Business schools offer a unique window into the making of corporate morals since they bring together future executives at formative moments in their professional lives…
Business schools offer a unique window into the making of corporate morals since they bring together future executives at formative moments in their professional lives. This paper relies on an analysis of faculty’s teaching tasks at the Harvard Business School to better understand the making of corporate morals. More specifically, it builds on a coding of teaching notes used by faculty members to highlight the importance of silence in promoting a form of moral relativism. This moral relativism constitutes, I argue, a powerful ideology – one that primes business leaders not to vilify any moral stand. In such a context, almost anything can be labeled “moral” and few behaviors can be deemed “immoral.”
Multiple forces that shape the identities of adolescents and young adults also influence their subsequent career choices. Early work experiences are key among these…
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.
We rely on interview, archival, and longitudinal survey data to examine young adults’ experiences of a European youth service program.
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.
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.
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…
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.
The argument is developed through a critical and integrated review of relevant literature.
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.
This paper offers practical insights for practitioners of field-level ethnography.
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.
The purpose of this paper is to shed new light on carrying out “at-home” ethnography by building and extending the notion of roles as boundary objects, and to elucidate…
The purpose of this paper is to shed new light on carrying out “at-home” ethnography by building and extending the notion of roles as boundary objects, and to elucidate how evolving roles mediate professional identity work of the ethnographer.
In order to theorize about how professional identities and identity work play out in “at-home” ethnography, the study builds on the notion of roles as boundary objects constructed in interaction between knowledge domains. The study is based on two ethnographic research projects carried out by high-level career switchers – corporate executives who conducted research in their own organizations and eventually left to work in academia.
The paper contends that the interaction between the corporate world and academia gives rise to specific yet intertwined roles; and that the meanings attached to these roles and role transitions shape the way ethnographers work on their professional identities.
These findings have implications for organizational ethnography where the researcher’s identity work should receive more attention in relation to fieldwork, headwork, and textwork.
The study builds on and extends the notion of roles as boundary objects and as triggers of identity work in the context of “at-home” ethnographic research work, and sheds light on the way researchers continuously contest and renegotiate meanings for both domains, and move from one role to another while doing so.