AU - El Kallab, Fadi Najib AU - Karami, Rima AU - Boujaoude, Saouma AU - Amin, Tamer AB - This study attempts to depict the home predominant organizational culture of the American University of Beirut (AUB) and then to examine the extent to which an academic department, as a subculture in the School of Arts and Sciences, aligns with the institutional culture by being enhancing, contrasting, or orthogonal to it. The purpose of this study is twofold. First, the delineation of the organizational culture, whether at the level of the institution or that of the academic department, provides the benefit of understanding the behaviors and motivations of institutional and departmental individuals as well as the way they process information and approach decision-making. Second, through the comparison between them, this study attempts to weigh the influence of the interplay of the various cultures in the academic department, the latter being the confluence of various cultures such as institutional, disciplinary, and student ones. Using an embedded case study design and an anthropological- symbolic lens to the cultural investigation, this cultural inquiry utilized a six-dimension cultural framework developed by Tierney (1988). The six dimensions in this framework are Environment, Mission, Socialization, Information, Strategy, and Leadership. Institutional data consisted of an in-depth survey of 155 institutional documents collected through the institution's website. Aligned with the symbolic perspective, the analysis of the institutional data used Schultz’s (1994) framework that consists of identifying associated key symbolic expressions as an analytical point of entry, their symbolic representations as well as the shared meanings attributed to them by individuals. These cultural constituents paved the way for the determination of the more general cultural landscape as they constituted a cultural perimeter that allowed for the emergence of cultural worldviews representing individuals’ cognitive image of their reality and allowed to develop cultural tables that were used as guidelines for the determination of the academic department’s culture and used later in the comparison process. Departmental data relied on in-depth interviews with three key departmental stakeholders. The findings revealed that in every dimension of Tierney’s (1988) framework, the organizational culture of the institution and the academic department as a subculture align in some aspects but are also orthogonal in other ones. In the Environment dimension, institutional rhetoric seems to value cross-unit collaborations as a means to enhance the institution’s engagement with the external environment. Partnerships are seen as an opportunity for synergies that paves the way for the growth of partners and allows them to sustain their relationships with the environment. Departmentally, individual professionalism is rather valued as a means to develop relationships externally and warrant the professional growth of departmental stakeholders. In the Mission dimension, institutional rhetoric emphasizes research competencies that are primarily the product of collaborative and interdisciplinary structures as a means to fulfill the service component of the institution, whereas disciplinary specialism predominates the service aspect of the academic department’s mission. Additionally, institutional rhetoric emphasizes civic engagement as a means to graduate leaders engaged in addressing contextual problems, whereas the development of graduates’ leadership skills seems to be closely related to their acquisition of disciplinary skills warranted by the expertise of faculty members in the academic department. Institutionally, assessment is a learning opportunity meant to refine institutional performance in the accomplishment of its purpose, whereas assessment in the academic department is rather a means to satisfy institutional requirements. In the Socialization dimension, the values in both the institution and the academic department reveal that faculty members’ development of a professional identity is an attribute of disciplinary expertise; however, institutional rhetoric emphasizes professional platforms as a means to refine and develop this expertise. Additionally, within socialization, the mentoring of novice faculty members is a journey underlain by mutual learning and growth, whereas departmentally, the process seems more to be a solitary journey of searching individually for cues of survival and success. In the Information dimension, information is a strategic resource needed for the institution’s survival and gathered and refined through a collaborative effort that facilitates decision-making. Departmentally, information is rather a resource that warrants the individual survival of members who rely on their disciplinary expertise to make sense of it. Additionally, both formal and informal communication is institutionally valued as a means to develop shared objectives and communicate external competence, whereas formal communication seems to dominate departmental performances with sparse use of web-based social platforms to relay competence externally. In the Strategy dimension, the development of strategy in institutional rhetoric is a collaborative, multifaceted, and monitored process considered essential to face unstable environments. Curriculum that integrates knowledge from various disciplines, as well as civic engagement components, is at the heart of strategy development. Strategy development as a departmental value is faculty members’ privilege and dominated by a single approach to strategy setting meant primarily to ensure the survival of the academic department. Curriculum in the academic department is also at the center of strategy-setting but is only shaped by disciplinary influences. In the Leadership dimension, inclusiveness is a value that transpires institutional rhetoric in the governance aspect as it sustains decisions and promotes trust. Institutionally, the enactment of leadership is both a position privilege and the strategic manipulation of symbols. Departmentally, governance is an exclusive system reserved for specific groups, and leadership is mainly considered as a position related attribute. The orthogonal values between the institution and the academic department can be attributed to the disciplinary influences in the academic department. This study concludes with recommendations for further research and practice. (Author’s abstract) OP - I-XXV, 514 p. T1 - Exploration of the alignment between the organizational subculture of an academic department with the home university culture [Thesis / Dissertation] UL - 1 Full text (PDF)