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Neo-Tribes or Subcultures?: The Nature of Subcultures in Large Complex Organizations

Neo-Tribes or Subcultures?: The Nature of Subcultures in Large Complex Organizations
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Author(s): Nick Chandler (Budapest Business School, Hungary)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 18
Source title: Recent Advances in the Roles of Cultural and Personal Values in Organizational Behavior
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Zlatko Nedelko (University of Maribor, Slovenia) and Maciej Brzozowski (Poznan University of Economics and Business, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1013-1.ch002

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Abstract

Two contrasting views exist regarding subcultures: the classical view and the post-subcultural perspective of subcultures as “neo-tribes.” However, there is scarcity of empirical studies of organizational studies with the latter perspective. This study aims to examine whether there is sufficient evidence for subcultures to be considered as “neo-tribes.” To answer this question, empirical studies are examined alongside data from a recent quantitative study of staff in a higher educational institution. It is found that organizational subcultures have a floating membership, heterogeneity between members within subcultures, the absence of distinct boundaries, and changing values over time. It is concluded that, for practitioners, change in organizations will require managers to accept the continuous change, reassessment, and adaptation of subcultures, as well as a lack of cultural predictability and stability. For researchers, this study heightens the need to reassess studies opting for a suitable approach in identifying and examining organizational subcultures.

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