MIS40910 – Skills for Business Enquiry – Critical Thinking

The following articles were discussed

1.Deep Play-Notes on Balinese Cockfight-Geertz1971

Geertz C. (1971) Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight. In: Geertz C. Myth, Symbol and Culture. New York: W.W. Norton, 1–37.

2.Managerial Succession and Organizational Effectiveness-Grusky1963

Grusky, O. (1963) Managerial Succession and Organizational Effectiveness. The American Journal of Sociology, 69(1), 21-31.

3.Scapegoating in Baseball-Gamson1964

Gamson, W. & Scotch, N. (1964) Scapegoating in Baseball. American Journal of Sociology, 70(1), 69-76.


Grusky, O. (1964) Reply. The American Journal of Sociology, 70(1), 72-76.

Some questions:

1.  What are the questions that Geertz (1971) and Grusky (1963) were inquiring into?  Briefly, what are their respective answers?  How compelling do you find their explanations?

2.  How convinced are you by Gamson and Scotch’s commentary and Grusky’s response?

3.  Could Grusky’s study be conducted in a business context?  Why might such a study be problematic? What about Geertz’s study?

4.  What skills might one need to conduct these different types of research projects successfully?

MIS40910 – Group ‘I’ questions/comments

Tarun Rattan, William Lee

Q1: Don’t you think that Geertz & Gursky are overly influenced by Freud when they use psychoanalysis to postulate Freudian explanations sexualizing seemingly innocuous rules of Cockfighting& Baseball? Is there a need to find analogy between cockfighting & penis or between baseball & testicle balls as some sports critics have done? Though Gursky did not explicitly mention any sexual connection, still his enquiry has enough sexual terms like ‘monotonic’, ‘illegitimate’, ‘clientele support’, ‘deviant’ etc..

Tarun Rattan, William Lee

Q2: Do you think it’s a valid assumption used by Grusky that each baseball team, regardless of differences in fame, history, wealth, players and stature, all have a common internal political structure and similar organisational goals. For example there is no research into the actual selection & hiring process of the managers which most likely will get influenced by the internal political structures within these teams. If the initial assumption of common ground cannot be established then the analysis is void, and if the hiring & selection process for the managers is faulty, then it would anyways lead to the selection of inept managers resulting in quick managerial succession and deterioration of team effectiveness.

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