Evaluating the meme concept : the case for a cultural optimon

GILL, Jameson (2014). Evaluating the meme concept : the case for a cultural optimon. In: EURAM 2014, Valencia, 4-7 June 2014.


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This article describes an empirically based evaluation of the meme concept. Memes are the potential ‘engines’ of evolutionary processes in organisations. However, a lack of consensus in meme theory frustrates its application and the operationalisation of the concept in empirical memetic studies. This study adopts the first extra-memetic empirical method that has been applied to the discipline.

To orientate the study, the optimon definition of a replicator is highlighted as vital to a critical evaluation of memes. To adopt the optimon concept, a two-step narrative method is applied. First, written accounts of competing cultural strategies are constructed. Second, the strategies are analysed to reveal points of competition which can be defined in relation to each other. One such optimon unit is discussed in light of meme theory. The findings support the possibility of unitary culture but do not support the notion of selfish replication in culture.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > People, Work and Organisation
Departments: Sheffield Business School > Department of Management
Depositing User: Jameson Gill
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2014 09:44
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2018 12:17
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8171

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