Theory Key Names
Annotated list of scholars and terms, from the Instructors Manual and margin notes in the text
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Chapter 19—Cultural Approach to Organizations
- Clifford Geertz
- Princeton University anthropologist who pioneered the ethnographic study of culture.
- Webs of significance; systems of shared meaning.
- Cultural performance
- Actions by which members constitute and reveal their culture to themselves and others; an ensemble of texts.
- Mapping out social discourse; discovering who people within a culture think they are, what they think they are doing, and to what end they think they are doing it.
- Thick description
- A record of the intertwined layers of common meaning that underlie what a particular people say and do.
- Clarifies what is unknown or confusing by equating it with an image that’s more familiar or vivid.
- Corporate stories
- Tales that carry management ideology and reinforce company policy.
- Personal stories
- Tales told by employees that put them in a favorable light.
- Collegial stories
- Positive or negative anecdotes about others in the organization; descriptions of how things really work.
- Texts that articulate multiple aspects of cultural life, often marking rites of passage or life transitions.
- Michael Pacanowsky
- A communication researcher, formerly at University of Colorado and now a consultant at W. L. Gore & Associates, who has applied Geertz's methodology to organizational communication.
- Linda Smircich
- A University of Massachusetts management professor who draws on parallels to anthropological ethnography to raise ethical qualms about communication consulting.
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