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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Linda Rouleau, Mark de Rond and Geneviève Musca

– The purpose of this paper is to outline the context and the content of the six papers that follow in this special issue on “New Forms of Organizational Ethnography”.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline the context and the content of the six papers that follow in this special issue on “New Forms of Organizational Ethnography”.

Design/methodology/approach

This editorial explains the burgeoning interest in organizational ethnography over the last decade in terms of several favourable conditions that have supported this resurgence. It also offers a general view of the nature and diversity of new forms of organizational ethnography in studies of management and organization.

Findings

New forms of organizational ethnography have emerged in response to rapidly changing organizational environments and technological advances as well as the paradigmatic transformation of ethnography and ascendency of discursive and practice-based studies.

Originality/value

The editorial highlights an “ethnographic turn” in management and organization studies that is characterized by a renewal of the discipline through the proliferation of new forms of organizational ethnography. A focus on new organizational phenomena, methodological innovation and novel ways of organizing fieldwork constitute the three main pillars of new forms of organizational ethnography. It encourages researchers to develop forums and platforms designed to exploit these novel forms of organizational ethnography.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1992

Linda Rouleau and Stewart R. Clegg

Draws a distinction, via the edited text of an interview, between asociology of postmodernity and postmodernism: the latter has an emphasison theory and its…

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Abstract

Draws a distinction, via the edited text of an interview, between a sociology of postmodernity and postmodernism: the latter has an emphasis on theory and its intertextuality while the former would focus more evidently on discontinuities in the empirical world which serve to mark a difference from the ways in which that world has been appropriated and appreciated through a more modernist perspective. For organization theory the difference is articulated in particular by the awareness that there are now counter‐factuals available to challenge some predominant assumptions about the way in which organization occurs. The assumptions have a predominantly “Western” basis; some elements of the challenge come from an increasing knowledge of the specificities of Asian practice. A crucial axis for comparison between relevant tendencies towards “modernism” and “postmodernism” is that of “differentiation”. Proposes that modernist tendencies are towards the increase of differentiation, postmodern towards the increase of de‐differentiation – the throwing into reverse of the tendency towards differentiation. Considers contrasting models of what a postmodern, de‐differentiated future might look like in terms of their democratic potential.

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Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Linda C. Tallberg, Peter J. Jordan and Maree Boyle

The purpose of this paper is to discuss emotions within a highly emotive organizational setting through the use of crystallization. The authors contend that the…

Abstract

Purpose –

The purpose of this paper is to discuss emotions within a highly emotive organizational setting through the use of crystallization. The authors contend that the expression of a researcher's positionality as a presence within their research is crucial in contexts where conventional research approaches are unable to capture the depth of the phenomenon under study. The paper argues that the presentation of research findings from highly emotional organizational context will benefit from a challenge to traditional ways of representing and communicating the researcher's experience. As an example of this, in this paper the authors examine the emotions involved in experiencing animal euthanasia in a work context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws ethnographic methods of fieldwork in an Australian animal shelter. The paper uses autoethnography and interview data.

Findings

Euthanasia is one of the most tolling experiences for animal shelter workers. This paper reveals that through a creative representation this experience may come induce understanding of the emotive context. Furthermore, the employees adapt one or more story-lines to deal with the conflict of euthanasia.

Originality/value

The strength of this paper is that it uses a novel approach to present findings in the form of crystallization. It also furthers insight on how organizational members explain their involvement in emotive work-tasks.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Michael Smets, Gary Burke, Paula Jarzabkowski and Paul Spee

Increasing complexity, fragmentation, mobility, pace, and technological intermediation of organizational life make “being there” increasingly difficult. Where do…

Abstract

Purpose

Increasing complexity, fragmentation, mobility, pace, and technological intermediation of organizational life make “being there” increasingly difficult. Where do ethnographers have to be, when, for how long, and with whom to “be there” and grasp the practices, norms, and values that make the situation meaningful to natives? These novel complexities call for new forms of organizational ethnography. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the above issues.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, the authors respond to these calls for innovative ethnographic methods in two ways. First, the paper reports on the practices and ethnographic experiences of conducting a year-long team-based video ethnography of reinsurance trading in London.

Findings

Second, drawing on these experiences, the paper proposes a framework for systematizing new approaches to organizational ethnography and visualizing the ways in which they are “expanding” ethnography as it was traditionally practiced.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the ethnographic literature in three ways: first, the paper develops a framework for charting new approaches to ethnography and highlight its different dimensions – site, instrument, and fieldworker. Second, the paper outlines the opportunities and challenges associated with these expansions, specifically with regard to research design, analytical rigour, and communication of results. Third, drawing on the previous two contributions, the paper highlights configurations of methodological expansions on the aforementioned dimensions that are more promising than others in leveraging new technologies and approaches to claim new territory for organizational ethnography and enhance its relevance for understanding today's multifarious organizational realities.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Book part
Publication date: 20 September 2021

Ann Langley

In this retrospective of Ann Langley's extensive career, she shares how methodological insights emerged in her research career as a qualitative researcher in strategy and…

Abstract

In this retrospective of Ann Langley's extensive career, she shares how methodological insights emerged in her research career as a qualitative researcher in strategy and management. Her retrospective provides the back story of some of her highly-cited methods papers. Ann acknowledges the role that other researchers and authors have played in her research career.

