Institutional Cultures and Power: The Minefield of Conflicting Identities
To untangle various perspectives and conflicts within higher education, some researchers have found it useful to use culture as an organizing principle. Chaffee and Tierney, for example, define the concept and explain why it is a powerful tool for analyzing behavior (1998):
The most fundamental construct of an organization, as of a society, is its culture. An organization's culture is reflected in what is done, how it is done, and who is involved in doing it. This concerns decisions, actions, and communication both on an instrumental and a symbolic level. (7)
To better understand why people within an organization behave as they do, it is useful to understand the organization's culture, most especially its value and reward systems.