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Tensions in ethnographic observation: overt or covert?

Ruth Strudwick (School of Health Sciences, University of Suffolk, Ipswich, UK)

Journal of Organizational Ethnography

ISSN: 2046-6749

Article publication date: 14 June 2018

Issue publication date: 16 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on the tensions between being covert and overt during ethnographic observations. The example of an ethnographic study of the culture in a diagnostic imaging department will be used to provide examples.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is a reflection on an ethnographic study, focussing on the participant observation.

Findings

This paper discusses the author’s reflections on the covert and overt nature of ethnographic observation.

Originality/value

The discussion is of value to all ethnographic researchers who experience this tension.

Keywords

Citation

Strudwick, R. (2019), "Tensions in ethnographic observation: overt or covert?", Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 185-195. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOE-11-2016-0022

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited