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Journal of Organizational Ethnography
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.204
Number of Followers: 5  
 
Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal   * Containing 3 Open Access Open Access article(s) in this issue *
ISSN (Print) 2046-6749 - ISSN (Online) 2046-6757
Published by Emerald Homepage  [362 journals]
  • – Paradoxes of shame-relieving processes among impoverished Spaniards
           after 2008’s great recession

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

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      Authors: Hugo Valenzuela-Garcia , Miranda Jessica Lubbers , Jose Luis Molina
      Abstract: The aim of the paper is to ethnographically detail the poverty-shame nexus in contemporary Spain, and to highlight the contradictions of the newly adopted consumption-based models of inclusion led by charities. Drawing on 39 cases out of a sample of 78 gathered through two long-term research projects, the paper employs a mixed-methods approach that mainly draws on a multi-sited ethnographic approach and interviews. The paper ethnographically documents major contradictions that shed light on the complex relationships between poverty, shame, work and consumption in modern societies. This paper analyses the sources of shame in the experience of poverty and downward mobility, but also it opens new ground for understanding the complex poverty–shame nexus and lets some questions unanswered. The contradictions highlighted shed light on the complex relationships between poverty, shame, work and consumption that may inform modern policies to fight poverty. Ethnography gives voice to these individuals that currently experience an increasingly precarious and unequal modern world. The paper contributes to a better understanding of the processes that underlie modern poverty and downward social mobility and points out the contradictions generated by consumption-based models of inclusion. While the poverty-shame nexus has been already analyzed from the point of view of stigma and exclusion from the labor market, the links between a growing consumerism and the neo-liberal values that underlie our modern societies are largely unexplored. The ethnographic contribution and the detailed case studies are also original in the case of Spain.
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2022-07-11
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-11-2021-0056
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print , No. ahead-of-print (2022)
       
  • Governing anticipation: UNESCO making humankind futures literate
         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

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      Authors: Ulrik Jennische , Adrienne Sörbom
      Abstract: This paper explores practices of foresight within the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) program Futures Literacy, as a form of transnational governmentality–founded on the interests of “using the future” by “emancipating” the minds of humanity. The paper draws on ethnographic material gathered over five years within the industry of futures consultancy, including UNESCO and its network of self-recognized futurists. The material consists of written sources, participant observation in on-site and digital events and workshops, and interviews. Building on Foucault's (1991) concept of governmentality, which refers to the governing of governing and how subjects politically come into being, this paper critically examines the UNESCO Futures Literacy program by answering questions on ontology, deontology, technology and utopia. It shows how the underlying rationale of the Futures Literacy program departs from an ontological premise of anticipation as a fundamental capacity of biological life, constituting an ethical substance that can be worked on and self-controlled. This rationale speaks to the mandate of UNESCO, to foster peace in our minds, but also to the governing of governing at the individual level. In the intersection between the growing literature on anticipation and research concerning governmentality the paper adds ethnographically based knowledge to the field of transnational governance. Earlier ethnographic studies of UNESCO have mostly focused upon its role for cultural heritage, or more broadly neoliberal forms of governing.
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2022-06-24
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-10-2021-0055
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print , No. ahead-of-print (2022)
       
  • Studying trust in the leader by co-produced autoethnography: an
           organizational esthetics approach

         This is an Open Access Article Open Access Article

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      Authors: Päivi Kosonen , Mirjami Ikonen
      Abstract: This paper aims at examining the prospects and possibilities of autoethnography in trust research. The focus of this study is on trust-building in a management team from an esthetic leadership perspective. The empirical context of the study is the organization of higher education during a funding reform. This study adopted a qualitative research strategy with co-produced autoethnographic methods. The data comprised the researcher's diary, field notes and written texts from informants. Autoethnographic methods were applied in data gathering; more precisely, the data were collected by the moving observing method of shadowing and complemented with the management team's written texts reporting their feelings. The data were analyzed by constructing autoethnographic vignettes and a critical frame story. The findings of the study contribute to the methodological discussion of autoethnographic research when studying a complex phenomenon such as trust-building. The findings suggest that the role of authenticity in trust-building may vary depending on the esthetic leadership style. Furthermore, the findings contribute to the esthetic leadership theory by a proposal of esthetic reassurance as intentional leader-embodied communication aiming to reinforce follower trust in a leader. Co-produced autoethnography is applied in studying trust-building. Furthermore, this paper provides an inside view of the meaning of esthetics in leader-follower relationships in higher education organizations.
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2022-02-21
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-04-2021-0020
      Issue No: Vol. ahead-of-print , No. ahead-of-print (2022)
       
  • Book review: Of what is this a case'

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      Authors: Mike Rowe , Harry Wels
      Abstract: Book review: Of what is this a case'
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2022-11-04
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-10-2022-092
      Issue No: Vol. 11 , No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Multicultural experience in organisations: an auto-ethnographic
           enquiry