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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Nathalie Raulet-Croset and Anni Borzeix

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the combination of a qualitative shadowing method called “Commentated Walk” and an ethnographic approach, can be used to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how the combination of a qualitative shadowing method called “Commentated Walk” and an ethnographic approach, can be used to analyze the spatial dimension of practices, when space is considered as a co-construction and as an active dimension of individual and collective practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach is ethnographic and the empirical field work concerns the coordination in ephemeral organizations intended to manage emergent phenomena: the social “problems” often named “urban incivilities,” which occur in public and semi-public spaces in some suburban areas in France and are recurrent.

Findings

In these organizations, space appears to be part of individual and collective practices, and a key resource for coordination. Shared “spaces of action” between inhabitants and local institutions contribute to coordination. As a method of data collection, Commentated Walks offer relevant insight into how actors “deal with space” in their day-to-day life or their professional practices. Walking with while talking with – the method's principals – make it possible to capture the materiality of problematic spaces as well as the feelings that the space inspires.

Research limitations/implications

The use of this method is still exploratory. In further research, it would be interesting to consider such Commentated Walks in other organizational contexts, in order to explore different ways of “dealing with” space and different types of spatial competencies that people develop in using space as a resource.

Originality/value

This paper proposes an original combination of methodological approaches which allows us to grasp the formation of spatial practices.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Natalia Aguilar Delgado and Luciano Barin Cruz

The purpose of this paper is to overcome the challenges of doing research in pluralistic settings by performing multi-event ethnographies. The proposal redirects the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to overcome the challenges of doing research in pluralistic settings by performing multi-event ethnographies. The proposal redirects the efforts of longitudinal data collection toward field-configuring events (FCEs), wherein multiple organizations with divergent perspectives over an issue are strategizing in concentrated efforts, at the same time and space. The authors apply traditional ethnographic tools in this understudied setting. On the one hand, these tools allow for a thick description that results in in-depth accounts of actors within FCEs. On the other hand, they provide flexibility because they can be used in complementary ways.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose the use of three interconnected ethnographic tools in multiple events: shadowing, practitioner's diary and researcher's reflexive journal.

Findings

The illustration of an ongoing research project showed how the approach helped the researchers to follow a practitioner in multiple discursive spaces but also to see how the practitioner, even with a different status in a later FCE, transported a deviant practice that denounces his persistent disadvantaged position in the field. The approach delineated here allowed the researchers to open a new window for the appreciation of the activities of marginal actors fighting against hegemonic discourses.

Research limitations/implications

The application of the shadowing technique might be challenging. Attention might also be paid to the implications of previous FCEs to current dynamics.

Practical implications

The tools developed in this approach have a large potential to have practical implications, as the practitioner accounts of the phenomenon in question are at the center of the data collection and analysis.

Originality/value

The proposal contributes to the literature on organizational ethnography by drawing attention to the importance of tracking multiple events, not only different sites, to unveil organizational practices in pluralistic settings as events progress over time.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Deniz Tunçalp and Patrick L. Lê

The purpose of this paper is to systematically review online ethnography and its boundary challenges. The paper especially focusses on how researchers draw space…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to systematically review online ethnography and its boundary challenges. The paper especially focusses on how researchers draw space boundaries, set time boundaries and engage their online field.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors perform a systematic review of extant literature and identify 59 papers in 40 different journals as online ethnographies from various management disciplines. The authors perform both qualitative and quantitative analyses on papers in the sample.

Findings

The paper identifies how online ethnographers both define boundaries and engage their online field. The paper shows that some of the advantages of online ethnography actually prompt researchers to favor-specific research designs over others.

Research limitations/implications

The authors only focussed on articles adopting online ethnography in organization and management studies that are listed in Social Sciences Citation Index database. Online ethnographies in other research fields and indexes are not studied in this paper.

Practical implications

The paper makes suggestions on how to complement existing online ethnographies to reach a more comprehensive practice of online ethnography.

Social implications

The systematic review may help researchers to locate useful online ethnography examples across various management disciplines and may contribute to the maturation of online ethnography.

Originality/value

The paper synthesizes emerging trends in online ethnography and identifies how specific advantages actually prompt online ethnographers to limit themselves in their research designs.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Tammar B. Zilber

The purpose of this paper is to offer a road map for carrying out field-level ethnography, focussing on the inter-organizational space collectively constructed and shared…

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1236

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a road map for carrying out field-level ethnography, focussing on the inter-organizational space collectively constructed and shared by communities of organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The argument is developed through a critical and integrated review of relevant literature.

Findings

Field-level ethnographic work requires researchers to define the field they are exploring, locate their specific research site within it, capture the field through ethnographic practices that take into account the unique characteristics of this local field as a social phenomenon, and deploy various conceptualizations of inter-organizational spheres in order to enrich their analysis and interpretations.

Practical implications

This paper offers practical insights for practitioners of field-level ethnography.

Originality/value

As organizations are open-systems that reside and take part in much broader, inter-organizational spaces, the author makes a case for going beyond the more common practice of carrying out ethnographic field work in a single organization, to doing field-level ethnography. The paper discusses various theorizations of the inter-organizational sphere, suggest how to carry field-level ethnography in practice, and note its peculiar challenges.

Details

Journal of Organizational Ethnography, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6749

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2016

Hanna Lehtimäki

Abstract

Details

The Strategically Networked Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-292-7

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