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PracticingOrganizationalEthnography
DvoraYanow*,SierkYbema**,andMerlijnvanHulst***
*FacultyofSo Amsterdam
cialandBehavioralSciences,Universityof
D.Yanow@uva.nl[correspondingauthor]
**Faculty sterdam
ofSocialSciences,VUUniversityAm
***FacultyofLaw,TilburgUniversity
Toappearin
ThePrch:racticeofQualitativeOrganizationalResea
CoreMethodsandCurrentChallenges
GillianSymonandCatherineCassell,eds.
London:Sage(forthcomingWinter2011‐2012).
PartII:CoreMethodsofQualitativeInquiryinOrganizationalResearch
Ithnographyandorganizationalethnography:Anoverview
 ‘Ethnography’istypicallyusedtomeanthreethings.Itsliteralmeaning,fromthe
Greek,referstoaparticularkindofwriting:awrittenaccount(graphein)ofapeople
(ethnos).Thismeaninghasbeeneclipsedbytwoothers,especiallyasethnographyhas
beentakenupinsomedisciplinesoutsideofanthropology.Itssecondandmorecommon
usagereferstoasetofmethodsorresearchstrategy,alsocalledfieldresearchor
fieldwork:somecombinationofobservation,withwhateverdegreeofparticipation;
talkingtopeople(oftencalled‘interviewing’whentheformalitiesofsettingup
appointmentsareinvolved);andthestudyofmaterialartefacts,inallthreetounderstand
theirmeaningsforsituationalactors.Inorganizationalsettings,materialartefactstypically
includeresearchquestion‐relevanttexts(e.g.,annualreports,correspondence,internal
memos,cartoons/jokes/photosonofficedoorsandbulletinboards,webpages,andthe
.One
like).Inathirdsenseoftheterm,methodologistsareincreasinglypointingto
ethnography’sdistinctive‘sensibility’:anorientationtowardthesocialworld–actors,
(inter)actions,settings–andthematerialobjectsinitwhichfocusesonthecentralityof
meaningandmeaning‐makingtoresearchpractices.
 Inourview,ethnographyentailsallthreeofthese:aresearchprocessinvolving
fieldworkmethodsengagingtheextraordinary‐in‐the‐ordinarywithaparticularsensibility
towardsoftenmorehiddenorconcealedmeaning‐makingprocesses,reportedina
particularformofwritingthatplacesbothauthorandreaderatthescene,inthethickof
things,throughactor‐centredandcontext‐sensitiveanalysisandtheorizinggroundedin
layereddata(Ybemaetal.2009,ch.1).Asitspurposeistogivereadersasenseofwhat
‘life’islikeinthesettingunderstudy,ethnographycommonlyrestsonanin‐dwellingin
thatplace,typicallyinasituation‐specificrole.Thistypicallyrequiresprolonged
observationovertime(andperhapsoverdifferentspatiallocations;discussedbelow).Such
in‐dwellingrequiresethnographerstobethere,inthesetting,longenoughtobeableto
understandthecommonsense,everyday,unwrittenandunspoken,tacitlyknown‘rulesof
engagement’knowntosituational‘natives’,movingfrombeingmoreofastrangertothat
settingtobeingmoreofa‘familiar’inandwithit(whilerenderingit‘strange’againinthe
writing).Muchas‘beingthere’ineverydaylifeinvolvesengagingwiththoseone
encounters(familymembers,co‐workers,busdrivers,shopkeepers,etc.),ethnography
itselfismorethanasetofinterviews,entailingadegreeof‘livingwithandlivinglikethose
whoarestudied’(VanMaanen1988:2).Ethnographicfieldworkcanbedoneinavarietyof
waysandwithdifferingintensities(wethereforeseelittleuseinspecifyingaminimalfield
2
period),butittypicallyinvolvesmorethanflyinginandoutofthefieldforabrief,tourist‐
likevisit.Hence,wejoinwithBate(1997)indecryingtheuseof‘airplane’(quick,short‐
duration)ethnography,whetherbyconsultantsorbyacademics.Ethnographic‘being
there’becomesacharacteristicnotonlyofthefieldresearchbutofthewritingaswell:
layereddescriptionsofobjects,events,actors,andinteractionshelptocreateanonfictional
(albeitnecessarilyfabricated)accountoforganizationallifewhichplacesbothauthorand
eader
ownrolesinshapingthoseinterpretations.
 Lastly,althoughethnographyisthoughtbymanytohaveoriginatedin
anthropology,anhistoricalaccountofitsacademicoriginsshowsthattheyliein
administrativepractices,specificallyinempires’needstomanagefar‐flunganddistant
outposts.Hence,itmightbe’bettertoregardacademicanthropologyasaspecificinstance
ofethnographicpracticethantheotherwayaround’(Salemink2003,p.9).Those
organizationalethnographersnottrainedinanthropologydepartmentswhoareanxious
abouttheirmethodstrainingmanquéandbonafidescan,then,relinquishtheseconcerns
3
r atthescene. 
 Methodologicallyspeaking,ethnographicresearchcanbeinformedbyeitherrealist‐
objectivistorconstructivist‐interpretivistapproaches.Ethnographerscanseektodiscover
‘howthingsarereallydone’or‘whatreallyhappened’inaparticularorganizational
situation,inanontologicallyrealistfashion,seeingthemselvesasobjectiveobserversand
sense‐makers.Ortheycanproceedfromtheperspectivethatsocialrealitiesare
intersubjectivelyconstructed,seeingthemselvesasco‐constructorsandco‐interpretersof
themeaning(s)oforganizationaleventsalongwithsituationalmembers,reflectingontheir
andgettoworkondevelopingandarticulatingwhatorganizationalethnographyisor
shouldbe,drawingonarichheritageoforganizationalethnographicresearch,ranging
4
researcherstoexpect.
 Thedevelopmentfromthe1950sonofmainframecomputers,surveyresearch,
fromgovernmentbureaucraciestoschools,fromhospitalstocoalmines.
