Organizational Ethnography: Studying the Complexity of Everyday Life

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Sierk Ybema, Dvora Yanow, Harry Wels, Frans H Kamsteeg
SAGE, Aug 20, 2009 - Social Science - 304 pages
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Just as newspapers do not, typically, engage with the ordinary experiences of people's daily lives, so organizational studies has also tended largely to ignore the humdrum, everyday experiences of people working in organizations. However, ethnographic approaches provide in-depth and up-close understandings of how the 'everyday-ness' of work is organized and how, in turn, work itself organizes people and the societies they inhabit.

Organizational Ethnography brings contributions from leading scholars in organizational studies that serve to unpack an ethnographic perspective on organizations and organizational research. The authors explore the particular problems faced by organizational ethnographers, including:

- questions of gaining access to research sites within organizations;

- the many styles of writing organizational ethnography;

- the role of friendship relations in the field;

- problems of distance and closeness;

- the doing of at-home ethnography;

- ethical issues;

- standards for evaluating ethnographic work.

This book is a vital resource for organizational scholars and students doing or writing ethnography in the fields of business and management, public administration, education, health care, social work, or any related field in which organizations play a role.

 

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Contents

Studying everyday organizational life
1
Ethnographic Doing and Writing
21
Organizing ethnographic fieldwork
23
Fromwritingup ethnographic research to writing ethnography
40
In search of trustworthy texts
56
Coproducing organizational ethnography
83
Familiarity and Strangerness
99
A case for disengaged organizational ethnography
101
Struggling with closeness and closure
156
Researcher Researched Relationships
175
Ethical issues in organizational ethnography
177
10 But I thought we were friends? Lifecycles and research relationships
196
11 Critical action research and organizational ethnography
215
A plea for engaged ethnography
231
Annotated Bibliography
253
Bibliography
260

A package of method and theory to study work practices
120
7 From participant observation to observant participation
139

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About the author (2009)

I am interested in general in the communication of meaning in organizational and policy settings. Present research includes comparative immigrant and integration policies, Dutch race-ethnic category-making, reflective practice and practice studies, science museums and the idea of 'science, ' and US Institutional Review Board and other research regulatory policies and practices.

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