Understanding Organization Through Culture and Structure
Relational and Other Lessons From the African American Organization
Routledge – 2003 – 354 pages
Series: Routledge Communication Series
Understanding Organization Through Culture and Structure: Relational and Other Lessons From the African American Organization presents an innovative view of organizations and the communication processes that constitute them. Arguing that human beings are communicatively embedded in their cultures, Anne Maydan Nicotera and Marcia J. Clinkscales, working with Felicia R. Walker, examine issues concerning task and relational orientations and the ways they and other cultural dimensions connect with organizational structure and function for predominantly African American organizations. Utilizing the results of their own research on organizations, they develop a set of humanistically-based models that illustrate how hidden cultural processes suffuse organizational life and are manifest through communication.
Emphasizing the development of alternative theories and models of organizing which are rooted in African-American culture, such as team-based versus hierarchy-based interactions, this book explores such organizational functions as leadership and management, power, authority and control, communication and interpersonal dynamics, and cultural identity and human development. Applying their findings in a broader analysis of contemporary practices in organizational restructuring, the authors present research that serves as the foundation for generating several emergent models with significant implications for organizational systems.
Understanding Organization Through Culture and Structure stimulates and inspires current researchers of organizational communication, and is certain to raise greater awareness of the operation of culture in organizing. The text is intended for scholars and students in organizational communication, management, organizational psychology, African studies, and related areas.
"…this book merits attentive reading and close study by anyone concerned with the successful development of African-American organizations of all kinds. Although theoretical and 'only' a beginning, it promises the possibility of development towards real breakthroughs in areas of American life where new beginnings and real breakthroughs are desperately needed."
—Communication Research Trends
Contents: Preface. Culture and Organization. Communication and Two Predominantly African-American Organizations. African-American Rules and Resources. Interpenetration of Contradicting Structures: The Divergent Organization. The Divergent Organization's Communicative Downward Spiral. Theoretic Applications. Where Do We Go From Here?: Conceptualizing the Convergent Organization. Epilogue: The Lessons Learned.