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      Authors: Dhammika (Dave) Guruge
      Abstract: This paper aims to draw attention to multicultural experience as a manager. It is an auto-ethnographic enquiry which comprises own experiences and intercultural and intra-cultural engagement of the author’s self in both mono-cultural and multicultural environments drawing from archival records of personal account of experience. The paper adopted auto-ethnographic enquiry of the author’s experience in multicultural environment. The auto-ethnography as a research method is discussed along with its criticisms, validity, reliability and generalisability. The findings include power distance, elitism in hiring practices, inclusivity of women, challenges in South Asian Muslim countries, challenges in the non-anglophone country and their implications for a practitioner. As the author employed an auto-ethnographic enquiry based on the author’s prior experience, this raises questions about wider generalisability and applicable contexts. Findings of the enquiry can be tested using further qualitative enquiries such as in-depth interviews with a sample of stakeholders in a multicultural environment. The paper provides insights useful in managing in multicultural environments discussed. Also, it provides implications for policy makers in organisations. Practitioners can use the paper to get an insight into the markets the author already have been to and use the learning for decision-making during market development efforts. Auto-ethnography in multicultural environment is scant. This auto-ethnographical enquiry provides original content of practitioner experience compared with the related theory.
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2022-10-27
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-05-2022-0008
      Issue No: Vol. 11 , No. 3 (2022)
       
  • A Seventh-day Adventist farm community in Tanzania and vegetarianism as a
           social practice

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      Authors: Tamas Lestar
      Abstract: This paper is the outcome of an empirical research on a Seventh-day Adventist farm in Tanzania. The author investigated the role of Christian spirituality in switching to and maintaining vegetarian practices. Dietary change is proposed in the sustainability literature as a crucial trajectory to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The purpose of this paper is to explore the links between spirituality and climate-friendly dining in a localised Christian context and discuss their significance further for wider society. Social practice theory (SPT) provided the tools to explore, empirically, the dynamic development of dietary practice within the farm community and its relation to the outside world; according to SPT, following the main building blocks of practices, namely materials, competences and meanings (cognitive or emotional), helps to understand the evolution of practices in society. Findings show that the spiritual element of the community's dietary practice is key in maintaining commitment to vegetarianism, despite the rationale focussing exclusively on human health. Expanding the rationale to animal compassion and environmental concerns could enhance the stabilisation of the practice within and beyond the community's realms. The research showcases, probably for the first time, how a localised vegetarian practice may be linked to broader societal developments and policymaking through the application of SPT.
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2022-09-20
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-05-2022-0009
      Issue No: Vol. 11 , No. 3 (2022)
       
  • Cultural practices and organizational ethnography: implications for
           fieldwork and research ethics

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      Authors: Mohammad Alshallaqi
      Abstract: This study focuses on the practical and ethical implications of the cultural practice of wasta for organizational ethnography in the Middle East. Wasta is a form of intercession rooted in the Middle Eastern cultural context and is similar to other cultural practices such as “guanxi” in China. Such practices do not only shape organizational lives in those contexts, but also how organizational ethnographies are designed and carried out. The data in this study are derived from field notes and the author’s reflections on the fieldwork of an organizational ethnography aimed to investigate a digital transformation project. This study draws on the lens of positionality to illustrate how wasta helps favourably reconfigure a researcher’s positionality during interactions with gatekeepers and participants, thereby facilitating access and data collection. The study also presents the ethical concerns related to reciprocity triggered by wasta. Finally, this study demonstrates how wasta functions as a situated system to ensure ethical research practices. The study demonstrates that it is inevitable that organizational ethnographers engage with cultural practices such as wasta or guanxi during fieldwork in such cultural contexts. Furthermore, the study provides theoretical and methodological contributions for future researchers by engaging in a reflexive exercise to present a more nuanced and theoretically informed understanding of wasta. Moreover, it shows how it is exercised during fieldwork, the ethical concerns inherent in its exercise and how they can be mitigated. The paper concludes with practical recommendations derived from this fieldwork experience for future research.
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2022-03-22
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-06-2021-0036
      Issue No: Vol. 11 , No. 3 (2022)
       
  • COVID-19 and tourism stakeholders: experience, behaviour and
           transformation

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      Authors: M.R. Dileep , Joshu Ajoon , Bipithalal Balakrishnan Nair
      Abstract: The tourism sector’s fragility lends significance to mental health and wellbeing, especially amongst workers in the hotel and tourism sectors. However, stakeholders’ subjective wellbeing and mental health in these sectors due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic remain under-researched, especially for destinations with unique selling propositions (USPs). Thus, this study investigates the effects of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic on various stakeholders in Kerala, India. In particular, the authors assess the mental health and welfare of those involved in the tourism sector with an eye on how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the field’s psychological and technical developments. This study employs an ethnographic approach to understanding the idiosyncratic experiences of stakeholders using in-depth interviews (n = 68), focus group interviews (n = 3) and participant observation for 14 months. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The findings reveal the shifting perceptions in the tourism sector’s workforce by detailing various societal, technical and physical transformations, especially amongst the younger generations. The resultant psychological mapping generates a framework of the emotional perspectives of stakeholders during each stage of the pandemic. This study also highlights the urgency of crisis-management training for the workforce. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all spheres of global business, resulting in unprecedented challenges in both personal and professional life. The sector’s fragility lends significance to mental health and wellbeing, especially amongst workers in the hotel and tourism sectors. However, the subjective wellbeing and mental health of stakeholders in these sectors due to the COVID-19 pandemic remain under-researched, especially for the developing destinations with USPs.
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2022-03-09
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-07-2021-0043
      Issue No: Vol. 11 , No. 3 (2022)
       
