Group Cultures and the Everyday Life of Organizations: Interaction Orders and Meso-Analysis

Gary Alan Fine*, Tim Hallett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Drawing on sociological conceptions of interaction, small groups, and group cultures, we argue that organizational studies benefits from a meso-analysis of everyday life. Small group cultures are a means through which colleagues and co-workers share embedded and powerful self-referential meanings that shape ongoing organizational activity. Through this perspective we argue for a group-level approach to organizations that emphasizes the local production of knowledge and structure. Drawing upon ethnographic research on field offices of the US National Weather Service, we emphasize the importance of shared awareness and memory, performance, and differentiation, building on a vibrant group culture in which workers collaborate and challenge each other. In conclusion we examine connections and differences among the group culture approach, and related approaches that emphasize inhabited institutions, institutional logics, institutional work, and organizational culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1773-1792
Number of pages20
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 28 2014


  • corporate culture
  • cultural studies
  • institutional theory
  • organizational identity
  • qualitative research design
  • sensemaking
  • social identity
  • teams and team work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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