The purpose of this paper is to argue that researchers in the information disciplines should embrace ethnomethodology as a way of forming deeper insights into the…
The purpose of this paper is to argue that researchers in the information disciplines should embrace ethnomethodology as a way of forming deeper insights into the relationship between people and recorded knowledge.
The paper introduces the core concepts of ethnomethodology as a means of articulating what this perspective brings to the understanding of the way that society is accomplished. A selection of key studies are then examined to highlight important ethnomethodological findings about the particular relationship of documents to human actions and interactions.
Ethnomethodology highlights the fact that people transform their experiences, and the experiences of others, into documents whose status as an objective object help to justify people’s actions and inferences. Documents, as written accounts, also serve to make peoples’ actions meaningful to themselves and to others. At the same time, ethnomethodology draws attention to the fact that any correct reading of these documents relies partly on an understanding of the tacit ideologies that undergird people’s sense-making and that are used in order to make decisions and get work done.
This conceptual framework contributes to the information disciplines by bringing to the fore certain understandings about the social organization of document work, and the attendant social arrangements they reveal. The paper also outlines, from a methodological perspective, how information science researchers can use ethnomethodology as an investigative stance to further their knowledge of the role of documents in everyday life.
The reflections presented in this paper were inspired by a simple consideration: that, although the kind of sociological investigation indicated as ethnomethodology…
The reflections presented in this paper were inspired by a simple consideration: that, although the kind of sociological investigation indicated as ethnomethodology originated as a reaction to the institutional sociological establishment, it has eventually become part of it (see Pollner, 1991). Some might quite rightly object that this is hardly surprising; actually, it is the destiny of most revolutionary movements inside and outside the sociological discipline. Moreover, the concern, often emerging from inside the field, that the term ethnomethodology has become no more than a confusing label for a variety of sociological investigations, may seem a pedantic issue of purity caused by the sectarian mentality of insiders.
This paper examines how the management control practices of organization members enable the alignment of product development projects with potentially conflicting…
This paper examines how the management control practices of organization members enable the alignment of product development projects with potentially conflicting corporate strategies during the product development process.
Using an ethnomethodology informed research approach, we carry out a case study of an innovative New Zealand food company. Case study data included an internal company document, interviews with organization members, and an external market analysis document.
Our case study company had both sales growth and profit growth corporate strategies which have been argued to cause tensions. We found that four management control practices enabled the alignment of product development projects to these strategies. The first management control practice was having the NPD and marketing functions responsible for different corporate strategies. Other management control practices included the involvement of organization members from across multiple functions, the activities they carried out, and the measures used to evaluate project performance during the product development process.
These findings add new insights to the management accounting literature by showing how a combination of management control practices can be used by organization members to align projects with potentially conflicting corporate strategies during the product development process.
While the alignment of product development projects to corporate strategy is not easy this study shows how it can be enabled through a number of management control practices.
We contribute to the management accounting research in this area by extending our understanding of the management control practices used during the product development process.
This chapter highlights the varied scope of research in the emerging information experience domain. First, I share my perspective as educator-researcher on information…
This chapter highlights the varied scope of research in the emerging information experience domain. First, I share my perspective as educator-researcher on information experience and its association with informed learning. Then, in six methodological snapshots I present a selection of qualitative approaches which are suited to investigating information experience. The snapshots feature: action research, constructivist grounded theory, ethnomethodology, expanded critical incident approach, phenomenography and qualitative case study. By way of illustration, six researchers explain how and why they use one of these methods. Finally, I review the key characteristics of the six methods and their respective benefits for information experience research.
This article draws from ethnomethodology and poststructural discourse analysis to examine commonsense knowledge about whiteness and white racial identities. In order to get at that which most broadly passes as matters of commonsense in the United States, the research design includes analysis of both interview and television data. I make two sets of concurrent arguments, one that regards the production of whiteness as a kind of normalcy against which race and racialization is made meaningful and another concerned with the analytical power derived by combining ethnomethodology and poststructural discourse analysis. I illustrate local practices for interrupting hegemonic reproductions of whiteness and conclude with methodological considerations.
The field of interorganizational studies is not currently known for applying qualitative methodologies with the same enthusiasm as statistically‐based survey techniques. A…
The field of interorganizational studies is not currently known for applying qualitative methodologies with the same enthusiasm as statistically‐based survey techniques. A review of recent developments in qualitative methodologies reveals several techniques which can be fruitfully applied to the study of interorganizational (IO) networks. This paper extends the meaning‐based social definitionist perspective to the study of IO networks, by drawing upon the relevant theoretical aspects of social phenomenology, symbolic interactionism, and ethnomethodology. The social definitionist perspective is concerned with theories and methodologies relevant to the social definition and construction of meaning in multiple actor settings. Such a meaning‐based perspective would facilitate the application of qualitative methodologies to IO networks, in parallel with similar developments in organizational behavior. The paper identifies four specific types of qualitative analyses for IO studies: phenomenological typification, domain analysis, componential analysis, and conversational analysis.
Our concern in this article is with the feeding back of sociological descriptions to those whom these descriptions purport to be about. This in particular is what we mean…
Our concern in this article is with the feeding back of sociological descriptions to those whom these descriptions purport to be about. This in particular is what we mean in our title by the ‘retrieval of sociological description’. We would like to consider here some of the issues surrounding any attempt on the part of the sociologist to offer his account for inspection by his research respondents, why one may attempt such an exercise and, tentatively, what any such exercise might look like. In particular, we wish to link such ‘feeding back’ of the sociologist's descriptions to the related issue of the validation of social research. Conventionally, validation of sociological research is thought to consist in internal methodological procedures, e.g. triangulation, random allocation, etc., but validation by respondents may represent a feasible alternative to such procedures. By respondent validation is meant here any attempt on the part of the researcher to establish a
Ethnography has changed since the influence of postmodernism reached the social sciences – it has turned a reflexive eye upon itself and has been critical of traditional ethnographic work. This essay examines the concerns of postmodern informed ethnography. Then, it turns to other modes of ethnographic work, which are important intellectual precursors of postmodern ethnography-phenomenology, existential sociology, ethnomethodology. Next, new postmodern concerns, such as women and ethnography, electronic ethnography, and new narrative modes, are presented. This article points out both concerns and flaws in these approaches. Finally, the article concludes by analyzing the current and future situation of various ethnographic strands in sociology.
This chapter summarizes and explicates the work of Kenneth Liberman, an exemplary but underappreciated practitioner of ethnomethodology for the past 30 years. Four…
This chapter summarizes and explicates the work of Kenneth Liberman, an exemplary but underappreciated practitioner of ethnomethodology for the past 30 years. Four paradoxes or tensions organize the discussion. First, Liberman is highly confident that confidence is almost always unwarranted. Second, Liberman is extremely skeptical yet respectful of ordinary knowledge and practices. Third, Liberman insists that meaning is not inherent even while he tries to faithfully study and represent reality. Fourth, Liberman attempts to do work that benefits various individuals and groups, but he believes that the self is illusory and that social problems are interpretations. These four themes are common (but not universal) in ethnomethodological scholarship. Consequently, Liberman's work can be used as an instructive point of entry into that form of inquiry.