• Marcus Kaas
The theme of this master’s thesis is in general organizational behavior, and more specifically the social function of material objects in relations to employees and organizational culture. The thesis studies a phenomenon at a Danish subsidiary in Hungary that displays objects in its physical environment that showcases Danish cultural elements. Danish and Hungarian employees work side by side, and it was speculated that objects had an influence on how employees perceived the organizational culture, hence the problem formulation is designed to examine whether objects possess an influencing role on employee perception of organizational culture and their capacity to adapt to it. In order to answer the problem formulation, the thesis utilized a theoretical framework with three components: 1) banal nationalism and national flagging by Michael Billig, defining how national identity is ingrained in the personal identity of employees, 2) mediated action by Ron Scollon, to explain how material objects can be embedded with meanings which can influence employees’ actions, and 3) habitus by Pierre Bourdieu which explains how employee’ actions are restricted, or unrestricted, by their knowledge of social phenomena and their ability to successfully incorporate new knowledge.
The thesis approaches the issues of the problem formulation with a constructivist ontology and an interpretivist epistemology so that the social reality as experienced by employees is the foundation for the analysis and discussion. A semi-structured interview guide is employed to inquire employees about their perception of organizational culture at their workplace, their relation to objects, and their ability to navigate organizational culture. Employee accounts are regarded through a narrative analysis method, a perspective that focuses on the narrative context of accounts as part of a broader view of values and expectations. The findings show that employees do view objects with a certain esteem and engage with objects in a highly interactive manner. Danish and Hungarian employees agree upon the nature of organization culture, though there are differences in how well they adapt to it. The thesis concludes that objects prove to be a facilitating link between Danish and Hungarian employees, as well employees and organizational culture, but only because the right context is applied by the employees themselves.
Publication date15 Sept 2021
Number of pages127
ID: 445321999