Roles and identity work in “at-home” ethnography

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Roles and identity work in “at-home” ethnography. / Järventie-Thesleff, Rita; Logemann, Minna; Piekkari, Rebecca; Tienari, Janne.

In: Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol. 5, No. 3, 2016, p. 235-257.

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@article{434081cdb87e42a4a6f3fb0d4d1f20ae,
title = "Roles and identity work in “at-home” ethnography",
abstract = "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.",
keywords = "Identities, Identity work, Organizational ethnography, Roles, “At-home” ethnography",
author = "Rita J{\"a}rventie-Thesleff and Minna Logemann and Rebecca Piekkari and Janne Tienari",
year = "2016",
doi = "10.1108/JOE-07-2016-0015",
language = "English",
volume = "5",
pages = "235--257",
journal = "Journal of Organizational Ethnography",
issn = "2046-6749",
number = "3",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Roles and identity work in “at-home” ethnography

AU - Järventie-Thesleff, Rita

AU - Logemann, Minna

AU - Piekkari, Rebecca

AU - Tienari, Janne

PY - 2016

Y1 - 2016

N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

KW - Identities

KW - Identity work

KW - Organizational ethnography

KW - Roles

KW - “At-home” ethnography

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84988958092&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1108/JOE-07-2016-0015

DO - 10.1108/JOE-07-2016-0015

M3 - Article

VL - 5

SP - 235

EP - 257

JO - Journal of Organizational Ethnography

JF - Journal of Organizational Ethnography

SN - 2046-6749

IS - 3

ER -

ID: 10575387