 Inwhatfollowswediscusstheusesofethnographyinorganizationalresearch,after
whichwepresentthreeexamplesofethnographicresearchtoillustratethepeculiar
problematicsoforganizationalethnography.Theseexamplesinformoursubsequent
iscussionofthemulti‐sited,reflexive,andrelationalcharacterofethnographicresearch.
d
Iinorganizationalresearch:Historicaltothepresent
 Organizationalethnographyenjoysalongheritage,acrossawiderangeof
organizationaltypesanddisciplinaryhomes.EltonMayo’s1920s‐1930sHawthornestudies
areacaseinpoint(e.g.,Mayo1933),asaretheclassic,late1940s‐early1960sin‐depth
analysesofthe‘informalorganization’,suchasWhyte(1948),Selznick(1949),Gouldner
(1954),Blau(1955),Dalton(1959),Goffman(1959/1983),Kaufman(1960),Roy(1960),
andCrozier(1964).Thesedetailedaccountsoforganizationallifebasedonfieldresearch
communicatethesenseof‘beingthere’amidstthesocialaspectsoforganizations,their
backstagepolitics,powergames,andotherunintended,non‐rational,andattimes
dysfunctionalconsequences.Thesestudies,organizationalethnographyavantlalettre,
upendedthepurportedly‘rational’organizingthatMaxWeber’sidealtypebureaucracy
theories,depictingformalorganizationsasefficientlyfunctioningmachines,hadled
I.Uses
5
statisticalscience,andbehaviouralisttheorieseclipsedethnographicapproaches,as
researchaimingtomeasureorganizationalstructures,contingencies,andbehavioursby
quantitativemeanscametodominateorganizationalstudies.Towardtheendofthe1970s,
agrowinguneasewithsuchquantificationandtheconcomitantneglectofsocialactors’
everydaypractices,livedexperiences,andprocessesofmeaning‐makinggenerateda
renewedinterestinqualitativemethods.Theoreticaldevelopmentsacrossthesocial
sciences,amongthemtheinterpretiveandlinguisticturns(e.g.,Geertz1973,Rabinowand
Sullivan1979,1985),alsodrovethesemethodologicalchanges.Notableamongthe
theoristsleadingthis‘methodologicalrenewal’inorganizationalstudiesisJohnVan
Maanen(e.g.,1979,1988,1995),whoseempiricalandmethodologicalworkboth
demonstratedandtheorizedtheplaceoforganizationalethnography.
 Firstmanifestedinstudiesoforganizationalsymbolismandculture,therenewed
attentiontoethnographyalsoinvigoratedolderfieldsofstudy,fromstrategytoleadership,
organizationaldesignandchangetoworkplacepractices,cross‐culturalcommunicationto
ethicsandnormativebehaviour(see,e.g.,Barley1983,Collinson1992,Delbridge1998,
Dubinskas1988,IngersollandAdams1992,Kondo1990,Orr1996,Rosen2000,Watson
1994,Yanow1996).Ethnographic(andotherqualitative)researchstrategieshave
increasinglybeencomingbackintoorganizationalstudies,invarioustheoreticalcontexts
(see,e.g.,Bate1997,MoreyandLuthans1987,Schwartzman1993;morerecently,Fine,
Morrill,andSurianarain2009,Neyland2008,PrasadandPrasad2002,andYbemaetal.
2009).Ethnographiesofpublicsectororganizationsarealsoreturning,joiningtheearlier
bureaucracyandpublicadministrationworkofBlau,Crozier,Kaufman,andSelznickcited
6
above(e.g.,Dubois2010,Stein2004),alongwithothersineducationalstudies,healthcare
studies
1.Sensitivitytohiddendimensionsoforganizationallife
,andotherfields.
Theintertwiningofethnographicmethodswithagrowinginterpretive
methodologicalawarenessmightbeseenashavingadvancedthestudyofparticular
organizationalstudiestopicsfrommore‘collective’,meaning‐focusedperspectives,among
themorganizationalculture,identityformation,andorganizationallearning(e.g.,Brown
andHumphreys2002,CookandYanow1993/2006,Kunda1992,Nicolinietal.2003),
arenaserstwhiledominatedbymorepositivistpsychologicalandsocial‐psychological
approaches.Fromthere,itwasnotabigleaptonarrativeordiscursiveapproaches(e.g.,
Ybema2010)ortothepracticestudies(e.g.,Orr1996,Miettinenetal.2009)thatjoin
activitytheoryandactor‐networktheory,bothdrawingonethnographicmethods.Apart
fromitsabilitytodepictthelivelinessoforganizationallife,organizationalethnography
promisestoelucidatetwoaspectsforwhichothermethods,suchassurveys,areless
suitable:(1)its“hidden”dimensions,and(2)itsactor‐contextrelations.
.Indrawingclosetosubjectsand
situations,organizationalethnographerscanpotentiallymakeexplicitoftenoverlooked,
tacitlyknownand/orconcealeddimensionsofmeaning‐making,amongthememotional
andpoliticalaspects.Innotingtherelativepoweroforganizationalactors,theirinterests
andtheirstrategies,ethnographiescanhaveadirect,critical,evenshockingquality,laying
bareotherwisehiddenandevenharshsocialrealitiesandexposingtheentanglementsof
culturewithpower.Fororganizationalmembers,suchexplicitdescriptionsofroutine,
taken‐for‐grantedwaysofthinkingandactingcanbebothfamiliarandsurprisingasthey
seethemselvesthroughtheethnographer’seyes.Inrevealingtheseaspectsof
organizationallife,suchethnographiesmayattimeschallengewhatorganizationalactors
wouldliketohearorreadaboutthemselvesandtheirorganizations.Whileofferingamuch
neededcriticalvoice,suchethnographiesalso,however,requireethnographerstoconsider
theirownposition,theirpositionality(discussedbelow),andtheethicalimplicationsof
7
theirwork.
2.Sensitivitytotheinterplaybetweenactorsandcontext.Secondly,organizational
ethnographycancontributetocurrentstructure‐agencydebatesinthesocialsciencesthat
continuetocarveuporganizationalstudies(Reed2006),asitcombinesanorientation
towardsubjectiveexperienceandindividualagencywithsensitivitytothebroadersocial
settingsandthehistoricalandinstitutionaldynamicsinwhichtheseareembedded.
Alternatingclose‐upsofactors,situationsandinteractionswithbroaderviewsthatsketch
widersocialandhistoricalcontexts,powerrelations,andmeta‐discourses,ethnography
‘seestheworldinagrainofsand’(slightlyparaphrasingWilliamBlake),exploringand
exemplifyingthegeneralthroughthelocalandtheparticular.Thecombinationof
contextualanalysiswithanactor‐centredapproachpromisestoremedythe‘ahistorical,
acontextualandaprocessual’qualitiesofmuchoforganizationalstudies(Pettigrew,quoted
nBate1997:1155).
i
[Tocopyeditor:linebreaklefthereintentionally;nextpara.isnotcontinuationof
previousone]
 Ethnography’sresearchtechniquestakeonparticularforminmeetingthespecific
demandsofmanagementandotherorganizationalsettings.Forone,researcherscannot
countonwalkinginonanexecutiveunannounced,andsoethnographic‘talk’oftenincludes
formalinterviews.Mintzberg’s‘structuredobservation’(1970),analternativetothediary
studiesusedatthetime,addeddirectobservationtothestudyofmanagers.Wolcott’s
(1973)‘shadowing’(ofaschoolprincipal)isyetanotherwaytoobserveorganizational
1.Collectiveidentityformationamongnewspapereditors
8
leadersethnographically.
