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MDSA01H3 (310)
Chapter 3

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Media Studies
Michael Petit

MDSA01 2012 - Critical Media Studies: An Introduction Chapter 3 Organizational Theory: An Overview  Organizations – a system (network) of ordered relationships and coordinated activities directed toward specific goals o Structure – describes the underlying framework that shapes an organization over time, and includes 3 key elements  Hierarchy – refers to the specific arrangement of job roles and positions based upon authority within an organization  Differentiation and specialization – accounts for the division of companies into units, departments, and positions, each of which performs specific tasks  Professionals – are individuals who possess expertise in a particular area or field that allows them to accomplish distinctive tasks of their position  Formalization – is the degree to which specific practices must conform to accepted organizational and professional conventions o Process – reflects the actual substance built upon that framework Assessing communicative practices  Organizational culture – the sets of norms and customs, artifacts and events, and values and assumptions that emerge as a consequence of organizational members’ communicative practices  Communicative practices o Performance – are expressive displays that carry symbolic significance in a particular context  Ritual – are personal or organizational behaviours that members engage in on a regular or routine basis  Personal performances because they are strongly associated with particular members  Organizational performances involve routine behaviours that are necessitated by or expected within a specific workplace environment  Sociality – refers to the codes of etiquette that are enacted with regard to friendliness, small talk, joking, and privacy within an organization  Politics – are performed differently in every organization and influence the type and degree of independence, negotiating, and coalition building that are acceptable.  Enculturation – emphasizes those “communicative performances wherein the newcomer learns the social knowledge and skills of the culture” o Narratives – are stories that members tell about their workplace experiences as a way to evaluate the endless (re)creation of an organization’s culture  Personal stories – convey individual subjective experiences  Collegial stories – told about the other organizational members  Corporation stories – are told about the organization itself o Textual – written or electronic documents such as company bylaws, policy manuals, procedure handbooks, training manuals, office memos, newsletters, mission statements, reports etc MDSA01 2012 - Critical Media Studies: An Introduction  Explicitly identify what are considered to be acceptable and unacceptable actions and activities within an organization o Management – concerns how “organizational culture is developed and directed by managers for the purpose of improving operating efficiencies, enhancing the bottom line, or creating satisfied customers”  Can be used to evaluate political consequences of managerial practices o Technology – networked communications to data storage and retrieval, information technology (IT) plays a central role in the workplace  not so much a tool for doing one’s job more effectively, but it is the very environment in which one does their job Characteristic of conventions  Conventions – describe the norms that govern the technical and creative choices made by workers in the execution of their duties, art, or craft o Motivated – pragmatic need as simple as efficiency or the desire for a sense of community, belonging, and group cohesion o Shared - some practices that function as norms must be internalized by other employees  Example: creating and maintain a resume is a professional convention that academics share o Naturalized – conventions that are largely visible  When persons act in accordance with the prevailing norms, their behaviours appear to be “natural” rather than “cultural”  Example: students raising their hand to ask a question o Resilient – conventions typically endure over time, often as much out of tradition as anything else  Example: “that’s just the way we’ve always done it” o Directive – conventions that sanction or authorize some practices and behaviours, and discourage or disapprove of others  Unspoken guidelines or rules for the correct or appropriate action  Professionalizati
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