Chapter

Culture, Leadership, and Traps

Chris Argyris and Ian Smith

in Organizational Traps

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199586165
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191702426 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586165.003.0005
Culture, Leadership, and Traps

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The literature on culture suggests that Traps and culture are phenomena that are beyond the individual level of analysis. Traps and culture can be conceptualized as ‘supra’ human phenomena with a causality of their own. This chapter argues that this perspective is flawed. Generalizations about cultural change contain fundamental inconsistencies and gaps that can only be overcome by rejecting the claim that Traps are seemingly part of the sociological level. It is counterproductive to separate the individual from the sociological level. Indeed, without including the individual level of analysis, attempts to reduce Traps will not only fail, they will actually strengthen Traps. This, in turn, will result in inconsistencies and gaps that will strengthen the perseverance of Traps and the flawed generalizations about them. The chapter illustrates the reasoning behind this claim by describing several patterns of responses that were identified when reviewing the literature on culture.

Keywords: organizational culture; leadership; organizational change; organizational behaviour; cultural change; traps

Chapter.  7602 words. 

Subjects: Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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