 Thevarietyofethnographicstudiesoforganizationsandorganizingisreflectedin
ourownfieldwork.Wedrawonthreeofthese,conductedindifferentperiodsandin
differentcontexts,toillustratetheattributesoforganizationalethnographydiscussed
above,itsrange,anditssensitivitytothehiddendimensionsoforganizationallifeaswellas
totheinterplaybetweencontextsandactors.Thesestudiesalsolaytheempirical
groundworkforoursubsequentdiscussionofthreecurrentissuesrelevantto
organizationalethnography:(1)multi‐sitedresearchinwhichfieldworkersfollowactions,
actorsandartefacts;(2)highlyreflexiveresearchwithrespecttoknowledgeclaims;and
3)highlyrelationalresearchthattreatsparticipantsasco‐researchers.
(
III.Threeexamples
(SierkYbema)
 Theveryfirstdayofmy1997and1998fieldworkintheeditorialroomsoftwo
DutchnationalnewspapersstartedwiththedailymeetingofTrouw’seditorialstaffatthe
endofthemorning(Ybema2003).Later,Ilearnedthatthesemeetingsusuallytookless
9
than30minutesandwerefrequentedbynomorethan10editors.Thistime,however,the
roomwasstuffed,all25seatstaken,atleastanother25editorssittingontablesonthe
sidesorleaningagainstthewalls.Aprolongeddebateensuedaboutafront‐pagearticlein
thatmorning’snewspaperwhichhadoutragedalargenumberofeditors.IfIwastruly
interestedinidentity,Ihadfoundmybreadbutteredonbothsides,editorsassuredme
afterwards.Followingthesediscussionsgavemeabeelinerightintothemiddleofthe
newspaper’sinternaldebatesaboutitsidentityandthusintothemoreorlessconcealed
power‐andemotion‐riddendimensionsofmeaning‐making.Detaileddescriptionsofritual
gatheringsinorganizationalsettings,suchasChristmascelebrations(Rosen2000)or
informationalmeetings(Alvesson1996;seealsoSchwartzman1993),wereinthebackof
mymindwhenIdecidedtofocusmyresearchontheheateddiscussioninthiseditorial
meetingand,subsequently,tofollowtheformingofopiniononthatday’sopeningarticlein
conver
sations,ontheintranet,andinformalandinformalget‐togethers.
Processesofde‐ideologizationinDutchsociety,alongwiththeprofessionalizationof
journalism,fromthe1960sonwardsandtheslowbutgradualdecreaseofnewspaper
readershipinthe1990shadcreatedaproblemofidentityandimageforthosenewspapers
thathaddrawninspirationfromtheirreligiousorpoliticalroots.Thisideologicaland
‘reputational’crisischallengededitorsoftheoriginallyProtestantnewspaperTrouwand
thepoliticallyleft‐wingdeVolkskranttorethinktheiroveralldirection,refashionthe
papers’profiles,andtherebyfundamentallyreconsidertheorganizationalidentityofeach.
Iwasinterestedinthisintenseprocessofrenewedmeaning‐making,askinghowthat
collectiveidentitycametoberepresentedintheeverydaydiscourseofnewspapereditors
nowth
attheseinstitutionswerecutloosefromtheirideologicalmoorings.
ThroughouttheresearchI‘followed’particularissues,events,persons,andtexts.
ShadowingtheDayChiefand,subsequently,theNightChiefintheearlyweeksofmy
fieldwork,forinstance,providedanexcellent,16‐hour‐longintroductionintotheeditorial
processandthetime‐pressures,groupsofprofessionals,andcontentdemandsitinvolved.
Identitydiscoursewascommonlypresentineverydaydiscussionsaboutactualpractices
andnewspapercontents,andIcloselyfolloweddebatesaboutparticularidentity‐sensitive
(andheavilydiscussed)issues,suchasthatfront‐pagearticleatTrouworthejournalistic
‘profile’ofthenewweeklyVolkskrantmagazine.Usingthediscursiveinteractionsover
theseissuesastableauxvivantinmywritingandtreatingthemasa‘totalsocialfact’
(Mauss1990[1925])–acomprehensivesocialeventthatopensupwindowsonarangeof
relatedmicro‐eventsandbroadercontingencies–allowedmetotracethedifferentthreads
–professional,political,ideological,commercial–oftheprocessofidentityformation
knottedtogetherintheseissuesorincidents.Followingissues,events,persons,andtexts
onthemoveallowedmeinmyresearchnarrativetoprovideaviewof‘theinside’or,more
accurately,themultipleinsidesofidentityformationprocesses,whilesimultaneously
sketchingthewidercontextsinwhichthese‘insides’wereembedded(thesecondaspectof
organizationalethnographydescribedabove).InSergioLeonefilmicfashion,Ialternated
‘extremeclose‐ups’that‘zoomin’onpersons‐in‐(inter)action,withtheirdetailedfacial
expressions,gestures,talk,andintonation,with‘wide‐angle’or‘longshots’that‘zoomout’
andshowpanoramicviewsofinstitutionalcontexts,historicalbackgrounds,power
relations,andsocietaldiscourses(cf.Nicolini2009).
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11
Influencedbythe‘linguisticturn’inthesocialsciencesandorganizationalstudies’
growinginterestinidentityissues,Iadoptedadiscourseanalyticalapproach.Havingread
literaturethattheorizessocial,ethnic,andorganizationalidentitiesintermsofcontinuity,
distinctivenessandcohesion,includingdescribingorganizationalmembers’firm
positioningofasharedandstablecollectiveselfvis‐à‐viscompetitorsorclients,Iwas
surprisedtonoticethateditorsdidnottrytorestoreorshoreuptheirprecarious,non‐
cohesive,collectiveselves.Instead,theyclaimedthatneithertheideologicalcontentof
theirnewspapernorthesymbolicboundariesbetweendifferentnewspaperscoulddefine
theircollectiveidentityinaclear,unifying,historicallyconsistentway.Ratherthanimpress
anoutsideworldofcompetitors,readersorthegeneralpublicbymakingself‐praising
comparisonswith‘others’(asisusuallydescribedintheidentityliterature),theeditors
emphasizedhistoricaldiscontinuities,theincreasingindistinctivenessofthenewspaper
vis‐à‐visitscompetitors,andtheloomingdangeroflosingthecompetitionwiththose
‘others’.Acondensedexplanationforwhytheeditorsengagedinthisunexpectedrhetoric
restsontheirfeltneedtostressthedramaofthesituation,toexpresstheirhopesandfears,
ndtosellachangeprocessortoresistit(Ybema2010).
emakinginlocalgovernment
a
2.Sens (MerlijnvanHulst)
Betweentheendof2003andthebeginningof2006,Iconductedethnographic
fieldworkintwoDutchmunicipalities(vanHulst2008a).Ihadnoformalpositioninthe
localgovernmentsunderstudy,butmyresearchroleandworkweresupportedbythe
administratorsandannouncedinalettertomunicipalemployeesandcouncilmembers.
