2. The Changing Rhetoric of Corporate Culture

  1. D. Douglas Caulkins2 and
  2. Ann T. Jordan3
  1. Allen W. Batteau

Published Online: 2 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118325513.ch2

A Companion to Organizational Anthropology

A Companion to Organizational Anthropology

How to Cite

Batteau, A. W. (2012) The Changing Rhetoric of Corporate Culture, in A Companion to Organizational Anthropology (eds D. D. Caulkins and A. T. Jordan), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118325513.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell, USA

  2. 3

    University of North Texas, USA

Author Information

  1. Wayne State University, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 29 OCT 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405199827

Online ISBN: 9781118325513



  • corporate culture;
  • corporate performance;
  • human resources (HR);
  • industrial revolution;
  • information technology (IT);
  • mergers and acquisitions (MA);
  • shareholder value


This chapter, by examining how “culture” is discussed in business and trade press and management theory, demonstrates that this new-found value for anthropology's signature concept is indicative of the changing character of flexible accumulation in a late capitalist economy. It first analyzes the different themes, events, and news pegs that create the occasion for a discussion of corporate culture. Far from being a set of random discussions, articles on corporate culture arise from four primary concerns: mergers and acquisitions (MA), corporate performance, the role of information technology (IT), and shareholder value. As discussions of corporate culture moved from exceptional to routine, they became the province of human resources (HR), and HR journals began creating extended discussions of corporate culture. The chapter finally reviews the three industries – banking, IT, and arts – that have contributed the most to discussions of corporate culture.