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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2015

Anne-Laure Fayard and John Van Maanen

The purpose of this paper is to describe and reflect on the experience as corporate ethnographers working in (and for) a large, multinational company with a remit to study…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and reflect on the experience as corporate ethnographers working in (and for) a large, multinational company with a remit to study and articulate “the culture of the firm.”

Design/methodology/approach

The research relied heavily on interviews and some (participant) observation carried out periodically – in North America, Europe and Asia – over an eight-year period.

Findings

The authors discuss how the studies were produced, received, and occasionally acted on in the firm and the realization over time of the performativity of the work as both expressive and constitutive of firm’s culture.

Research limitations/implications

The increasing entanglement in the organization raises questions regarding emic and etic perspectives and the possibility (or impossibility) of “enduring detachment” or “going native” and the associated, often unintended consequences of being both outsiders and insiders.

Practical implications

The authors start with the premise that ethnography is about producing a written text and conclude by arguing that ethnography is not fully realized until the writing is read.

Social implications

The ethnographic reports, when read by those in the company, made visible a version of Trifecta culture that was interpreted, framed and otherwise responded to in multiple ways by members of the organization.

Originality/value

Corporate ethnography is a growing pursuit undertaken by those inside and outside firms. This paper focusses on how and in what ways corporate ethnography sponsored by and written for those in the company shifts the positioning of the ethnographer in the field, the kinds of texts they produce, and the meanings that readers take away from such texts.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Anne‐Laure Fayard

To explore the relevance of Goffman's theatrical metaphor to describe video‐mediated interactions.

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the relevance of Goffman's theatrical metaphor to describe video‐mediated interactions.

Design/methodology/approach

Grounded in four waves of observational data of MBA students interacting by videoconference in the context of a distributed course between Europe and Asia, with the students working in virtual teams on a consulting project.

Findings

People in video‐mediated contexts adjust and evolve the well‐established routines we have developed for interacting in everyday communication in order to build a “stage” for interaction. The stage does not only refer to a spatial frame of reference, but that it also refers to a shared social context, a ”place” that participants collaboratively construct.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on observations of MBA students, and not teams of professionals in an organization.

Practical implications

The observations suggest that although people often blame the technology for frustrating or negative experiences and hoping for the development of better technology, practitioners aiming to support communication in video‐mediated settings should focus on building a stage and developing practices to support the interactional order. They should focus on the construction of a shared social context, a “sense of place”.

Originality/value

The use of Goffman's theatrical metaphor to study video‐mediated interactions. A suggestion for being innovative about the use of technology and avoid simply replicating face‐to‐face interactions.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 April 2006

Abstract

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Book part
Publication date: 12 April 2014

Michel Anteby and Amy Wrzesniewski

Multiple forces that shape the identities of adolescents and young adults also influence their subsequent career choices. Early work experiences are key among these…

Abstract

Purpose

Multiple forces that shape the identities of adolescents and young adults also influence their subsequent career choices. Early work experiences are key among these forces. Recognizing this, youth service programs have emerged worldwide with the hope of shaping participants’ future trajectories through boosting engagement in civically oriented activities and work. Despite these goals, past research on these programs’ impact has yielded mixed outcomes. Our goal is to understand why this might be the case.

Design/Methodology/Approach

We rely on interview, archival, and longitudinal survey data to examine young adults’ experiences of a European youth service program.

Findings

A core feature of youth service programs, namely their dual identity of helping others (i.e., service beneficiaries) and helping oneself (i.e., participants), might partly explain the program’s mixed outcomes. We find that participants focus on one of the organization’s identities largely to the exclusion of the other, creating a dynamic in which their interactions with members who focus on the other identity create challenges and dominate their program experience, to the detriment of a focus on the organization and its goals. This suggests that a previously overlooked feature of youth service programs (i.e., their dual identity) might prove both a blessing for attracting many diverse members and a curse for achieving desired outcomes.

Originality/Value

More broadly, our results suggest that dual identity organizations might attract members focused on a select identity, but fail to imbue them with a blended identity; thus, limiting the extent to which such organizations can truly “redirect” future career choices.

Details

Adolescent Experiences and Adult Work Outcomes: Connections and Causes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-572-2

Keywords

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