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Chapter 8 - Ethnography and Routine Dynamics

from Part II - Methodological Issues in Routine Dynamics Research

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2021

Martha S. Feldman
Affiliation:
University of California, Irvine
Brian T. Pentland
Affiliation:
Michigan State University
Luciana D'Adderio
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
Katharina Dittrich
Affiliation:
University of Warwick
Claus Rerup
Affiliation:
Frankfurt School of Finance and Management
David Seidl
Affiliation:
University of Zurich
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Summary

Organizational ethnography has been crucial for the development of the field of Routine Dynamics since the beginning. It has altered the grain size of analysis and shifted the focus from the firm and its routines to the routine and the people, actions and artefacts that bring it to life. The discovery-oriented nature of ethnographic research has and continues to challenge the conceived wisdom of routines and their role in organizations. The majority of work in Routine Dynamics relies on ethnographic approaches and sensibilities. In this chapter, I review 43 studies and the various ways in which they draw on ethnography. Despite the wide variety of settings these studies have explored and the evidentiary approaches they draw on, I argue that Routine Dynamics research can draw on more novel and innovative forms of ethnographic research. This will allow scholars to address hitherto neglected aspects of routines, such as their emotional and aesthetic qualities, new contemporary phenomena that are of societal concern, such as inequality, climate change and epidemics, and make Routine Dynamics research more practically relevant.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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