Eachmunicipalityprovidedadeskandaccesstoalmostallmeetingsandarchives.After
awhileIbegantositinontheweeklymeetingsofeachboardofaldermenwiththeir
respectivemayors.Thisgaveme,ontheonehand,anoverviewofthingshappeningineach
placeand,ontheother,asortoffieldworkrhythm.IneachmunicipalityIdecidedtozoom
inontwopoliticalandadministrativeprocessesthatpeopleIspoketoregardedashighly
relevan
ferentgroupsandindividualsmadetheirowninterpretationsofevents.
Beinginthefieldopeneddoorstoallkindsofdataanddatasourcesthatwould
otherwisehavebeenhardtoget.Theseincludedmeetingsthatwereclosedtothegeneral
public,informaldocuments,likeleafletsorhandwrittenspeeches,andunplannedcasual
conversationsatthephotocopymachine.InbothmunicipalitiesIobtainedcopiesofalarge
numberandvarietyofdocuments:agendasandminutesofmeetings,policydocuments,
politicians’speeches,localandregionalnewspaperarticles,textsonmunicipality
webpages,materialsonpoliticalparties’websites,politicalpamphlets,andpolitical
programs.Inaddition,Ihadmanyconversationswithactorsinvolvedinorknowledgeable
12
ttothatmunicipality.
Althoughthefieldworkwashostedbyformalorganizations,thelocalbureaucracies
ofthetwotowns,myfocusonsense‐makingprocessestookmebeyondtheboundariesof
theseorganizations.Iobservedmeetingsofthemunicipalities’managementteams,mostof
thetowncouncilmeetings,andmanymeetingsofthevariouscouncilcommittees.In
additiontomeetingstakingplacewithinthemunicipalities,Ibecameinterestedin
presentationsofplanstomembersofthepublicoutsidethetownhalls.Ialsovisited
meetingsofpoliticalparties,soundingboards,andaneighbourhoodcommitteetofindout
howdif
13
abouttheissuesunderstudy.Thecharacter,duration,timeandlocationofthese
conversationsdiffered.Mosttypicalweretheshortchatsinthehallwaysofthetownhalls
beforeoraftermeetingsandduringbreaks,longerconversationsduringlunchesand
dinners,andformal,open‐endedinterviewsinofficesandatpeople’shomes.Requiring
manyhoursinthefield,ethnographicfieldworkplacesdemandsontheresearcher’ssocial
andimprovisationalskills.Overall,ethnographicfieldworkofferedthepossibilityof
personallyexperiencingeventstakingplaceandprocessesunfolding(seealsovanHulst
2008b),andobservationmadeitpossibletogeneratedatathatwouldhavebeen
imposs
ibletofindindocumentsandhardtogatherthroughinterviewingalone.
Onatheoreticallevel,thefieldworkenabledmetomovefrom‘culture’to‘narrative’.
Myinitialresearchpuzzlehadconcernedcultureinlocalgovernment.WhenIstudied
organizationalanthropologyinthesecondhalfofthe1990s,theconceptofcultureas
somethingsharedandstablewasnolongertheonlyviewinorganizationalstudies.
However,explainingthistopublicadministrationresearchersandpoliticalscientists,
especially,wasnotalwayseasy,duetotheirdisciplines’differentorientations.Following
organizationalscientistslikeLindaSmircich(1983),Idefinedorganizationalcultureasa
processofsense‐making.WhilewritingabouttheissuesIstudiedinthefirsttown,
however,Istumbleduponaconceptthatwasevenmorehelpfulin‘seeing’whatwasgoing
onthere:storytelling.AsIenteredmysecondfieldworkperiod,thatconcepthelpedme
understandmoreclearlyhowtheexperiencesIencounteredduringvariousformsof
observation,conversationandreadingconnectedpeopleinthefieldtoeachother,aswell
asmyselfasresearchertothefield.
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3.Implementingpublicpoliciesthroughorganizations(DvoraYanow)
 Between1972‐1975IworkedinaseriesofrolesintwoCommunityCenters,partof
agovernmentcorporationinIsrael,intwodifferenttowns,returningin1980‐81for6
months’follow‐upobservation,interviewing,anddocumentanalysisfromabaseadjacent
tothenationalheadquarters(Yanow1996).Bothtownswereimmigranttownsremote
fromurbancenters,andtheagency’sraisond’êtrewastoprovidenon‐formaleducational
andculturalactivities–language,cooking,andphotographycourses,folkdancing,tennis,
etc.–leadingtoresidents’integrationintothestateandadoptionofitsnationalcultural
ethos.AsaCommunityOrganizer,myfirstrole,apositionfundedbytheHousingMinistry,
mysupervisorineachCenterhadmemapeachtownanditsneighbourhoods,notingthe
typeandconditionofhousingandinfrastructure(poorlighting,badsewerage,uncollected
garbage),thelocationsofservices(thetownhallanditsdepartments;banks,grocery
stores,markets,synagogues;youth,sports,union,andotherkindsofclubsandsocialhalls;
andsoon),andresidents’demographiccharacteristics(yearofimmigration,ethnicgroup,
familysize,ages,etc.).AtonepointIbecameActingDirectorofthesecondCenter,
subsequentlybecomingdirectoroftwodepartments.Ialsobecameamemberofthe
corporation’snationaladvisorygroup,givingmeanoverviewofthelargeroperation.When
Ireturnedforthefollow‐upstudy,itwasasanon‐participatingobserver.
