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What is action ethnography? Reconsidering our intentions for impact in ethnographic practice

Vincett, J (2024) What is action ethnography? Reconsidering our intentions for impact in ethnographic practice. Journal of Organizational Ethnography. ISSN 2046-6749

Vincett 2024 AAM DOI 10.1108:JOE-12-2023-0071.PDF - Accepted Version
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to offer an accessible and interdisciplinary research strategy in organisational ethnography, called action ethnography, that acknowledges key concepts from action research and engaged and immersive ethnography. It aims to encourage methodological innovation and an impact turn in ethnographic practice. Design/methodology/approach – A working definition of ‘action ethnography’ is provided first. Then, to illustrate how an action ethnography can be designed by considering impact from the outset, the author draws on a study she is undertaking with a grassroots human rights monitoring group, based in England, then discusses advantages and limitations to the approach.
Findings – The author suggests three main tenets to action ethnography that embrace synergies between action research and ethnography: researcher immersion, intervention leading to change, and knowledge contributions that are useful to both practitioners and researchers. Originality/value – Whereas ‘traditional’ ethnography has emphasised a contribution to theoretical knowledge, less attention has been on a contribution to practice and to those who ethnographers engage with in the field. Action ethnography challenges researchers to consider the impact of their research from the outset during the research design, rather upon reflection after a study is completed. Practical implications – This paper provides researchers who align with aspects of both action research and ethnography with an accessible research strategy to employ, and a better understanding of the interplay between the two approaches when justifying their research designs. It also offers an example of designing an action ethnography in practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com
Uncontrolled Keywords: action ethnography; action research; organizational ethnography; participant observation; research impact; 1503 Business and Management; 1601 Anthropology; 1608 Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
Divisions: Business & Management (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Emerald
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 03 May 2024 14:18
Last Modified: 03 May 2024 14:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/joe-12-2023-0071
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23174
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