Smelser (1980) has defined the term "culture"" as a set of definitions of reality held in common by people who share a distinctive way of life. By the phrase "definitions of reality" Smelser refers to the norms, values, social products, and ideologies of the cultural group. In organizational theory, organizations are said to fit the broad definition of culture such as that provided by Smelser. For this reason, current organizational research has studied organizations as cultures (Trujillo, 1982, 1983).
One perspective of the organization as a culture has focused on the nature of communications in the organization and how this communication affects organizational members (Smircich, 1983; Van Maanen, 1985; Pacanowskky & O'Donnell-Trujillo, 1982; Pettigrew, 1970). This communication perspective holds that communications and communications-related activities provide meaning to the organization, thereby sustaining it. Thus, the communication perspective of organizations as cultures would state that there must be analysis of both the nature and the effects of organizational communication in order to understand any organization as a culture.
The proposed study focuses upon examining one particular organization from the standpoint of the communication-culture perspective of organizational theory. The selected organization is Martin Luther King Law and Public Service High School (LPS) a small, urban