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22 JANUARY 2014

The Importance of Agency Culture

"How well an agency can articulate its organizational culture is a source of competitive advantage. How well the agency is positioned vis–à–vis its competitive set –– with a clear communication of its value proposition –– is essential when wooing prospective clients. An agency's true points of differentiation are often grounded in its vision, service standards, creativity and other behaviors that are reinforced either formally or informally within the shop itself."

(Lorraine Rojek, 25 February 2009,Adweek)

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TAGS

2009advertising agenciesAdweekagency culture • agency employee • agency teams • clear communicationclient and agency • client organisation • competitive advantage • competitive set • corporate culture • creative idea • cultural compatibility • cultural differences • cultural fit • cultural lens • design agencies • design client • design culturedigital agency • distinctive culture • harmonious relationships • new business opportunitiesorganisational culture • point of difference • point of differentiation • prospective clients • screening criteria • stand out from the crowd • strategic direction • studio culture • value proposition • value system • work contexts

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 FEBRUARY 2013

The Social Constructivist Worldview

"Social constructivism (often combined with interpretivism; see Mertens, 1998) is such a perspective, and it is typically seen as an approach to qualitative research. The ideas came from Mannheim and from works such as Berger and Luekmann's (1967) The Social Construction of Reality and Lincoln and Guba's (1985) Naturalistic Inquiry. More recent writers who have summarized this position are Lincoln and Guba (2000), Schwandt (2007), Neuman (2000), and Crotty (1998), among others. Social constructivists hold assumptions that individuals seek understanding of the world in which they live and work. Individuals develop subjective meanings of their experiences – meanings directed toward certain objects or things. These meanings are varied and multiple, leading the researcher to look for the complexity of views rather than narrowing meanings into a few categories or ideas. The goal of the research is to rely as much as possible on the participants' views of the situation being studied. The questions become broad and general so that the participants can construct the meaning of a situation, typically forged in discussions or interactions with other persons. The more open–ended the questioning, the better, as the researcher listens carefully to what people say or do in their life settings. Often these subjective meanings are negotiated socially and historically. They are not simply imprinted on individuals but are formed through interaction with others (hence social constructivism) and through historical and cultural norms that operate in individuals' lives. Thus, constructivist researchers often address the processes of interaction among individuals. They also focus on the specific contexts in which people live and work, in order to understand the historical and cultural settings of the participants. Researchers recognize that their own backgrounds shape their interpretation, and they position themselves in the research to acknowledge how their interpretation flows from their personal, cultural, and historical experiences. The researcher's intent is to make sense of (or interpret) the meanings others have about the world. Rather than starting with a theory (as in postpostivism), inquirers generate or inductively develop a theory or pattern of meaning."

(John Creswell, 2003)

John Creswell (2003). "Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches". (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication.

TAGS

complexity of views • constructivist researcher • cultural experiences • Donna Mertens • Egon Guba • historical and cultural norms • historical and cultural settings • historical experiences • imprinted on individuals • interaction among individuals • interaction with othersinterpret meaningsinterpretationinterpretivismJohn CreswellKarl Mannheim • life contexts • life settings • Michael Crottyopen-ended questioningopen-ended questions • pattern of meaning • Peter Berger • postpostivism • qualitative researchsocial constructivismsocial science • subjective meanings • theory of meaning • Thomas Luckmann • Thomas Schwandt • William Neuman • work contextsYvonna Lincoln

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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