Flexible Firm: The Design of Culture at Bang & Olufsen

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9781782380313: Flexible Firm: The Design of Culture at Bang & Olufsen

Book by KrauseJensen Jakob

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"We have here a very interesting ethnographical field study of a Danish high-tech firm - Peppered with anthropology, ethnography and organisational studies theory, as well as sociology, cultural studies and elements of other fields, this book offers a rich theoretical background for any organisational analysis - Although it includes a large amount of theory, this book can almost be read as a 'novel' telling the story of Bang & Olufsen." * Management "As elegant as its subject, Denmark's Bang &Olufsen, this affably written and sharp-eyed ethnography achieves a new standard in the emerging field of the anthropology of corporate organization." * George E. Marcus, author of Writing Culture. The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography

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Bang & Olufsen, the famous Danish producer of high-end home electronics, is well known as an early exponent of value-based management: the idea that there should be consistency in what the organisation does, a certain continuity between what the company develops and sells, and the beliefs and practices of the employees. This study investigates how company values are communicated and the collective identity is articulated through the use of such concepts as 'culture', 'fundamental values', and 'corporate religion', as well as how employees negotiate these ideas in their daily working lives. As this book reveals, the identification of values, meant to create cohesion and solidarity among employees, came to symbolise and engender a split between the staff and the other parts of the company. By examining the rise and fall of the value-based management approach, this volume offers the indispensible insight of anthropological enquiry to expose how social realities challenge conventional management strategies and therefore must be considered in the development of new management techniques.

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