Organizational Culture Theory
Organizational Culture Theory "has become a major theoretical rallying point" (Mumby, 1988, p. 4). Pacanowsky and O'Donnell-Trujillo were instrumental in directing researchers' attention toward an expansive understanding of organizations. The theoretical principles of the theory emphasize that organizational life is complex and that researchers must take into consideration not only the members of the organization but their behaviors, activities, and stories.
The appeal of Organizational Culture Theory has been far and wide, resulting in a heuristic theory. For instance, it has framed research examining Muslim employees (Alkhazraji, 1997), law enforcement officers (Frewin & Tuffin, 1998), and pregnant employees (Halpert & Burg, 1997). Even more relevant to us in higher education, the theory has been used to study the stories of undergraduate students and their perceptions of "fitting in" at a college or university (Kramer & Berman, 2001). The approach is also useful because much of the information from the theory (e.g., symbols, stories, rituals) has direct relevance to many different types of organizations and their employees. Because the theorists' work is based on real organizations with real employees, the researchers have made the theory more useful and practical.
Finally, the logical consistency of the model should not go unnoticed. Recall that logical consistency refers to the notion that theories should follow a logical arrangement and remain consistent. From the outset, Pacanowsky and O'Donnell-Trujillo did not stray from their belief that the organization's culture is rich and diverse; listening to the communicative performances of organizational members is where we must begin in understanding corporate culture. This is the basis from which much of the theory gained momentum.
The appeal of the theory is tempered by its criticisms.... [continues]
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