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Organizational Ethnography: Studying the Complexity of Everyday Life

by Sierk Ybema, Dvora Yanow, Harry Wels and Frans H Kamsteeg SAGE Publications Ltd
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Pbk 304 pages
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Much of the 'mystery' of organizational life is hidden in individuals' everyday communications and everyday practices. Ethnographic approaches provide in-depth and up-close understandings of how work is organized and how work organizes people in everyday organizational life.

Organizational Ethnography brings contributions from leading scholars in organizational studies that help to develop an ethnographic perspective on organizations and organizational research. The authors explore the special problematics faced by organizational ethnographers, from questions of gaining access to research sites to various styles of writing ethnography, the role of friendship relations in the field, ethical issues and standards for evaluating ethnographic work.

This book will be a useful resource for organizational scholars doing or writing ethnography in the field of business and management, public administration, education, health care, social work, or any related field.

Studying Everyday Organizational Life - Sierk Ybema, Dvora Yanow, Harry Wels and Frans Kamsteeg PART ONE: ETHNOGRAPHIC DOING AND WRITING Getting Going: Organizing Ethnographic Fieldwork - Kees van der Waal Ethnographic Practices: From 'Writing-up Ethnographic Research' to 'Writing Ethnography' - Michael Humphreys and Tony Watson Reading and Writing as Method: In Search of Trustworthy Texts - Peregrine Schwartz-Shea and Dvora Yanow When the 'Subject' and the 'Researcher' Speak Together: Co-producing Organizational Ethnography - Simon Down and Michael Hughes PART TWO: FAMILIARITY AND 'STRANGER-NESS' Making the Familiar Strange: A Case for Disengaged Organizational Ethnography - Sierk Ybema and Frans Kamsteeg Zooming In and Zooming Out: A Package of Method and Theory to Study Work Practices - Davide Nicolini From Participant Observation to Observant Participation - Brian Moeran At-home Ethnography: Struggling with Closeness and Closure - Mats Alvesson PART THREE: RESEARCHER-RESEARCHED RELATIONSHIPS Lies from the Field: Ethical Issues in Organizational Ethnography - Gary Alan Fine and David Shulman 'But I Thought We Were Friends?' Life Cycles and Research Relationships - Nic Beech, Paul Hibbert, Robert MacIntosh and Peter McInnes Critical Action Research and Organizational Ethnography - Chris Sykes and Lesley Treleaven Beyond Complicity: A Plea for Engaged Ethnography - Halleh Ghorashi and Harry Wels Annotated Bibliography Defining 'Organizational Ethnography': Selection Criteria - Dvora Yanow and Karin Geuijen Bibliography - Karin Geuijen

This timely collection constitutes essential reading for all organizational ethnographers interested in the ways in which their discipline is developing. Although it will primarily be used for reference on the basis of individual chapters, this is a well crafted text which maintains a strong narrative throughout Organization Journal

Whether one's background is in ethnography or organizations research, this volume is an excellent place to begin. With modest aims, it offers advice, guides, stories, and cautionary tales to which both students and experienced professionals can relate. Experienced researchers may find this book to be a useful teaching tool and occasional reference work. Highly recommended at all levels and to librariesCHOICE Magazine

The volume offers a fine introduction to interdisciplinary research...the book is of tremendous value precisely because of its reformulation of classic and perennial issues and problems of ethnography in a new setting...This is more than enough reason to assign the book for both undergraduate and graduate coursesOpen Anthropology Cooperative

The relationship between ethnography and the study of organizational settings is not an intuitive one, in that organizational ethnography is 'a relatively new term'...The collection of essays contained in the book is successful in explaining what links the two, and why an ethnographic perspective on organizations, by engaging with the everyday experiences of people, may be a fruitful starting point for understanding work...Competent, informed and detailedWork, Employment and Society

The editors have compiled a thought-provoking look at this method of research...The writing is vivid, engagingand humorous in places, using organizational ethnography itself as a means to illuminate the subject...Organizational Ethnography is an enjoyable read and an effective resource. It is helpful for researchers, students and practitioners in analyzing the culture of organizationsJournal of Occupational Science