 Myresearchquestiongrewoutoftheinitialexperience:whywasitsodifficultfor
mycommunityorganizercolleaguesandmyselftoaccomplishinthefieldwhatwethought
wehadaclearnationalmandatefor?Myundergraduatebackgroundinpoliticalscienceled
15
metoframemyresearchasapolicyimplementationstudy,astheCommunityCenterswere
implementingnationalpublicpolicy.Tounderstandimplementation,Ineededtoknow
somethingaboutorganizations,theentitieschargedwithputtingpolicyintopractice.Yet
existingimplementationandorganizationaltheories,emphasizingrational‐technical
decision‐makingandinstrumentalgoal‐setting,didnothelpmeunderstandmyownlived
experience.USsocialscienceswerethenopeninguptosciencestudies,hermeneuticsand
phenomenology,andwhatcametobecalled‘theinterpretiveturn’,andthesereadings(e.g.,
Kuhn1962/1970,BergerandLuckmann1966,Geertz1973)ledmetoothersinsymbolic‐
culturalanthropologyandthephilosophyof(social)science.Icametoseetheeventsand
circumstancesIwasstudyingasentailingthecommunicationofpolicyandorganizational
meaningsthroughlanguage(especiallytheorganization’snameandanorganizational
metaphor),materialobjects(thecenterbuildingsandtheirdesignandprograms),andacts
(organizationalritualsandtheirmyth‐likecomponents).Implementation,Isaw,was
enabledorconfoundedbyoverlapsordifferencesbetweenpolicyandorganizational
founders’andleaders’intendedmeanings,embeddedinandcommunicatedthroughthose
elements,andtownresidents’andothers’own‘readings’ofthoseelementsandtheir
meanings.
 Giventheresearchfocusonmeaning,Icannotimagineconductingthestudyinany
otherway.Mytheorizinggrewoutoftheobservations,experiences,readings,and
conversationsthatIhadonsite,informedbyknowledgeoftheorganization’shistoryand
sociopoliticalcontextandbythetheoreticalliterature’sdebates.Experienceinthefirst
Centeraddedacomparativeangle.Without‘beingthere’,experiencingtheorganization,
thetowns,theirphysicallayoutandproblems,andtheirresidents’waysoflife,Iwould
nothaveunderstoodthefounder’sstatementthatthe‘communitycenterwouldbea
functionalsupermarket’–Ineededtoknowwhat‘supermarket’meanttopeoplethereat
thattimetounderstanditsmeaningincommunitycenterterms.AsIwasinterestedin
present‐dayproblems,historical‐archivalanalysis,whileengaging,wouldhavebeen
insufficient,evenwithinterviews;norwouldasurveyhaveenabledmetoexplorethe
relational
 Theseresearchexamplesilluminatethreeissuesonthemethodologicaltabletoday:
ethnography‘s‘multi‐sitedness’;reflexivity,includingontheresearcher’spositionality;and
theintrinsicallyrelationalcharacterofethnographicfieldwork.
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meaning‐focusedquestionsIwasinterestedin.
 Thedisadvantageswerepersonal,ratherthanmethods‐relatedinthenarrowsense.
Beingonlocationinremotesettings,letalone‘foreign’ones,forextendedperiodsoftime,
separatedfromfamilyandfriendsandone’sfamiliarwayofliving,isnoteasy.The
literaturehasnotspokenmuchoftheemotionalstrainofprolongedfieldresearch(butsee
OrtbalsandRincker2009),letaloneofthesexualandotherphysicalaspectsthatcanpose
‘challenges’–relationshipsbetweenresearchersandresearched;harassmentoffemale
researchers;being‘out’inthefield(seeLewinandLeap1996);mobilityandother
problemsof‘wheelchairedness’(MikeDuijn,personalcommunication,2009);theaging
ieldresearcherandotherbodily,emotional,mentalorsociallimitations.
f
IV.Contemporaryissuesinorganizationalethnography:Multisited,reflexive,and
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1.‘Multi‐sited’ethnography.Thesettingsoftraditionalethnographyhadadistinctive
character:thelocationswererelativelybounded–orappearedthatway.Morerecently,
anthropologistshavestartedspeakingof‘multi‐sited’ethnography,itsmarking
underscoringthedifferenceinthisconceptualization.Ourexamplessuggest,however,that
inorganizationalethnography,multi‐sitednessisthenorm;itmayevenbeoneofits
distinctivecharacteristics,asorganizationalethnographerstypicallyfollowactors,actions,
artefacts,andtheideastheyembodyandreflect.Followingthesetravellingideas,persons,
andsoforthleadsresearcherstodifferentorganization‐relatedsites,especiallywhen
conceivingoforganizationsasloosely‐coupledsystems,inter‐organizationalfieldsor
networks.WeseethisinYbema’sfollowingofthenewspapereditors’work,decisions,
rituals,rumours,discussionsandthereport,newlogo,frontpage,product,etc.;invan
Hulst’sfollowingofactorsandactsbothinternalandexternaltothemunicipalities;andin
Yanow’strailingofself‐containedCentersandtheparentorganization,aswellasof
oversightministries,fundingagenciesandoverseasdonorsandideas.Orr(1996)followed
copiertechniciansvisitingclientsandmeetingcolleaguesinmultiplelocationsfarfromthe
corporation’scentraloffice.Indeed,such‘following’canmaketheresearchprocessseemto
meander,challengingtheresearchertotravelwithortrailissues,personsortextsto
variouslocations.Evenifoneremainswithinthewallsofasingleorganization,‘mapping’
acrossitsdepartmentsandhierarchicallevelsoneisperforceengagedina‘multi‐sited’
tudy.
s
1
2.Reflexivityandpositionality
8
.Reflexivity,includingontheresearcher’s‘positionality’,is
increasinglycentraltoethnographicresearch,inparticularthatinformedbya
constructivist‐interpretivistmethodologyinwhichresearcher‘objectivity’isnot[assumed
tobe]present.Thiscastsinheightenedreliefthematterof‘truthclaims’andwhat
positivist‐informedresearchcallstheir‘validity’and‘reliability’.Asthoseterms
encapsulatethenotionthatresearchcanmirrortheworldbeingobserved,theyareless
appropriateforassessingresearchthatproceedsfromaconstructivist‐interpretivist
perspective.Ratherthanseeingdataasexistingindependentlyoftheresearcher,waitingin
‘thefield’tobediscovered,interpretiveethnographerslookathowhappenstanceshaped
theiraccesstovariousorganizationalparts,persons,documents,etc.Thetruthclaims
questionpivotstohowbothdataandanalysesweregeneratedanddeveloped,requiring
reflectivetransparencyonresearchers’positionalityintwosenses:their‘geographic’
locationwithintheorganization,andtheirdemographiccharacteristics,eitherofwhich
mightshapeaccessandsight,enablingsomethingswhilelimitingothers.Ratherthan
seeingthemselvesasobjective,uninvolveddiscoverersofpre‐existingdata,interpretive
ethnographersseethemselvesasactivelyinvolvedinthe(co‐)constructionofthosedata,
andtheyseetheirnarrativesasalsoconstructingtheorganizational‘realities’theyreport.
