TITLE

Keeping the Faith: A Model of Cultural Transmission in Formal Organizations

AUTHOR(S)
Harrison, J. Richard; Carroll, Glenn R.
PUB. DATE
December 1991
SOURCE
Administrative Science Quarterly;Dec91, Vol. 36 Issue 4, p552
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
To study the conditions under which culture can be transmitted effectively in formal organizations, where members of the system come and go rapidly and in large numbers, we develop a model of the cultural transmission process. The model includes the following variables: entry rate and exit rate of workers, growth rate of the organization, selectiveness of organizational recruiting, intensity of socialization (by managers and by coworkers), and the rate at which socialization decays if not reinforced. Findings from a computer simulation of the model show that cultural systems in organizations are highly robust and reach equilibrium even with high turnover and rapid growth. We also find that culture is stronger during decline than growth. Moreover, some alleged behavioral effects of culture might be explained by demographic processes rather than by psychological reactions to cultural content. In general, the model provides insights into the tradeoffs involved in cultural management.
ACCESSION #
9202171794

 

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