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Lawless, A; Roberts, C
Publisher: University of Liverpool
Languages: English
Types: Unknown
Subjects: Business, L1
This paper aims to explore the challenges of conducting and writing up ethnographic research with a view to debating its use-value to an employing organisation and business education. Arising from Masters level research, conducted by the lead author, this paper explains the context of the research and why it was chosen as an area, examines the challenges involved in doing and writing ethnography and discusses the use-value of ethnographic research to an employing organisation. Arguments relating to whether or not ethnography can or should be ‘objective’ are also considered. In 2009/2010 the lead author, Chloe, conducted a Masters level research project which was supervised by the second author of this paper, Aileen. As the lead tutor on research methods, and Chloe’s supervisor, Aileen encouraged her students to consider self-ethnographic research as a strategy for their practitioner research projects. Elaine, the third author of this paper has also encouraged the use of ethnography as a research strategy. Both Aileen and Elaine have conducted their own self-ethnographic research projects and have reflected on the potential and pitfalls of this research approach for part-time students, (Corley & Eades, 2006). The process of writing this paper has enabled further reflection and joint sense-making as we question some of our taken-for granted understandings by subjecting Chloe’s research process to ‘other’ questions. We consider issues which arose during Chloe’s Masters research process and draw attention to the practical and ethical challenges she experienced whilst conducting and writing up her research. In doing so we address the following research questions: • To what extent can one avoid taken-for-granted assumptions? • Are there particular ethical issues/challenges which are unique to self-ethnographic research? • Is self-ethnographic research useful to employing organisation and business education?
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