Departmental Culture: Expect the Unexpected
Each faculty department on every campus possesses its own exceptional character. No two departmental cultures resemble each other. They tend to be unique creations molded and shaped by their distinctive faculty. Disciplines and professional ﬁelds attract speciﬁc types of men and women who become further socialized into those departments (Weidman et al., 2001). As a result departments exhibit quirks, habits, idiosyncrasies, standards, and modes of behavior exclusive to them. While one colleague may describe her department as a community another may regard it as family. A community of practice implies that all members reside on equal footing and contribute to the whole, while the family analogy implies a one-way descending hierarchy and power structure. Functional departments tend to follow the community of practice model while the dysfunctional department claims the same approach but more than likely follows the patriarchal family model in practice.