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Inside the Compassionate OrganizationCulture, Identity, and Image in an English Hospice$
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Alan Baron, John Hassard, Fiona Cheetham, and Sudi Sharifi

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198813958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198813958.001.0001

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Ambiguity, Discord, and Friction

Ambiguity, Discord, and Friction

(p.152) 8 Ambiguity, Discord, and Friction
Inside the Compassionate Organization

Alan Baron

John Hassard

Fiona Cheetham

Sudi Sharifi

Oxford University Press

The artefacts and activities identified and discussed during the tour of the Hospice, and indeed the basic assumptions and espoused values that underlie them (as described in previous chapters), have provided for a rich and varied account of the culture within the organization. Whilst there are elements of discord and ambiguity in the accounts given so far, the theme of patient-centred care and compassion seems largely to act as a binding mechanism to uphold a generally cohesive culture in the Hospice. In many ways this mirrors Schein’s view of culture as the ‘glue’ which binds the organization together. However, in line with Meyerson and Martin’s well-known contention that culture can only be fully described if elements of ‘ambiguity’ and ‘differentiation’ are included, as well as those ‘integrative’ forces that are agreed upon, this chapter focuses on issues of discord and friction identified during the study.

Keywords:   ambiguity, differentiation, Meyerson and Martin, organizational culture, organizational discord

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