This chapter focuses on the ethnographic research approach that I employed in a service marketing study. The first part briefly describes ethnography’s key characteristics, that is, emergent research logic, prolonged fieldwork, and multiple modes of data collection, where the main method is observation. The second part discusses the data collection methods: participant observation, informal discussion, interview, and document analysis. This section describes in detail how these techniques were used in practice and highlights the key challenges I faced, especially related to the observations, and how I managed these challenges. The third part describes the case, field setting, informants, and field relationships. The development project that I studied concerned a bank’s website and project members from the bank and different consultant agencies represent the study’s informants. The fieldwork lasted for about one year and covered the entire development process from the initial stages to the launch, and some time after. The chapter ends with a thorough discussion about the research criteria of validity, reliability, and generality, and the coping tactics that I used in this study to enhance these. Prolonged fieldwork, multiple modes of data collection, reflexivity, and specification of the research are among those important tactics that this last section discusses in detail.
von Koskull, C. (2014), "Ethnographic Research in Service Marketing: Theory, Methods, and Practice", Field Guide to Case Study Research in Business-to-business Marketing and Purchasing (Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 101-145. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1069-096420140000021004Download as .RIS
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