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Communication as a mechanism for cultural integration


Publication Type:

Journal article


Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences


Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences




Providing autonomy for employees ensure innovation competence, if balanced by integration into the organization. The aim of this article is to study processes leading to the integration of employees into the company culture. The two research questions are: What makes the culture of a work group similar to the company culture? How is a work group culture constructed? Theories employed concern culture as an organizing structure emerging in the interaction, company culture as a way to exert control, and social networks as a way to describe the interaction. Empirical data comes from a merchant bank. 105 respondents from ten work groups have answered questions about their communication and their integration into the company culture. The results show that the sub-culture of the group emerge in communication between members of the group. There seems to be a self-reinforcing spiral between collegial talk, especially about goals, plans and changes at the work place, and cultural integration. All members of a group should be included in this communication to create a strong culture. The value system of the supervisor strongly influences the sub-culture of the work group. Appointing supervisors with values corresponding to the company culture and provide for employee communications is thus central for organizations using culture as a tool for control.


author = {Tomas Backstr{\"o}m and Tom Hagstr{\"o}m and Susanna G{\"o}ransson},
title = {Communication as a mechanism for cultural integration},
isbn = {1090-0578},
editor = {na},
volume = {17},
number = {1},
pages = {87--106},
month = {January},
year = {2013},
journal = {Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences},
publisher = {Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology {\&} Life Sciences},
url = {}