The cultural paradigm of the smaller firm

Helen Haugh, Lorna McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents the findings from an ethnographic study of organizational culture and shared values in four smaller firms, the outcome of which was the identification of the cultural values shared between owner-managers (OMs) and employees in each firm. The research employed Schein's conceptualization of culture as a three-layer phenomenon, consisting of surface artifacts, shared values and beliefs, and basic assumptions. The analytical technique of grounded theory was employed to process the large volume of data gathered during the extended research period. The data reveal a complex array of values in each firm, with only one firm exhibiting a homogenous culture where values are shared by all those working in the organization. In the remaining three firms, five values appear to be shared by all employees; however, this is overlaid by a pattern of subcultures differentiated by distinctive shared values. Interfirm analysis among the four firms found that the values of survival, independence, control, pragmatism, and financial prudence were shared by two or more firms. The research collectively defines these shared values as the cultural paradigm of the smaller firm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-394
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Small Business Management
Volume42
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2004

Keywords

  • values

Cite this

The cultural paradigm of the smaller firm. / Haugh, Helen; McKee, Lorna.

In: Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 42, No. 4, 10.2004, p. 377-394.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Haugh, Helen ; McKee, Lorna. / The cultural paradigm of the smaller firm. In: Journal of Small Business Management. 2004 ; Vol. 42, No. 4. pp. 377-394.
@article{76ee1bccf4814197a0e621489cf71633,
title = "The cultural paradigm of the smaller firm",
abstract = "This paper presents the findings from an ethnographic study of organizational culture and shared values in four smaller firms, the outcome of which was the identification of the cultural values shared between owner-managers (OMs) and employees in each firm. The research employed Schein's conceptualization of culture as a three-layer phenomenon, consisting of surface artifacts, shared values and beliefs, and basic assumptions. The analytical technique of grounded theory was employed to process the large volume of data gathered during the extended research period. The data reveal a complex array of values in each firm, with only one firm exhibiting a homogenous culture where values are shared by all those working in the organization. In the remaining three firms, five values appear to be shared by all employees; however, this is overlaid by a pattern of subcultures differentiated by distinctive shared values. Interfirm analysis among the four firms found that the values of survival, independence, control, pragmatism, and financial prudence were shared by two or more firms. The research collectively defines these shared values as the cultural paradigm of the smaller firm.",
keywords = "values",
author = "Helen Haugh and Lorna McKee",
year = "2004",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1111/j.1540-627X.2004.00118.x",
language = "English",
volume = "42",
pages = "377--394",
journal = "Journal of Small Business Management",
issn = "0047-2778",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The cultural paradigm of the smaller firm

AU - Haugh, Helen

AU - McKee, Lorna

PY - 2004/10

Y1 - 2004/10

N2 - This paper presents the findings from an ethnographic study of organizational culture and shared values in four smaller firms, the outcome of which was the identification of the cultural values shared between owner-managers (OMs) and employees in each firm. The research employed Schein's conceptualization of culture as a three-layer phenomenon, consisting of surface artifacts, shared values and beliefs, and basic assumptions. The analytical technique of grounded theory was employed to process the large volume of data gathered during the extended research period. The data reveal a complex array of values in each firm, with only one firm exhibiting a homogenous culture where values are shared by all those working in the organization. In the remaining three firms, five values appear to be shared by all employees; however, this is overlaid by a pattern of subcultures differentiated by distinctive shared values. Interfirm analysis among the four firms found that the values of survival, independence, control, pragmatism, and financial prudence were shared by two or more firms. The research collectively defines these shared values as the cultural paradigm of the smaller firm.

AB - This paper presents the findings from an ethnographic study of organizational culture and shared values in four smaller firms, the outcome of which was the identification of the cultural values shared between owner-managers (OMs) and employees in each firm. The research employed Schein's conceptualization of culture as a three-layer phenomenon, consisting of surface artifacts, shared values and beliefs, and basic assumptions. The analytical technique of grounded theory was employed to process the large volume of data gathered during the extended research period. The data reveal a complex array of values in each firm, with only one firm exhibiting a homogenous culture where values are shared by all those working in the organization. In the remaining three firms, five values appear to be shared by all employees; however, this is overlaid by a pattern of subcultures differentiated by distinctive shared values. Interfirm analysis among the four firms found that the values of survival, independence, control, pragmatism, and financial prudence were shared by two or more firms. The research collectively defines these shared values as the cultural paradigm of the smaller firm.

KW - values

U2 - 10.1111/j.1540-627X.2004.00118.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1540-627X.2004.00118.x

M3 - Article

VL - 42

SP - 377

EP - 394

JO - Journal of Small Business Management

JF - Journal of Small Business Management

SN - 0047-2778

IS - 4

ER -