Organizational Ethnography


Organizational ethnography is located within the field of management and organization studies (MOS) and has traditionally made formal organization its object of analysis. The practice of management has attracted much attention from organizational ethnography which typically considers it to be an activity that occurs within bureaucracies and formal organization. However, in recent years, management is increasingly treated as something more than an occupational practice that includes aspects of governance and nonhuman features of organization (technology, information technology, algorithms, Gaia). This demands ethnography look beyond formal organization to include networks, professional associations, trade unions, and not-for-profit organization. It is also now widely recognized that organization is made up of networks and loose alliances of collaborators that form complex and distributed organizations. Institutions are also organizations but very different from formal organizational in terms of their relations, dynamics, and patterns of order and disorder. Language, family, nation-states, religions, governments, and international agreements might also be considered organizational and increasingly attracts ethnographic work.

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