Sustaining Stories … In-house, Ethnographic Practice
In 2008, the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) was held in Copenhagen. Unfortunately, global economic and personal circumstances required a last minute change in our travel plans, and my co-author Johann and I were not able to attend. We asked Simon Pulman-Jones (our session curator) to deliver a shortened version of our presentation using this script. You may also be interested in reading the full paper from the EPIC 2008 proceedings.
Sustaining Stories: The Versatile Life of Sustained, In-house, Ethnographic Practice in a Global Software Company
This presentation was prepared in collaboration with Johann Sarmiento-Klapper, Ph.D.
Ethnographers, in a sense, play the role of story creators and storytellers. For “in-house” ethnographers engaged in the long-term work of making sense of and contributing to organizations, a challenge emerges: discovering and managing the retrospective and prospective meaning of their storytelling. The narratives produced in these contexts – and the fieldwork from which they emerge – may make visible trajectories of practice for both subjects and researcher alike. Here we reflect on the challenges and opportunities of sustaining ethnographic inquiry in a large global software company. Reflecting on close to ten years of participant observation, we outline some of our practices related to positioning, re-framing, and expanding ethnographic work, a dynamic that continues to shape our practice and its relevance within this corporate environment.
This panel was curated by Simon Pulman-Jones
In sight on site: revealing and sustaining valuable knowledge for corporations
For panel participants and details, visit the EPIC 2008 website.