Whilereflectingonthesematterscouldcertainlybepartofthefieldresearchitself,such
reflexivityisprimarilymarshalledonthewrittenpage.
 Location‐basedpositionalityisamatterofparticularconcerninorganizational
ethnography,giventhelinksbetweenhierarchy,knowledge,andpower.Researcherswho
immersethemselvesin‘beingthere’makethemselvesmorelikelytobeassociatedwithor
19
drawnintoaparticularperspective.TheCommunityCenterstudy’ssecondphase
illustratesonedimensionofthisproblematic:perceivingYanowas‘comingfromagency
Headquarters’becauseshewaslocatednearby,localCenterstaffattimestreatedthe
researchvisitasanopportunitytoputaparticularfaceonwhatwassaidandshown,
thinkingitawaytoconveymessagestotheCEO(despitethefactthatshehadnosuch
accesstohim).Inthenewspapercase,positionalitywasinterpretedinprofessionalterms:
somejournalistsseemedhighlysuspiciousthatYbemawouldwanttomakeheadlineswith
hisresearch,injournalisticfashion.Toovercomethis,hepositionedhimselfassomeone
notinterestedinheadlinesandscoops,whose(academic)bookwouldnotbeoutforat
leastayeartocome(whichmadethemmorecooperative,albeitpuzzledatthevalueof
such‘outdated’data).ForvanHulst,akindoflocationalpositionalityemergedinoneboard
meetingwhencivilservantswereaskedtoleavetheroomsothatboardmemberscould
haveaprivateconversation.Ashepackedhisethnographer’sgeartoleave,too,oneofthe
boardmembersannounced:‘Researcher‐of‐the‐administrationstays’.Whileexperiencing
thisasbothsurpriseandhonour,vanHulstnotedthetrickinessofsuchapositioning,
whichmightaffecthisabilitytotakeacriticalstancetowardthoseinpower.Geographic
positionalitycanalsobeamatterofthe(in)sightaffordedbydifferentlocations,asPachirat
(2009)documentswithhispromotionfromslaughterhousefloortoQualityControl.
 Initsdemographicsense,positionalityentailsthegender,race‐ethnic,class,age,
sexuality,andothercharacteristicsthatcanaffectaresearcher’saccesstocertainsituations
and/or(categoriesof)persons,others’sense‐makingoftheresearcher,andthe
researcher’sabilitytounderstandothers’experiences.Shehata(2006),forinstance,
documentshowhisbirthplace,educationalattainment,socio‐economicbackground,
gender,andreligiousaffiliationshapedhowhewasperceivedontheshopfloor,whathe
wasallowedtodoandkeptfromdoing,andthekindsofsettingshecouldandcouldnot
enter.Interpretiveethnographersareincreasinglyexpectedtoprovidegreater
transparencyconcerningtheirmethodsandtheirpositionality,inallsensesoftheterm,as
wayofsupportingthetruthclaimstheyadvance.
20
a
3.‘ButIthoughtwewerefriends?!’andotherissuesintherelationalcharacterofresearch.
Explicitrecognitionoftherelationalcharacteroffieldworkisincreasing,andalongwithit
bothethicalandmethodologicalimplications.Tobeginwith,ethnographersnegotiate
‘access’totheirresearchsites;butwhereasthistraditionallywasseenasakindof
‘knockingontheadministrativeand/orchief’sdoor’,todayitisincreasinglyseenasa
matterofestablishingandsustainingrelationshipsovertime.Thismakesaccessmorethan
aone‐shotpermissionalactivity,astheessaysinFeldmanetal.(2003)makeclear.
Moreover,fieldwork‘friendships’requirecare,includingmakingdecisionsabouthow
instrumentallytotreatthosewhomresearchersencounterorseekoutintheconductofthe
research:thereisadifferencebetweenconceivingofsituationalactorsaspropertiesofthe
researcher(‘my’informants)andtreatingtheminBuberian‘I‐Thou’fashion.Whatwill
happentofieldworkrelationshipswhentheresearcherconcludeshis/hertimeinthefield?
Andwhatslightsorbetrayalsmightbringasituationalmembertoexclaim,inangerand/or
anguish,‘ButIthoughtwewerefriends?!’(Beechetal.2009).
 Asecondaspectoftherelationalcharacterofethnographicresearchlinksto
21
epistemologicalconcerns:theresearcher’sneedtobecomeasfamiliaraspossiblewiththe
localcultureinordertounderstanditsworkings,whilemaintainingenough
epistemological‘stranger‐ness’thatrecognitionofthecommonsense,theeveryday,the
unspoken/unwritten,andthetacitretainsitsanalyticpurchase(see,e.g.,Ybemaand
Kamsteeg2009).Thewaysofknowingandkindsofknowledgeentailedinthisbalancing
havebeencalledemic/etic(seeHeadland,Pike,andHarris1990),insider/outsider(e.g.,
BartunekandLouis1996),experience‐near/experience‐distant(Geertz1973).ForYbema,
forinstance,workingtoremainarelative‘outsider’tothenewspaperandtopreservesome
oftheinitialsurprisewasasimportantasworkingtobecomean‘insider’andtoachieve
immersion.Thelongtimeittookhimtounderstandtheimplicationsofhisobservations
wasfrustrating,butitwasonlythroughtakingseriouslyhisownbewildermentthatnew
insight
semerged.
Someconfusionhasdeveloped,however,particularlyinorganizationalstudies,
concerningwhatitmeanstobean‘insider’asaresearcher.Istheaimtrulytoloseone’s
‘outsider’status?Isthatevenconceivable?Theontologicalpossibilityoforganizational
‘outsiders’becoming‘insiders’astheyseektoaddlocal,emicknowledgetotheory‐rooted
eticknowledgeisfarmorefraughtthanhasbeenacknowledgedtodate.Insider/outsider
objectifieslocal‘informants’,treatingthemasameanstowardtheresearcher’sendsin
waysthatnullifytherelationalcharacteroffieldresearch.Ontheepistemologicalsideof
things,emic/eticreifiesthenotionthat‘local’knowledgeand‘theoretical’knowledgeare
separatekinds.Ininteraction,thetwotermpairsnegatethehermeneutic‐
phenomenologicalnotionthatknowledge,orunderstanding,isco‐createdininteraction
betweenresearchersandtheirsituationalpartners,neitherofwhomcanbecomethe
other(withthepossibleexceptionof‘nativeanthropologists’,Narayan1993;Nenceland
anow2008).Onthis,furthertheorizingiscalledfor.
