Department

Organization Development

Date of Paper/Work

2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Organization Development (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work

Dissertation

Advisors

Rama Hart, Candace Chou, William Stockton

Abstract

Organizational culture is a dynamic phenomenon that is continually socially constructed through our interaction with others. It allows us to make sense of the world, influences our behavior, provides guidance to our actions and decisions, clarifies ambiguity, and sets expectations. We usually learn the culture by observing others, but learning the culture becomes more of a challenge in organizations that have geographically dispersed team members who may have very little social interaction with other members in the organization.

The purpose of this research study was to generate a theory of how organizational culture is learned by geographically dispersed team members and how they adopted and integrated the culture into their work. A grounded theory methodology was conducted using a social constructivist perspective. Data collection was completed through 22 taped interviews. The primary data analysis methods included various methods of data coding and memo writing.

This grounded theory study uncovered three key elements that affected the learning, adoption, and integration of organizational culture by geographically dispersed team members: connectors, context, and connections. My research has suggested that the stronger the connectors, context, and connections, the more likely it will be for dialog to occur which is needed for geographically dispersed team members to learn organizational culture as well as adopt and integrate the organizational culture into their work efforts.

These finding have significant implications for organizations. Using this research, organizations can be proactive in their efforts to develop an environment that creates an organizational culture in which employees can participate in the co-construction effort that results in everyone fully understanding and learning the culture.

Keywords

geographically dispersed teams, organizational culture, learning, adoption and integration

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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