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The German corporation: An open or closed society? An application of Popperian ideas to organizational analysis.

Armbruster, Thomas Friedrich (1999) The German corporation: An open or closed society? An application of Popperian ideas to organizational analysis. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

In this thesis, Karl Popper's paradigm of openness and closure is employed in order to investigate organisational culture in German corporations with respect to three issues: (1) whether organisational culture tends to correspond to or contradict the pattern of peer-group, or concertive, control that has recently been identified in organisations; (2) to what extent organisational cultures in Germany match German national culture; and (3) how German corporations react to the dilemma of being constrained by the extremes of openness and closure. In doing so, the position of German corporations are identified in relation to the concepts of openness and closure. With regard to the first issue, the current discourse on concertive control in critical organisation studies is outlined, and fourteen German manufacturing companies are investigated employing a questionnaire. Two broad clusters of organisational cultures are identified and it is concluded that one cluster matches the pattern of concertive control, whereas the other does not. With regard to the second issue, German national culture is outlined on the basis of secondary sources. Drawing on the organisational cultures identified, it turns out that they considerably correspond to national culture. With respect to the third issue, two kinds of company-internal differentiation, interfunctional and interdimensional, are investigated as possible mechanisms of reacting to the dilemma. Interdimensional differentiation is ascertained to be the preferred strategy. The question of whether German corporations tend towards openness or closure is answered by referring to the two identified clusters of organisational culture. One cluster has considerable traits of closure, whereas the other is more open.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Business Administration, Management, Sociology, Organizational
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > Sociology
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2619

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