Work cultures

Authored by: Robin Leidner

Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415474450
eBook ISBN: 9780203891377
Adobe ISBN: 9781134026159


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Frameworks of meaning shape work experiences as surely as do organizational structures, technology, and patterns of ownership. Motivation, effort, discipline, group identifications and boundaries, and self-understanding all depend on work cultures. These factors are molded in obvious ways by structural and material factors both within and beyond the workplace, yet work cultures do more than express and embody differences in power, authority, interests, and advantage. They have their own effects on how work is done, how organizations operate, how people understand themselves, to whom they feel loyal. While drawing on elements of the broader culture that order solidarities and identities, whether based on nation, gender, or other social distinctions, cultures of work can also affect surrounding cultural milieux.

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