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Cultural imperialism: A critical theory of interorganizational change

Joseph W. Grubbs (Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 1 June 2000



Current theories of organization tend to discuss the management of change across networks in a grammar of instrumental reason, thereby offering legitimacy to the imperialism that emerges when groups come together in a shared‐change experience. However, by adopting principles of critical theory, the social research project initiated by a group of scholars known as the “Frankfurt School”, we may challenge this degradation of knowledge and its companion, human domination. A critical theory of interorganizational change reveals three forms of organizational imperialism: cultural domination, cultural imposition, and cultural fragmentation. From this perspective, we may understand the deleterious human, social and cultural consequences of organizational expansionism, and thereby initiate a dialogue for cultural emancipation, a more meaningful, culturally sensitive approach to change.



Grubbs, J.W. (2000), "Cultural imperialism: A critical theory of interorganizational change", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 221-234.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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