1st Edition

Organizational Ethnography An Experiential and Practical Guide

Edited By Jenna Pandeli, Neil Sutherland, Hugo Gaggiotti Copyright 2022
    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    248 Pages
    by Routledge

    This textbook explores practices, first-hand experiences and emerging ideas within organizational ethnography, providing a toolkit that prepares ethnographers for the uncertainties and realities of fieldworking.

    Students faced with the complexities of qualitative observational techniques and considerations, such as the scope of the research, the personal and professional intertwined life of the qualitative research or the decision of when to leave the field, will find the book an extremely useful, practical guide. A range of experiences from a variety of academics at different stages of their career, to highlight the differences in practices, approaches and encounters, are presented. The themes of the individual chapters cover three main areas: aspects to consider and reflect on before undertaking an ethnography, the process and experiences of conducting ethnographic work and considerations for after the fieldwork. Particular attention is given to appreciating the complexity and practicalities of ethnographic work, providing a more experience-driven text, and understanding perspectives from a range of different approaches to organizational ethnography.

    This book should be a recommended text for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students studying research methods within Business and Management. It is particularly important for all students and academics undertaking qualitative research, especially ethnography.

    1. Outlining a practical, emotional and reflexive approach to Organisational Ethnography (Jenna Pandeli, Neil Sutherland and Hugo Gaggiotti)

    3. Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself! Are you cut out for Ethnographic fieldwork? (Christian Johann Schmid and Paul Eisewicht)
    4. Too close for comfort? The challenges and unexpected consequences of immersed ethnography (Sarah-Louise Weller)
    5. Removing the Rose-Tinted Glasses: Fear, Risk and Being Uncomfortable in Ethnographic Fieldwork (Jenna Pandeli and Rafael Alcadipani)
    6. Choosing to reach beyond academic goalposts: Ethnographer as compassionate advocate inside an immigration detention centre (Joanne Vincett)

    8. Learning and doing autoethnography: resonance, vulnerability and exposure (Ilaria Boncori)
    9. Rapid ethnographies in organisations: ensuring rich data and timely findings (Stephanie Kumpunen and Cecilia Vindrola-Padros)
    10. Deception as a Moral Project: Covert Research and the Construction of the Ethical Self (Chloe Tarrabain)
    11. Ethnography on sensitive topics: children’s sexuality education in Spain (Bruna Alvarez, Estel Malgosa and Diana Marre)
    12. Reflexivity in Audio-Visual Ethnography: Thinking through Practice (Miguel Gaggiotti and Hugo Gaggiotti)


    14. Exiting the field: when does an ethnography finish? (Vanessa Monties)
    15. Jotting it down: Writing and analysing fieldnotes (Neil Sutherland)
    16. Making sense of field material: from euphoria to despair and back (Barbara Czarniawska)
    17. Learning to Fly: On Teaching the Ethnographic Craft (Monika Kostera, Tomasz Ludwicki and Anna Modzelewska)
    18. Futures of Organizational Ethnography: (Post) Pandemic Reflections and New Possibilities (Katherine Parsons, David Courpasson and Rick Delbridge)


    Jenna Pandeli is a senior lecturer at University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK.

    Neil Sutherland is a senior lecturer at UWE, Bristol, UK.

    Hugo Gaggiotti is a professor at UWE, Bristol, UK.

    'Organizational Ethnography sets a new standard for scholarly reflection and theoretical inquiry. The editors have assembled a smart and engaging set of essays on ethnographic methods in diverse organizational contexts. Readers will find traditional topics assessed with a fresh lens, as well as some issues – exiting the field, studying sensitive issues – that have received far less attention than they deserve. For newcomers to the craft as well as seasoned practitioners, this volume on "hanging out" in organizations is a must read.'
    Sudhir Venkatesh, Columbia University, USA

    'This is a carefully edited collection of fresh and lively accounts of various phases and stages of ethnographic research in contemporary organizational settings – from planning a study, to carrying it out, to exiting the field, to writing it up. Central to each of the selections are the troubles a particular ethnographic stance presents to the researcher – many unseen at the outset of a study – and the disparate ways researchers have come up with in dealing with these vexing difficulties. These are personalized stories about the practical doing of ethnography – tales that are typically elided from the rather condensed and sanitized renderings of how a given study was accomplished that appear in print. That canonical ethnographic means and ends are necessarily strained and stretched in the flickering, messy, chaotic, emotionally laden and initially unknown surroundings and circumstances that a study seeks to tame is a reoccurring theme in these accounts. This is a work that will appeal to seasoned as well as novice researchers interested how the ethnographers of various backgrounds have dealt with the inherent uncertainties of their trade.'
    John Van Maanen, Emeritus Professor, MIT (Work and Organization Studies Group), USA

    'Ethnographic research is flourishing in a wide variety of social settings, and in an equally diverse range of disciplines. With a broad understanding of organisational ethnography, this collection of essays amply displays all that variety. It also captures the remarkable range of approaches – methodological and personal – that characterise contemporary field research. The contributing authors are frank in acknowledging the personal, ethical and intellectual challenges of ethnographic fieldwork, but they also convey the immense satisfaction to be gained from such research. They offer a close look under the bonnet, to see some of the things that lie behind published ethnographic research. Readers will be engaged, informed and confronted by the essays in this collection. It will be an invaluable resource for students and more experienced ethnographers alike.'
    Paul Atkinson, Emeritus Professor, Cardiff University, UK