,
  abstract     = {Organizational culture has been studied throughout the centuries as it has been assumed to enhance the organizations’ abilities to reach objectives. The Corporate-Culture School has argued in favor of this assumption, but have been subjected to criticism as it tends to rule out critical thinking and disregards the complexity of culture. In contrary, scholars of Critical Management Studies argue in favor of deeper understanding which embraces ambiguity, contradictions and symbolic aspects based on personal perceptions and experiences. In the limelight of the two perspectives, there seems to be a need for a conceptual bridge which unites the opposing schools and takes their respective points of view into equal consideration. The purpose of this study has been to explore and understand how organizational culture can be used as a strategic control mechanism. To enable this understanding, we have aimed to develop a critical analysis based on the perception and experiences of organizational employees. The study is based on a qualitative case study, which has been conducted with a triangular and abductive method consisting of semi-structured interviews, document analysis and study of previous research of the selected organization. Our findings indicate that the organizational culture is perceived as a natural, yet strong and unifying mechanism, which aligns the employees towards common goals. Even though employees do not feel controlled, their experiences of the culture correspond with many of the elements from the Corporate-Culture School; thus indicating in favor of the assumption that organizational culture can be utilized as a control mechanism. The control mechanism is present in the shape of leaders, recruitment processes, the physical environment, different tool-kits and the legacy of the founder. The study contributes to the understanding of organizational culture, as it provides a theoretical and methodological middle ground between the Corporate-Culture school and the Critical Management Studies.},
  author       = {Bikic, Mirel and Wemne, Olle},
  keyword      = {Critical Management Studies,Corporate-Culture School,Organizational Culture,Management Control Systems,Cultural Controls,Control Mechanism,Mats Alvesson},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Controlling Organizational Culture},
  year         = {2017},
}