The Meeting pp 243-269 | Cite as

Expressions and Emotions

The Staff Meeting
  • Helen B. Schwartzman


Until recently, as has been argued in this book, the existence of organizations has been taken for granted, and the behavior that occurs within them has been thought to be dominated by rational, goal-directed, and instrumental behavior (it is work, after all, not play). Almost all of the models that researchers have constructed to explain organizational behavior accept this objectivist view. But the stories that researchers, as well as organizational actors, tell about their experiences in organizations consistently contradict these models. This chapter challenges these models and starts with the stories, everyday stories, that in most contexts would have been easy to ignore, but at Midwest, it was necessary to account for their presence and prevalence. I specifically use the phenomenon of stories and their relationship to meetings at Midwest to challenge the instrumental/expressive dichotomy that has been so influential in directing or thinking about organizations and communities.1


Staff Member Executive Committee Board Meeting Staff Meeting Expressive Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen B. Schwartzman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and Center for Urban Affairs and Policy ResearchNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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