Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to shed new light on carrying out “at-home” ethnography by building and extending the notion of roles as boundary objects, and to elucidate how evolving roles mediate professional identity work of the ethnographer. Design/methodology/approach: In order to theorize about how professional identities and identity work play out in “at-home” ethnography, the study builds on the notion of roles as boundary objects constructed in interaction between knowledge domains. The study is based on two ethnographic research projects carried out by high-level career switchers – corporate executives who conducted research in their own organizations and eventually left to work in academia. Findings: The paper contends that the interaction between the corporate world and academia gives rise to specific yet intertwined roles; and that the meanings attached to these roles and role transitions shape the way ethnographers work on their professional identities. Research limitations/implications: These findings have implications for organizational ethnography where the researcher’s identity work should receive more attention in relation to fieldwork, headwork, and textwork. Originality/value: The study builds on and extends the notion of roles as boundary objects and as triggers of identity work in the context of “at-home” ethnographic research work, and sheds light on the way researchers continuously contest and renegotiate meanings for both domains, and move from one role to another while doing so.
|Number of pages||23|
|Journal||Journal of Organizational Ethnography|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
- Identity work
- Organizational ethnography
- “At-home” ethnography