22
Y
Vorganizationalethnography?.Why 
 Toconclude,weengagethematterofwhatmightleadanorganizationalresearcher
toundertakeanethnographicstudy.Currentmethodologicaldebatesoftenstipulatethat
thechoiceofmethodshouldbedrivenbytheresearchquestion,ratherthanviceversa.
Althoughinsympathywiththisargument,wethinkitshortchangesthematterinimplying
thatmethodsarechoseninanentirelyrationalfashion.Ourownresearchandteaching
experiencessuggest,instead,thatresearchquestionsandmethodsaremuchmore
mutuallyconstituted–andattimesaresointricatelyboundupwitheachotherastobe
inseparable.Oursenseofthislinksstronglytothethirdunderstandingofethnography
namedintheopeningsection.
 Anethnographicsensibilityisnotsomethingthataresearcherjustsetsaside;
neitherisitsomethingthatonepicksupasonewouldselectamethodfroma‘toolbox’,a
commonmetaphorinmethodstextbooks.Atleastoneofuswouldwanttosaythather
question‐methodspacketchoseher,ratherthanviceversa–meaningthattheir
developmentwasintertwined,aswellasbeinglinkedtoher(unspoken)proclivities.For
anotherofus,traininginsurveyresearchandstatisticalanalyseshadprovidedlittle
knowledgeofotherresearchtraditions;still,hewasstronglydrawntoprocessesof
meaning‐makingandorganizationalpowergames,believingthesenotionswouldhelphim
2
understandwhat‘actually’wentonintheorganizationhewasstudying.Thispredilection
formeaning‐focusedresearchandqualitativemethodswasalsoinspiredbyopportunity
(goodaccesstoinnerdecision‐makingcircles)andsituation(strongdisagreements
3
surfacinginthefieldwhichwerehardtoignore).
 Althoughthispositionmaybeinkeepingwithahermeneutic‐phenomenological
stance,itisdrivennotbyourphilosophicalpresuppositionsbutbyourlivedexperiences,
asbothresearchersandteachers,inwhichwehaveseenpeople,ourselvesincluded,drawn
toframingresearchquestionsinparticularwaysthatcallonparticularmethodsbecauseof
waysofseeingandknowingthatprecededtheresearchproject,reflectingsomethingmuch
deeperthanarational‐instrumentalchoiceoftool.
Ethnographicresearchisacomplexpractice.Althoughreadingaboutorganizational
ethnographyandreadingwell‐writtenorganizationalethnographiescandefinitelyhelp
researchersbecomegoodethnographers,itspracticeislargelylearnedthroughthedoing–
inthefield–asoneexperiencesanddevelopsacertainsensibilityfororganizational
ethnographyitself.Thissuggeststhatadiscussionofethnography’sadvantages‐
disadvantagesismisplacedtotheextentthatitrestsonthoseveryrationalconsiderations
andchoicesthatwethinkdonotwelldescribetheresearchexperience.Organizationaland
otherscholarsneed,instead,toknowwhatethnographicmethodsdowellandlesswelland
perhapstofocusmoreonenablingstudentsandcolleaguestorecognizetheirownpersonal
strengthsandlimitationsandhowthosemightplayoutintheconductofethnographic
search.
re

24
A
Vfurtherreading
 Attentiontoorganizationalethnographyhasrecentlytakenoff,garneringattention
throughworkshops,conferences,journalspecialissues,andmethods‐focusedbooks,
leadingustoanticipateasurgeinmonographs.Kunda(1992)andOrr(1996)remainthe
mostcitedasleadingexemplarsofthegenre.Forintroductionstoorganizational
ethnographicmethodsandmethodologicalconcerns,seeNeyland(2007),Kostera(2007),
andYbemaetal.(2009).Thefirsttwoofthesefocusmoreonmethods,conveying
somethingofthe‘howto’ofethnographicresearch,withintroductorychaptersonculture,
ethnography,andorganizations(Kostera)andtreatmentsofthewholeresearchprocess
illustratedbyvariousorganizationalethnographies(Neyland).Thethirdismore
methodologicalinorientation;itbothintroducesandcriticallydiscussesvariouspractices
inorganizationalethnography,tacklingkeychallengesandmethodological,analytical,
(re)presentational,ethical,andsocialproblematicsthatariseinthedoingandwritingof
organizationalethnography.Foranoverviewofethnography’spastandpotential
contributionstoorganizationalstudies,seeFineetal.(2009).Whilenotspecificto
organizationalstudies,Atkinsonetal.(2001)isanoutstandingcollectionofessayson
ethodologicalissuesofconcerntoorganizationalethnographers.
I.For
m
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... A variety of methodologies have been used to investigate practice. Ethnography(Gheradi & Nicolini, 2003;Hopwood, 2013;Nicolini, 2006;Yanow & Schwartz- Shea, 2006;Yanow, Ybema & van Hulst, 2012;Ybema, Keenoy, Oswick, Beverungen, Ellis & Sabelis, 2009), in which the researcher describes and interprets the shared and learning patterns of values, behaviour, beliefs and language of a culture-sharing group ...
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A growing concern in studies of internationalisation relates to Chinese students studying in the West. In business studies, Chinese students are the largest cohort of international undergraduates. Areas of concern include differences in learning styles, language and socio-cultural barriers. Institutionally, learning is considered to occur when students can demonstrate the learning outcomes achieved and learning is assured against learning criteria. However, research has shown the limitation of this view or what Hagar et al (Hager, Lee & Reich, 2012) term the dominant paradigm of learning and that learning occurs in many forms (Boud, 2006; Stone, Boud & Hager, 2011). There is an absence of discussion about how learning actually occurs, or the practices that Chinese students use in order to learn. Drawing on Hager and Hodkinson's (2011) use of becoming as a metaphor for learning, this thesis aims to examine the experience and practices of Chinese business students studying in an Australian university. The principle research question focuses on the contribution that a practice-based study makes to investigations of undergraduate Chinese business student learning in an Australian university. Drawing on a practice theoretical framework influenced by the Chinese philosophical concept of Yinyang, and a practice methodology, the research is an in-depth investigation of the everyday practices used by five Chinese business undergraduate students to support their learning. The study uses interpretative methods including interviews, observations, reflexive groups, document analyses, collections of artefacts and field notes. The findings demonstrate how students put things together in different ways that are inseparable from their becoming. Study practices, such as memorising and translating are used by students together with socio-cultural practices. Study and socio-cultural practices are entangled in multiple relationships usefully described using Yinyang concepts (Wang, 2012). The findings highlight how student learning occurs, or becomes, as they adapt and adopt what they see as appropriate study and sociocultural practices in different contexts. A practice-based approach, with the inclusion of the notion of Yinyang, can help explain the tensions and contradictions of students’ performance as learners and the process of becoming that makes up their learning journey. Many institutional and historical tensions and contradictions shape students’ learning practices. I conclude that Chinese students’ learning is characterised by complexity and that the possibility and impossibility of Chinese students’ learning is inseparable from particular practices, settings and arrangements. The implications for students and teachers are that learning cannot be pinpointed in a static snapshot but is better understood as a constant process of becoming and that institutions and teachers need to be able to deal with complexity when supporting students by developing appropriate curricula and structures.
