The purpose of this paper is to employ a reflection on at-home ethnographic (AHE) practice to unpack the backstage messiness of an account to demonstrate how management students can craft fine-grained accounts of their practice and develop further our understanding of management practices in situ.
The paper reflects upon an example of AHE from an 18-month period at a chemical plant. Through exposure and exploration, the paper outlines how this method was used, the emotion involved and the challenges to conduct “good” research.
The paper does not seek to define “best practice”; it highlights the epistemic and ethical practices used in an account to demonstrate how AHE could enhance management literature through a series of practice accounts. More insider accounts would demonstrate understandings that go beyond distant accounts that purport to show managerial work as rational and scientific. In addition, such accounts would inform teaching of the complexities and messiness of managerial practice.
Ethnographic accounts (products) are often neat and tidy rather than messy, irrational and complex. Reflection on ethnographer (person) and ethnographic methodology (process) is limited. However, ethnographic practices are mostly unreported. By reflecting on ethnographic epistemic and ethical practices, the paper demonstrates how a largely untapped area has much to offer both management students and in making a fundamental contribution to understanding and teaching managerial practice.
Vickers, D. (2019), "At-home ethnography: a method for practitioners", Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 10-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/QROM-02-2017-1492Download as .RIS
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