Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Understanding the ways in which organizations fail is foundational to the organization studies discipline. Organizational sociologists have outlined the various ways organizations and organizational cultures can fail separately or simultaneously, temporarily or totally. Yet, little effort has been directed toward proving that organizational culture is capable of surviving the complete and total collapse of the organization from which it emerged. This work uncovers a new way that organizations can fail that leaves their organizational culture intact. the author considers employee interactions during the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy by reassembling the cultural artifacts contained in a company email archive to demonstrate that organizational culture is less consistent and more resilient and unpredictable than previously thought. by centering organizationally situated interactions between employees at the meso-level, the author demonstrates how extra-local institutional logics can generate consensus, cohesion, and confusion during periods of organizational turmoil, when those logics are dynamically reimagined as endogenous to the organization by employees with disparate personal histories across distinct organizational positions, who embrace them, combine them, challenge them, and adapt them to support their own aims.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.