Theses and Dissertations


Matthew Doude

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Burch, Reuben F., V

Committee Member

Smith, Brian

Committee Member

Walden, Clayton T.

Committee Member

Strawderman, Leslie

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible to MSU only for 2 years

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Industrial and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Organizational culture is a product of both internal and external factors. Leaders sometimes attempt to change culture using a variety of mechanisms, while the effects of external environment simultaneously exert influence. The external environment effects can be especially pronounced when comparing a traditional, Midwestern automotive firm (General Motors) with a Silicon Valley automotive startup (Tesla). A study was conducted to compare the social system of these two automakers and to identify some of the factors, both internal and external, shaping their culture. Data was collected on the employment history of engineers and managers using the social networking platform Similarly, publicly-posted employee reviews were collected from the website and analyzed using a novel method for classifying and analyzing openorm written survey responses. Together, these records paint a picture of the employee perceptions of culture for both companies, the breadth of external experience represented in their workforces, and the tendency to fill management positions from internal candidates. The results suggest that external environment has broad effects on workforce experience, thereby creating certain cultural attributes such as loyalty or a drive to innovate. The results also suggest that promoting internal candidates more often does not necessarily lead to employee perception of better career opportunities. Taken together, the results reinforce but expand traditional views of organizational culture and call for further study on the matter across more industry groups.



Organizational Culture||Automotive Industry||Tesla||General Motors