Organization is an important way of living of human society. We live in all sorts of organizations, from family, lineage to village, corporation and ethnic group. Our identity and pursuit have to be achieved via organizations which we belong to. Anthropology has paid attention to organization for a long time. Generally speaking, two approaches have been employed to study it in Anthropology: social approach and cultural approach. The social approach considers organization to be a system like a society, within which every part has its own function and the interrelations among those parts and the way of their functioning make the organization structure. With the development of this discipline, the social approach was criticized for ignoring the ritual and symbolic aspects of organization. Therefore, the cultural approach quietly emerged in 1960s and culture has since become the main focus. The focus on Culture distinguishes anthropology form those disciplines which take efficiency, technology, institution, strategy and power as their concern. Admittedly, the influences of political and economic factors on organization are undeniable, but the cultural aspect should never be taken for granted, especially in the process of organization transition, during which the role of culture has been highlighted. Furthermore, researchers interested in organization often ascribe the origin of the conception of culture to anthropology, but discussions on the specific connection between culture and organization are rather rare in the field of Anthropology. Therefore, it is essential to make the connection clarified from the anthropological view. The thesis starts with a literature review on the ″culture″ conceptions of different anthropological schools, attempting to track the development of this conception in the history of anthropology. Second, it gives outlines of the two research areas which have been developed by the introduction of culture conception into organization study, that is study of organization and study of ″culture as organization.″ The presentation of applied practices at the end is the highlight and innovation of this paper. For more than a decade, Zhuang Kongshao and his team has been combining the perspective of ″organization as culture″ with the practical researches on organization among Han society. Their intensive understanding of the cultural meanings of organizations has thus been applied into a number of projects, which have identified the quasi-familism model in Chinese family enterprises, foreign company Amway (China) and organizations of female sex workers of Han ethnic group. On the contrary, the lack of such quasifamilism model in organizations formed by female sex workers from ethic minorities in China not only illustrates the relation between this model and Han society, but also brings about the clues of ethnic culture upon organization. In years of regular academic field observation , besides providing in-depth interpretation of various cultural metaphors of organizational process, Chinese anthropologists have also been involved into areas of public health, company distribution and structuring. They have explored the implications of culture as root metaphor and identified the features of interaction among different ethnic groups, with an aim to find out the possibility of applying cultural interpretation into practice and to make achievements both in theories and in practices.
庄孔韶 方静文. 从组织文化到作为文化的组织[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2012, 42(5): 18-.
Zhuang Kongshao Fang Jingwen. From Organizational Culture to Organization as Culture： The Academic Clue of an Anthropological Team. , 2012, 42(5): 18-.