Producing persuasive findings: Demystifying ethnographic textwork in strategy and organization research

Jarzabkowski, P., Bednarek, R. & Le, J. K. (2014). Producing persuasive findings: Demystifying ethnographic textwork in strategy and organization research. Strategic Organization, 12(4), pp. 274-287. doi: 10.1177/1476127014554575

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Abstract

Despite the importance and proliferation of ethnography in strategy and organization research, the central issue of how to present ethnographic findings has rarely been discussed. Yet, the narratives we craft to share our experience of the field are at the heart of ethnographic papers and provide the primary basis for our theorizing. In this article, we explain the “textwork” involved in writing persuasive findings. We provide an illustrative example of ethnographic data as it is recorded within fieldnotes and explain the necessary conceptual and writing work that must be done to render such data persuasive, drawing on published exemplars of ethnographic articles. This allows us to show how such texts, through various forms of writing and data representation, are transformed from raw fieldnotes to comprehensible findings. We conclude by asserting the value of these specifically ethnographic ways of presenting evidence, which are at odds with the canonical methods of data presentation in management studies.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright Sage 2014
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ethnography, ethnographic tales, narratives, observational data, vignettes, writing, qualitative research methods
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/8145

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