Essays on Analysis of Definition of Culture by Edward Tylor, IBMs Culture Case Study

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing

The paper 'Analysis of Definition of Culture by Edward Tylor, IBM's Culture " is a good example of a management case study. The first anthropologists who attempted to define culture were Kroeber and Kluckhoh in 1952 in America. They reviewed definitions and concepts of culture critically and compiled around fourteen dozen definitions of culture. Four decades later, in 1994, Apte in his Encyclopaedia of Language and Linguistics, which was a ten-volume work, remarked in a terse manner that despite umpteen number of efforts to define culture, anthropologists had had not any major breakthrough in reaching a confirmed agreement regarding its nature.

This is probably because culture, over the last century, has been seen from the perspective of the terms used to define the same. Nineteenth-century found widespread use of these terms and the difficulty in defining the same actually stemmed from three different ways the culture was attempted to define. These three ways are prevalent even today. The culture was referred to as special artistic and individual endeavours in Culture and Anarchy by Mathew Arnold (1867). Today, this is termed as high culture; one before this was termed as popular culture, which was more folkloric in nature.

This sort of culture is more aesthetic than social in nature. To this stand on the definition of culture, Edward Tylor gave a reaction in his Primitive Culture in 1870 in which he stated that culture could be defined as a quality possessed by all people in settings that are social in nature. In his definition, he espoused the transition from savagery to barbarism and finally to civilisation. Tylor's definition became, to some extent, the founding principle of defining culture.

In order to convey the actual essence of his definition of culture, it would need to be reproduced here in its entirety. He said: “ culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” . This contradicted Arnold's view on culture since it argued that everyone has culture, which he or she acquires by virtue of the affiliation with a specific group taking in its stride habits, knowledge and capabilities that group possesses.

"Complex whole" formulation in Tylor's definition is still seen as an important component of defining culture.

References

Arnold, J. (2005). Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace, 4th edition. London: Prentice Hall Financial Times.

Apte, M. (1994). Language in sociocultural context. In: R. E. Asher (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Vol.4 (pp. 2000-2010). Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Boston College. (nd). Creating a Culture of Flexibility: What it is, Why it Matters, How to Make it Work. Available http://www.american.edu/hr/upload/bccwf-flexibility-ebs.pdf. accessed August 12, 2014.

Brown. A. (1998). Organisational Culture. (2nd ed). Pitman Publishing. pp. 9, 33, 176.

Collins, R. (1990). Television: Policy and culture. London: Unwin Hyman.

Deal, T.E. & Kennedy, A.A. (1982). Corporate Cultures. The Rites and Rituals of Corporate Life. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.

Hofstede, G. (1994). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. London: Harper Collins Business.

Handy, C. (1985). Understanding Organisations Harmondsworth, Penguin.

Johnson, G. (1990). Managing strategic change: the role of symbolic action, British Journal of Management, 1(1): 183–200.

Martins, E.C. & Terblanche, F. (2003). Building organizational culture that stimulates creativity and innovation. European Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 64-74.

Matsumoto, D. (1996). Culture and Psychology. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Malone, T. W. (2004). The Future of Work. Speech presented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, Mass., Available http://video.mit.edu/watch/the-future-of-work-9102. accessed August 09, 2014.

Schwartz, S.H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. In M. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol 25, (pp.1–65). New York: Academic Press.

Schein, E. (1984). Coming to a new awareness of organizational culture. Sloan Management Review, 25(2): 3–16.

Spencer-Oatey, H. (2008). Culturally Speaking. Culture, Communication and Politeness Theory. 2nd edition. London: Continuum.

Scholz, Z. (1987). Corporate culture and strategy – problem of strategic fit, Long Range Planning, Vol. 20, No. 4.

Wilson, E. (1992). Fashion and Postmodernism, in John Storey (ed.) Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader, pp. 403–13, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.

Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
Contact Us