What is organizational ethnography?
The purpose of this essay is to explore what organizational ethnography is, what distinguishes organizational ethnography from other forms of studies. Organizational ethnography can be seen as a multi-method approach, which is based on direct reflexion mostly. It strives for the increase of the complexities of the everyday organizational settings (Bate, 1997).The essay will discuss some practical consideration in doing organizational ethnography such as field access, participation, data collection, data analysis and ethical questions. There are different characteristics that distinguish organizational ethnography from the general studies, and to be able to understand these distinctive characteristic more, there is need to use theoretical and methodological approach.* in the study of organizational ethnography by checking the relationship between theory and data-guided poles, also some important sociological approaches. (Bergman, 2002). Ethnography as defined by Hammersley and Atkinson (1995, p.1) is one that is most popular in the field: "... we shall interpret the term 'ethnography' in a liberal way, not worrying much about what does or does not count as examples of it. We see the term as referring primarily to a particular method or sets of methods. In its most characteristic form it involves the ethnographer participating, overtly or covertly, in people's lives for an extended period of time, watching what happens, listening to what is said, asking questions—in fact, collecting whatever data are available to throw light on the issues that are the focus of the research". Using a ‘liberal’ way to interpret ethnography makes it broad-based in the logic that they refrain from outlining ethnography with methodological approaches and procedures of many qualitative studies, it leaves one to argue that not only is ethnography diverse from other methods, but more prominently, the honesty of social science project might be vulnerable because of the research questions, data collection and analytical method. The raw data are highly reliant on each other (Bergman, 2002).If the empirical and theoretical data collection and analysis methods are unclear then it will be difficult to judge whether the research question can be answered from the data. The term organization can refer to the everyday practices and procedures of action going on within such a social structure. Organization can sometimes be thought of as a system (Parsons and Luckmann, 1966). To throw more light on this “system is a structure of intercommunicating modules that, as a group, act or operate individually and jointly to achieve a common goal through the rigorous activity of the individual part” (Thomas, 1993). With this definition, ethnography is focused on system and by extension, organization. There is no need to qualify ethnography. In other words, groups, families, communities, associations, clubs, etc. are system or organizations in a general sense, and are being studied by ethnographers, the study is inevitably the study of some form of organization or system. (Hammersley and Atkinson, 1995). With this said, the purpose of organizational ethnography is, "to uncover and explicate the ways in which people in particular work settings come to understand, account for, take action, and otherwise manage their day-to-day situation"( Van Maanen, 1979). This assertion provides, in contrast to abstract theories of organization more grounded, practice-based understanding of organizational life" (Ybema et al, 2009), a more rounded kind of knowledge that "relates to the perspective of social actors and to the social world in its dynamics and complexity which helps in creative problem-solving" (Kostera, 2007). Nevertheless, there is significant difference in the degree to which different ethnographies are data guided. And many sociological ethnographers do not use what in organizational studies is viewed as "organizational theory”....
Please join StudyMode to read the full document