... As a research approach, ethnography requires researchers to immerse themselves in the research setting and become open and sensitive to the context, actors, and interactions taking place (Ybema et al. 2009). This means incorporating diverse methods of fieldwork and embodied knowing to understand the often-hidden aspects of organization and culture (Yanow, Ybema, and Van Hulst 2012). Hence, the ethnographic approach is neither subjective nor objective; rather, it is an interpretative act of social reality (Gaggiotti, Kostera, and Krzyworzeka 2017). ...
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How can artistic intervention facilitate empathic engagement with work-related uncertainty in postgraduate management education? To examine this, we theorize artistic intervention as creating an interspace of temporarily suspended organizational norms through which empathy as relational knowing can emerge between participants. Drawing on an ethnographic study entitled Becoming in Academia, a nine-month artistic intervention conducted by a group of doctoral students in a Nordic business school (NBS), this paper highlights how an interspace for empathic engagement with work-related uncertainty was created by the participants through three intervention activities: aligning oneself to the other, narrating a collective validation, and acknowledging the agency of the other. In contributing to arts-based management education research, the paper theorizes and empirically elaborates on empathic knowing as emerging from activities of artistic intervention, opening an interspace, and providing new insight into arts-based methods as means for engaging with uncertainty within management education.
... The researcher is both an observer and an actor. There is a thin line between becoming almost a member of the community, thereby experiencing the nuances of the context and the behaviour of the members, and, at the same time, preserving enough "strangeness" to analyse each situation with objectivity (Yanow, Ybema & Van Hulst, 2012). This is the in-between space that I navigated during my fieldwork. ...
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There is an urgent need to reduce the energy consumed by urban households. Despite current investments in energy efficient technologies, energy consumption continues to increase in cities. This thesis moves beyond the efficiency paradigm and its emphasis on reducing energy consumption, to understand instead how urban households’ energy demand can be challenged and reduced. How people frame their energy practices (driving, eating a hamburger, flying for work or leisure, etc.) and how these practices bundle configuring different lifestyles is strongly shaped by the social contexts where the individuals live and interact. This research investigates one specific social context, that of the community, in order to unpack how the social interactions within community members lead to the activation of discursive processes that can challenge current energy intensive lifestyles. Despite the routinised character of most daily practices people still have the ability to verbally reflect on and alter their actions. The activation of this “energy discursive consciousness” is at the center of this work. An ethnographic action research with three Amsterdam-based communities helped to unpack how energy discursive consciousness is “cultivated” at the community level and how it ultimately may lead to the contestation and reduction of energy needs. The notion of “decency”, which entails considering standards of morality and appropriateness that go beyond the individual and affect society in general, serves as a trigger for community reflection on lifestyle choices and contributes to the shift from efficiency to decency.
... It allows learning about 'what "actually happens" or about "how things work"' (Watson, 2011). It enables thus a focus on the hidden, the less visible and less explicit dimensions of organizational or inter-organizational life, including emotions and power relations, thus highlighting the interplay between actors (whether individual or collective) and context (Yanow et al., 2012). (Zilber 2014: 97) The same arguments for conducting ethnographic research can be made for museums (Bouquet 2012;Gable 2013). ...
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This article addresses the question of how to go beyond the conceptualisation of museums as islands in museum ethnography without losing the ethnographic depth and insights that such research can provide. Discussing existing ethnographic research in museums, the ethnographic turn in organization studies, and methodological innovation that seeks to go beyond bounded locations in anthropology, we offer a new museum methodology that retains ethnography’s capacity to grasp the often overlooked workings of organizational life – such as the informal relations, uncodified activities, chance events and feelings – while also avoiding ‘methodological containerism’, that is, the taking of the museum as an organization for granted. We then present a project design for a multi-sited, multi-linked, multi-researcher ethnography to respond to this; together with its specific realisation as the Making Differences project currently underway on Berlin’s Museum Island. Drawing on three sub-projects of this large ethnography – concerned with exhibition-making in the Museum of Islamic Art, in the Ethnological Museum in preparation for the Humboldt Forum (a high profile and contested cultural development due to open in 2019) and a new exhibition about Berlin, also for the Humboldt Forum – we highlight the importance of what happens beyond the ‘container,’ the discretion of what we even take to be the ‘container’, and how ‘organization-ness’ of various kinds is ‘done’ or ‘achieved’. We do this in part through an analysis of organigrams at play in our research fields, showing what these variously reveal, hide and suggest. Understanding museums, and organizations more generally, in this way, we argue, brings insight both to some of the specific developments that we are analysing as well as to museum and organization studies more widely.
... A Etnografia como método clássico das Ciências Humanas e Sociais utilizado no estudo do comportamento, simbolismo e cultura de grupos humanos, contendo ontologias, epistemologias e envolvendo um conjunto particular de métodos, foi importando pelas Ciências Naturais (Boas, 2005;Blommaert & Dong, 2010;Malinowski, 1978). Durante a coleta de dados etnográficos, o pesquisador experimenta situações no trabalho de campo que diferem de suas expectativas (Blommaert & Dong, 2010;Stoller, 1989;van Hulst et al. 2015;Yanow et al. 2012), e tenta compreender essas situações utilizando vários métodos, como a entrevista. ...
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Neste livro apresentamos a utilização do método de entrevista e técnicas correlatas para levantamento de dados etnobiológicos e etnoecológicos em estudos sobre os cetáceos; além de apresentarmos a compilação dos estudos disponíveis envolvendo etnobiologia e etnoecologia de cetáceos da Bacia Amazônica brasileira e do Oceano Atlântico Sul Ocidental a partir do conhecimento tradicional de pescadores artesanais.
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