Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Organizational Culture Theory- The Devil Wears Prada
In the 2006 film “The Devil Wears Prada” Andy (Anne Hathaway) plays a young girl who is hired as the boss’s secretary by the company Runway. As soon as she is hired she hears horrific story after story of the head of the company Miranda (Meryl Streep). Employee after employee expresses their own tales of Miranda, none of which consist of any positivity. Within the Organizational Culture Theory there are different types of communicative performances. In this scenario passion performance is represented. Once employees hear that Andy is Miranda’s new secretary they enthusiastically overwhelm her with horror stories of Miranda and her past relationships with her secretaries.
In the clip shown above many of these communicative performances are present. The most obvious is ritual performance. First, Andy demonstrates a task ritual. Each day she does exactly as Miranda tells her. Every morning Miranda throws her jacket and purse wherever she’d like on Andy’s desk and it becomes Andy’s responsibility to put these items in their correct location. Also it becomes Andy’s responsibility to fulfill whatever task Miranda asks of her each day. For example, it may be something as easy as retrieving someone’s phone number or something ridiculous such as fetching the next Harry Potter book before it is even released for Miranda’s daughters. Next, Andy demonstrates personal ritual as well. Every day she is responsible to check the voicemail and email for the company. Thirdly, every year the company Runway attends Fashion Week in Paris. It is Miranda’s secretary’s responsibility each year to make sure all aspects of the trip are organized and perfect.
Finally, this clip depicts political performance as well. By throwing her jacket and purse on her secretary’s desk everyday and barking orders, Miranda demonstrates the power she possesses over her employees. She “maintains the bottom line” at Runway and is not afraid to show it.