Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

William P. Foster, EdD, Director; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD; Mary Woods Scherr, PhD


classification, corporate culture, electric troublemen, Leadership studies, profiling, qualitative, San Diego (California), San Diego Gas and Electric, subculture


During the 1980s much attention was focused on trying to understand and apply the concept of corporate culture. Scholars and practitioners worked on clarifying the definition of culture as it applies to workplace settings. Scholars adapted the anthropological concepts of culture to fit within the framework of a business organization. Both scholars and practitioners attempted to investigate the cultures of many organizations throughout the business world. Scholars conducted lengthy case studies and used a mixture of qualitative and quantitative techniques. Business world practitioners conducted short studies and used mostly quantitative survey techniques. What was found was that the scholarly approach took too long to perform and the business world practitioner's approach produced very little information about an organization's workplace culture. This research project attempted to apply qualitative research techniques in a way that recognizes the practical limits placed on time, talent, and materials in the business world. More specifically, a model of workplace culture and a procedure for describing and profiling a corporate culture were developed and tested. The model consists of three components: one that helps to identify whether or not an organization has a healthy culture, one that describes the characteristics that make up the content of a culture, and one that classifies a culture according to categories that are useful for comparing one culture to another. The procedure consists of three qualitative data gathering techniques: observation, interview, and historical document analysis; and the analysis procedure involves processing thick description data. The model and the procedure were tested by describing and profiling the subculture of a small group of employees, known as electric troublemen, who work for the San Diego Gas and Electric Company. Data collection and analysis took approximately 360 hours to complete, resulting in a profile that is both interesting and informative.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access