the porous city

/

/

email me

/

about

Bureaucracy as high-context culture
Reading about how information architecture work is culturally specific led me to Edward Hall's Beyond Culture. Low-context = your typical Protestant, straight square rigid culture, explicit and rule-based. High-context = relationship-based, rules as guidelines, the connection more important than the part. Half of all travel writing describes the comical mishaps that result from a low-context culture individual visiting a country with a high-context culture.

Anyway, this struck me because I've been working in a large, relatively old bureaucracy for the last couple months, and the high-context culture description fits it well (although in other ways these people have nothing in common with, say, Italians.) The organization acts as a web more than a set of silos, and it's very difficult to pin down responsibility anywhere. People have evolved working styles tied to specific relationships, and as you can imagine the whole mess is very difficult to change.


last timestamped: 09:42:05 15-Nov-2006
in categories:Commerce/Managementconsulting, Design/IA, Science/Psychology, People/Workingwith

Comment

name*

email

homepage

No html.

what's the second letter of your name?

Tech
Social, barcamp, MacOS, Shopping, Audio, Energy, Crowdsourcing, Data, WRX, Web analytics, Security, a11y, Visual, Automobile, Web, Mobile, PIM, Wearables, Business, Net, RSS, Product Management, s60, Open, Javascript, OS, Android, Collaboration, Development, Storage, Hardware, Medical

Other
Transportation, Sports, Quizzes, Minnesota, Housing, Feminism, Life hacks, Activism, Travel, Surfing, Politik, Toys, History, Law, Berlin, Podcasts, Games, Geography, San Francisco, Friday, Video, Food & Drink, NYC, CrowdFlower, Statistics, Personal care, Boston, Bicycling, Agriculture, L.A., Clothes

Music
Musicians, Mixes, Business, Hip-hop, Labels, House, Videos, Events, Booking, Good tracks, L.A., Mailing lists, History, Mp3s, Reviews, Streams, Boston, Making, Lyrics, Shopping

People
Working with, Me, MOTAS, Meditation, Subcultures, Heroes, ADD, Health, Friends, Life hacks, Exercise, Stories, Languages, Family, Vocations, Weblogs, Enemies, Gossip

Commerce
Shopping, Macroeconomics, Marketing and CRM, Microfinance, Non-profit, Personal finance, Investing, Management consulting, Insurance, International Development, Real Estate, IP Law, Web, Personal services, Taxes

Arts
Movies, Outlets, Burning Man, Animation, Events, Desktop wallpaper bait, iPad bait, Humor, Literature, Sculpture, Visual, Spoken Word, Poetry, Comix, Rhetoric

Design
Tools, IA, Architecture, Web, Process, Furniture, Algorithmic, User experience, Presentations, Type, Data visualization, Cool

Science
Environment, Physics, Networks, Statistics and Data, Psychology, Zoology

Travel
Kingdom of Siam, Vagabond '08, Uganda, Kenya

Photos
Moblog, Photos I Wish I'd Taken, Friends

Philosophy
Mind

One Acre Fund

Internet classic

Mathematics

Subscribe to this site's rss feed