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date: 23 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

To understand the contemporary state of organizational culture theory and research, it is necessary to grapple with some of the major intellectual disputes that have swept through the humanities and social sciences in recent years. Some researchers choose to study a single cultural context, in great detail and depth. This article deals with five controversies which include: objectivity and subjectivity; etic (outsider) and emic (insider) research; generalizable and context-specific research; focus and breadth; and level of depth. These issues are introduced in terms relevant to all branches of organizational studies. Their particular application to cultural studies is also discussed here. These disputes are usually framed as struggles between opposing terms — dichotomies, such as ‘objectivity and subjectivity’ or ‘etic and emic’.

Keywords: organizational culture theory, social sciences, objectivity, subjectivity, etic research, emic research

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