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Organizational Cultures of Remembrance

Book Description

In a business world predominantly oriented toward the future, it has paradoxically become ever more common that companies turn towards their pasts. This book empirically explores the phenomenon of organizational remembrance from a holistic cultural perspective. Based on a twelve-month ethnographic case study conducted at the headquarters of the German automobile company, AUDI AG, this study dissects the relationships between memory, identity, and image in a corporate setting. The greater aim in doing so is twofold: First, this study examines exactly why and how a company officially manages its past in terms of ‘history’ and ‘tradition.’ And second, this study scrutinizes what effect organizational remembrance has on the workforce – how it impacts their collective identification with a corporate community and influences their understanding of their daily working life. By investigating the interplay between different stakeholder groups, as well as their practices, media, mental models, and other vehicles of remembrance, an integrated account is offered which makes sense of the complex cultural forces at work in the corporate handling of the past, the present, and the future.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. 1 Introduction
  6. 1.1 When Business Organizations Remember their Past
  7. 1.2 Aims, Approach, and Structure
  8. 2 A Cultural Perspective on Organizational Remembrance in Corporations
  9. 2.1 Key Qualities of Modern Business Organizations and a Spotlight on Cultural Phenomena
  10. 2.2 Identity and Image in Organizations as Cultural Categories
  11. 2.3 Memory and Remembrance in Organizations
  12. 2.4 Organizational Cultures of Remembrance as a Conceptual Nexus
  13. 3 Empirical Research Design
  14. 3.1 Description of the Fieldwork Setting at the Time of Investigation
  15. 3.2 A Compact History of AUDI AG
  16. 3.3 Mix of Qualitative Methods in Organizational Ethnography
  17. 3.4 Fieldwork as a Social Process
  18. 4 Audi Tradition in its Role as the Official Carrier of Organizational Remembrance
  19. 4.1 The Corporate History Department in Relation to the Company
  20. 4.2 Formalized Areas of Tradition Work and Structures
  21. 4.3 Remembering the Corporate Past through Thematic Lenses
  22. 4.4 Short Summary
  23. 5 Purposes and Cultural Forms of Organizational Remembrance
  24. 5.1 Retaining Physical Proof of One’s Existence
  25. 5.2 Legal Protection of Trademark Rights
  26. 5.3 Historical Accountability
  27. 5.4 Corporate Identity Construction in Public Relations
  28. 5.5 Brand Identity Construction in Marketing
  29. 5.6 Direct Economic Utilization
  30. 5.7 Satisfaction of Entertainment Demands
  31. 5.8 Short Summary
  32. 6 Multiple Stakeholders of the Corporate Past
  33. 6.1 Internal Stakeholders
  34. 6.2 Semi-internal Stakeholders
  35. 6.3 External Stakeholders
  36. 6.4 Network of Remembrance, Collaboration, and Conflict
  37. 6.5 Short Summary
  38. 7 Organizational Remembrance as a Historical Process of Evolution and Differentiation
  39. 7.1 The Default Mode of Organizational Forgetting
  40. 7.2 Phase One: Remembering a Little and Forgetting a Lot
  41. 7.3 Phase Two: Gathering and Protecting
  42. 7.4 Phase Three: Going Public on a Grand Scale
  43. 7.5 Phase Four: Hitting the Apex
  44. 7.6 The Economic Cycle of Organizational Remembrance and Beneficial Factors Advancing the ‘Tradition Cause’
  45. 7.7 Short Summary
  46. 8 The Emergence of Historical Consciousness among the Workforce
  47. 8.1 Historical Consciousness as a Member’s Mental Competence
  48. 8.2 Factors Influencing the Development of Historical Consciousness
  49. 8.3 Short Summary
  50. 9 Construing Organizational Reality through Retrospection
  51. 9.1 Explaining the Reasons for Contemporary Market Conditions
  52. 9.2 Tracing the Roots of Common Working Practices
  53. 9.3 Justifying the Existence of Corporate Conflicts
  54. 9.4 Evaluating the Quality of Corporate Life
  55. 9.5 Short Summary
  56. 10 Constructing Identities in Light of the Corporate Past
  57. 10.1 Identifying with Contemporary Business Success
  58. 10.2 Processing Changes in Brand Image
  59. 10.3 Evoking a Positive Organizational Identity
  60. 10.4 Achieving Concreteness of Identity
  61. 10.5 Coping with Identity Threats
  62. 10.6 Short summary
  63. 11 Conclusion
  64. 11.1 Review and Discussion of Key Empirical Insights
  65. 11.2 Implications for Managerial Practice
  66. 11.3 Generalizability and Limitations of this Empirical Study
  67. 11.4 Issues for Future Research & Outlook
  68. 12 Appendix
  69. 12.1 Research Opportunities and Sampling of Respondents
  70. 12.2 Supporting Material for Fieldwork
  71. Endnotes
  72. Primary Material Cited
  73. Academic Works Cited
  74. Subject index