The Creative Use of Insider Ethnography as a Means for Organizational Self Investigation

Fiona Moore, Mary Yoko Brannen, Terry Mughan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Ethnography, while having considerable value as a means of generating rich, experiential data about cultural, micropolitical and complex social phenomena in organizations, is not always used to its full potential in organizational research. In particular, the analytical perspective is usually limited to that of the researchers, who gather and analyze data about managers in an organization, ignoring or minimizing the existence of other perspectives, a practice frequently critiqued in anthropology, organizational and otherwise (see Clifford, 1986;Arnoud and Cayla, 2015). Further- more, as Westney and van Maanen (2011) argue, there is a tendency by researchers to absorb the perspectives of managers into studies of organizations without appro- priate reflexivity or contextualization, a process they deem “casual ethnography.” The need to incorporate managerial perspectives in an intelligent, reflexive way that acknowledges their contribution while failing to acknowledge their particular biases is thus necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Anthropology and Business
EditorsAnne-Laure Fayard, Raza Mir
ISBN (Print)9781138496422
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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