Title: Organizational Ethnography and Methodological Angst: Myths and Challenges in the Field
Author: Dvora Yanow
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to assess the myths and challenges in the field of organizational ethnography and methodological angst.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper is initially written as an invited keynote address for the 3rd Annual Joint Symposium on “Current Developments in Ethnographic Research in the Social and Management Sciences” (University of Liverpool Management School and Keele University Institute for Public Policy and Management, Liverpool, September 3-5, 2008). It explores what might be distinctive about organizational ethnography and how that might be different from “anthropological” ethnography. In particular, it engages a kind of collective methodological performance anxiety among organizational studies scholars without formal training in anthropology who do ethnographic research.
Findings – The paper argues that it is time to be explicit about a variety of forms of professional angst that many ethnographic researchers within organizational studies carry which have not been discussed.
Originality/value – The paper is of value to those willing to consider the myths and challenges that need engaging and perhaps uprooting and casting off.
“Samuel hurried in and grabbed the first seat available. Having quickly sat down he slowly looked up. What was going to happen? To his relief the group leader welcomed him to the meeting as did others. “
What makes leadership “good enough”?
“…the “good enough” leader (GEL), like the “good enough” mother, does not try to be obsessively and compulsively
perfect, machine-like, in his or her attunement with and response to the organisation…The “good enough” style of leadership contrasts with two culturally widespread and familiar styles of leadership…“hard” and “soft.”
Trust at Work: What it Means for Identity
“What has been referred to as generalized trust has been advanced as a condition for self-identity and the absence of such trust has been found to lead to a corroded sense of self…This study advances the idea that trust may play a similar role in organizations…”