Much of the ‘mystery’ of organizational life is hidden in plain sight in individuals' everyday communications and everyday practices. Ethnographic approaches provide in-depth and up-close understandings of how the everyday-ness of 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 problems 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 fields of business and management, public administration, education, health care, social work, or any related field in which organizations play a role.

Studying Everyday Organizational Life

Studying everyday organizational life
SierkYbema, DvoraYanow, HarryWels and FransKamsteeg

Just as newspapers do not, typically, engage the ordinary experiences of people's daily lives, organizational studies has also tended largely to ignore the humdrum, everyday experiences of people working in organizations. The most central discussions and debates in organizational studies textbooks are often remarkably remote from these commonplaces, as if organizations are not inhabited and embodied by individuals who go to work. There is, as Fineman, Sims and Gabriel (2005: ix) note, ‘a gulf between the lived experience of organizing and being organized by others, with its uncertainty and confusion, and the tidy, rather sanitized, texts on organizational behaviour’. Here is where organizational ethnography makes its contribution.

Although the quotidian experiences of people working in ...

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