  • A lack of mess' Advice on undertaking video-mediated participant
           observations

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      Authors: Ea Høg Utoft , Mie Kusk Søndergaard , Anna-Kathrine Bendtsen
      Abstract: This article offers practical advice to ethnographers venturing into doing participant observations through, but not about, videoconferencing applications such as Zoom, for which the methods literature offers little guidance. The article stems from a research project about a BioMedical Design Fellowship. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Fellowship converted all teaching activities to online learning via Zoom, and the participant observations followed along. Taking an autoethnographic approach, the authors present and discuss concrete examples of encountered obstacles produced by the video-mediated format, such as limited access and interactions, technical glitches and changing experiences of embodiment. Changing embodiment in particular initially led the authors to believe that the “messiness” of ethnography (i.e. misunderstandings, emotions, politics, self-doubts etc.) was lost online. However, over time the authors realized that the mess was still there, albeit in new manifestations, because Zoom shaped the interactions of the people the authors observed, the observations the authors could make and how the authors related to research participants and vice versa. The article succinctly summarizes the key advice offered by the researchers (see Section 5) based on their experiences of converting on-site ethnographic observations into video-mediated observations enabling easy use by other researchers in relation to other projects and contexts. The article positions video-mediated observations, via e.g. Zoom, which are distinctly characterised by happening in real time and having an object of study other than the online sphere itself, vis-à-vis other “online ethnography” methods. The article further aims to enable researchers to more rapidly rediscover and re-incite the new manifestations of the messiness of ethnography online, which is key to ensuring high-quality research.
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2021-12-24
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-07-2021-0037
      Issue No: Vol. 11 , No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Composite actors as participant protection: methodological opportunities
           for ethnographers

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      Authors: Jennifer MJ Yim , Peregrine Schwartz-Shea
      Abstract: The purpose of this article is to persuade ethnographers to consider using composites for studies in which protecting participants from identification is especially important. It situates the argument in the context of the transparency and data sharing movements' uneven influence across disciplines. The paper reviews problems in maintaining confidentiality of research participants using pseudonyms and masking. It analyzes existing literature on composites, conditions of composite use and identifies composite actors as a form useful to place-based ethnography. Methodological aspects of composite actor construction are discussed along with potential opportunities composites offer. Construction of composite actors is best accomplished by aggregating thematically during deskwork. Composites provide enhanced confidentiality by creating plausible doubt in the reader's mind, in part, through the presentation of aggregate rather than individual-level data. This discussion advances the methodology of constructing composites, particularly composite actors, providing guidance to increase trustworthiness of ethnographic narratives that employ composites.
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2021-10-18
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-02-2021-0009
      Issue No: Vol. 11 , No. 3 (2021)
       
  • Rendering the hidden visible: subjected to “work on the self” in a
           local labour market measure

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      Authors: Jon Sunnerfjell
      Abstract: The purpose of this article is to complement the literature understanding present labour market measures as infused by a so-called neoliberal rationality, fostering self-managerial selves by means of self-inspection. It does so by providing a much-needed illustration of how such “work on the self” is achieved in practice. The analysis draws on ethnographic fieldwork tracing the “active society” at the local level, depicting practices aimed at activating welfare clients in a local labour market measure organised in a rural Swedish municipality. Here, the author was offered to undergo a method aimed at enhancing participants' employability. As a result, data consists of ethnographic as well as auto-ethnographic accounts from this experience. This analysis shows how destabilisation of subjectivity was central to the remoulding of individuals into employable and self-reliant selves. Moreover, by dispersing responsibility to the individual, it is shown how the organisation was able to refrain from accountability, hence reducing the levels of uncertainty and ambiguity that is part and parcel of people-processing welfare organisations. The article concludes with the warning that, in the wake of “local worlds of activation”, municipalities may sometimes draw on questionable assumptions of the human mind and behaviour, as well as the vulnerability of individuals' self-understanding, as a way of managing the “active society” at the local level. The literature on activation lacks ethnographic accounts depicting concrete practices of turning the socially excluded into active and employable selves. Here, this article offers an illustrating example of such practices in action.
      Citation: Journal of Organizational Ethnography
      PubDate: 2020-12-15
      DOI: 10.1108/JOE-04-2020-0012
      Issue No: Vol. 11 , No. 3 (2020)
       
  • Journal of Organizational Ethnography

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