On elephants and blind researchers: methods for accessing culture in organizations

Veronica Locatelli (Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)
Michael A. West (Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Publication date: 1 December 1996

Abstract

Compares two pre‐existing methodologies for accessing culture ‐ repertory grids and focused group discussions ‐ with a modified version of the twenty statements test (TST), a method originally developed to measure self‐concept. Makes the comparison on the basis of three criteria: the levels and elements of culture accessed by the different methods; the amount and usefulness of the information gathered; and the ease of use of the methods. Bases the comparison of the methods on information gathered from 158 participants in a major UK company. Concludes that the modified TST has most potential as a method for accessing culture in organizations. Concludes also that the conceptualization of aspects of culture needs to be clearer and more focused if progress in understanding about the content and consequences of culture is to be made.

Keywords

Citation

Locatelli, V. and West, M. (1996), "On elephants and blind researchers: methods for accessing culture in organizations", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 17 No. 7, pp. 12-21. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437739610148330

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Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited

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