Communication ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 5-13-2018


Organizational culture is a concept that is theoretically contested, particularly within critical approaches to communication. However, it is a highly crucial area of research which has symbolic and material implications for individuals, organizations and communities. This study contributes to the conversation about how organizational culture is constituted by interrogating the forces at play in this constitution. One of such forces is neoliberalism, which operates by subsuming all organizational practices under the umbrella of market value. The study takes a cultural materialist approach to organizational culture through the analysis of discourse at the National Communications Authority (NCA) in Ghana.

The NCA is the state-sanctioned regulator of the communications industry in Ghana. Its unique position as regulator exposes it to several localized and globalized discourses which shapes how its employees conceptualize organizational cultural practices. This study seeks to 1) analyze how organizational communication is constituted at NCA through the discursive practices of participants; 2) examine the strategies participants use in responding to neoliberal discourses; 3) show how organizational culture influences the making of communications regulations and policies; and 4) explain the role of colonialism in the negotiation of culture at NCA.

The results reveal that organizational culture is shaped by interrelated tensions among several often-contradictory concepts such as global/local, structure/agency, subjective/objective, and public/private. For instance, the tension between structure and agency means organizational culture is the product of both the discursive closure facilitated by dominant discourses and the interpretive agency of participants.




Organizational Culture, Africa, Neoliberalism, Discourse, Post-Fordism

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Department of Communication and Journalism

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Marco Briziarelli

Second Committee Member

Dr. Mary Jane Collier

Third Committee Member

Dr. Susana Martinez Guillem

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Manuel Montoya

Project Sponsors

Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society (WFI)