The article is an attempt to theoretically reconstruct the case of organizational transformations, which led to fast and radical changes in structure, mode of activity and corporate ethos of a Russian firm. The author shows the limitations of the subject-focused approach to the explanation of these transformations. The author suggests the social semiotic approach connected with the identification of key concepts, which determine specific types of corporate ethos. The author shows both similarity and fundamental difference between the offered semiotic interpretation and methodological assumptions of cultural sociology.

Keywords: case studies, semiotics, sociology of culture, concept, corporate ethos.