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Title: The management of sub-cultures in a multicultural organisation
Author: Farrar, Stephen
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 1994
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The thesis is an in-depth research into the management and control of subcultures in a multicultural and geographically dispersed organisation. Primarily the thesis focuses on the Distribution function in Bass Brewers North where there is much cultural diversity and a high resistance to change in areas where regional subcultures have developed over long periods. Based on methods used in ethnographic studies and within an inductivist framework, 15 Distribution depots were researched in order to understand cultural and managerial differences in the regions. With the use of theoretical data analysis, three different subculture groupings were identified from the early stages of the research, these were categorised as being either positive, negative or changing cultures in relation to the Bass 'corporate' culture. Further detailed research was carried out in three representative Distribution depots in order to ascertain the degree to which the beliefs and values of the dominant culture were dispersed throughout the three subculture groupings. In order to assess cultural dispersion the research was extended to include other regions of Bass Brewers, and the Bass Headquarters at Burton. At this stage of the research the thesis explored culture management and leadership, cultural change and cultural impact on outcomes. From this, an understanding of the relationship between corporate cultures, subcultures and managerial control was developed. The research into the management and control of cultures and subcultures was analysed, from a middle management view and 'bottom up', rather than the traditional approach to corporate culture research and to culture change programmes, which is generally 'top down' with a senior management bias. The thesis argues that large complex organisations are composed of multiple possibly conflicting cultures, and that corporate cultures and subcultures cannot be readily changed. It is also argued that strategies designed to 'quickly' change an organisation's culture(s) are not likely to succeed. The contribution the thesis makes to existing knowledge is in three areas. Firstly the thesis provides a contribution in the area of research methodology both from a manager carrying out research within his own organisation, and the methodological approach used to study cultures and subcultures in organisations. Secondly the thesis provides a contribution in the area of culture and performance in that it explores the relationship between subcultures and an organisation's corporate culture and provides an explanation for different culture types and their impact on business performance. Finally the thesis provides a contribution in the area of culture and managerial control in that the research identifies the links between leadership and control at both senior and middle management levels.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available