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.

‘But I Thought We Were Friends?’ Life Cycles and Research Relationships

‘But I Thought We Were Friends?’ Life Cycles and Research Relationships

‘But I thought we were friends?’ Life cycles and research relationships
NicBeech, PaulHibbert, RobertMacIntosh and PeterMcInnes

This chapter is concerned with a relatively under-explored aspect of‘engaged research’– the nature of friendship relations between researchers and practitioners, and the ethical dilemmas that arise in such relationships. Attention has been paid to the relational aspects of research in the methodology literature, but this chapter focuses more closely on friendship in particular. The chapter is framed around two guiding concerns: how do friendships, formed in and around research, change over time; and in view of friendship conceived in this dynamic fashion, what ethical questions and dilemmas arise for the ‘friends’?

The chapter is structured as follows. Since the development of ...

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