The discomfort of autoethnography in academic marketing research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter is mainly concerned with studies of organisational autoethnography from the perspective of people who are not necessarily members of organisations, and hence it falls within Herrmann’s (2017) broadened scope for the area. In university business schools, there are people who, like me, study consumers and consumption, and workers and work, using autoethnography, from time to time. This type of research falls within organisational autoethnography in the sense that it takes the perspective of people who rub up against organisations and organising in various ways. I think there can be an unsettling, a critical quality to autoethnography that can create a sense of discomfort, and this chapter reflects on the university business school as one setting in which this quality plays out. In the chapter I will discuss some of the epistemological arguments that have been offered around the use of autoethnography within broader debates around what it means to conduct scientific social research. These arguments sometimes seem contradictory and bound up with the politics of research, so I will draw attention to some of the history of business school research to place a context around these political and epistemological currents.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Organizational Autoethnography
EditorsAndrew Herrmann
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780429056987
ISBN (Print)9780174729
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 27 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks
ISSN (Print)978036717


  • Organisational research
  • Qualitative methods

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