Charting new territory for organizational ethnography: insights from a team-based video ethnography

Smets, Michael, Burke, Gary, Jarzabkowski, Paula and Spee, Paul (2014) Charting new territory for organizational ethnography: insights from a team-based video ethnography. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 3 1: 10-26. doi:10.1108/JOE-12-2012-0056

Author Smets, Michael
Burke, Gary
Jarzabkowski, Paula
Spee, Paul
Title Charting new territory for organizational ethnography: insights from a team-based video ethnography
Journal name Journal of Organizational Ethnography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2046-6749
Publication date 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1108/JOE-12-2012-0056
Open Access Status
Volume 3
Issue 1
Start page 10
End page 26
Total pages 17
Place of publication Bingley, United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: Increasing complexity, fragmentation, mobility, pace, and technological intermediation of organizational life make “being there” increasingly difficult. Where do ethnographers have to be, when, for how long, and with whom to “be there” and grasp the practices, norms, and values that make the situation meaningful to natives? These novel complexities call for new forms of organizational ethnography. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the above issues.

Design/methodology/approach: In this paper, the authors respond to these calls for innovative ethnographic methods in two ways. First, the paper reports on the practices and ethnographic experiences of conducting a year-long team-based video ethnography of reinsurance trading in London.

Findings: Second, drawing on these experiences, the paper proposes a framework for systematizing new approaches to organizational ethnography and visualizing the ways in which they are “expanding” ethnography as it was traditionally practiced.

Originality/value: The paper contributes to the ethnographic literature in three ways: first, the paper develops a framework for charting new approaches to ethnography and highlight its different dimensions – site, instrument, and fieldworker. Second, the paper outlines the opportunities and challenges associated with these expansions, specifically with regard to research design, analytical rigour, and communication of results. Third, drawing on the previous two contributions, the paper highlights configurations of methodological expansions on the aforementioned dimensions that are more promising than others in leveraging new technologies and approaches to claim new territory for organizational ethnography and enhance its relevance for understanding today’s multifarious organizational realities
Keyword Video
Team-based ethnography
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Non HERDC
UQ Business School Publications
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Created: Thu, 18 Sep 2014, 10:56:54 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School