ERIC Number: ED480963
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
From Symbols, Stories and Social Artifacts to Social Architecture and Agency: The Discourse of Learning and the Decline of "Organizational Culture" in the "New Work Order."
Siegel, Irwin H.
The concept of organizational culture has been central to the development of concepts, such as the learning organization and organizational learning, which are important within the field of adult education. However, the functionalist models of organizational culture, which have often relied on ethnographic and/or anecdotal studies of organizations in an attempt to discern the "culture" of an organization, do not appropriately account for individual learning and agency. Functionalist models result in descriptions of the "universal" culture of organizations and prescriptive lists of findings that link cultures to productivity and profitability. They de-emphasize individual learning and agency and often result in culture being used as a tool by managers for normative control. According to a critical model of organizational culture, though, an organization will maximize productivity and profitability when workers learn their cultures through informal and incidental learning that counter the norming attributes found within the institutional components of social architecture. An alternate model of "social architecture," functioning within the "new work order," reduces dependence on the discourse of social anthropology and provides recognition of individual agency and critical reflection to combat normative control while not divorcing the individual from his or her social and cultural context. (Contains 16 references.) (MO)
Descriptors: Administrative Organization, Adult Education, Behavior Standards, Context Effect, Discourse Communities, Educational Anthropology, Educational Environment, Employer Employee Relationship, Incidental Learning, Independent Study, Informal Education, Models, Nonformal Education, Norms, Organizational Change, Organizational Climate, Organizational Culture, Social Control, Theory Practice Relationship, Work Environment
For full text: http://www.edst.educ.ubc.ca/aerc/2001/2001siegel.htm.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A