Joanna Brewis and Gavin Jack

in The Oxford Handbook of Critical Management Studies

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199595686
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management


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Raymond Williams' commentary on the etymological roots and semiotic complexity of culture as a concept is a frequent point of departure for many commentaries in the area. This article is an attempt, following Williams, to clarify the usage/s of the term as it has been applied in the study of organizations and management as a nouns and organizing and managing as verbs. Citing the late-1970s interest in corporate culture as a pivotal moment, it goes on to outline core components of well-known critical responses to orthodox deployments of the organizational culture concept. The article also seeks to broaden the critical repertoire by discussing the potential of a cultural studies of organization as well as postcolonial approaches to culture and organization. It aims to establish the various and manifold ways in which culture might be inhabited, cultivated, protected, and honoured with worship (amongst other less-positive responses) by members of organizations.

Keywords: Raymond Williams; organization management; organizational culture; postcolonial approaches; organization members; cultural studies

Article.  8119 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour ; Research Methods

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