Open Lecture: Katie Pine, Ethnography and the Corporate Encounter: Organizational Ethnography in an Industry Research Lab, Tuesday April 14th: 10:00-12:00, 5A14/16
Ethnographic inquiry is increasingly sought after beyond the walls of academia, in settings such as industry research labs, consultancies, and design research firms.
In this talk, I will discuss my experiences in corporate ethnography while working in Intel Labs User Experience Research Group.
My talk will consist of two parts.
Part one will focus around my ethnographic research, a multi-sited organizational ethnography of the situated practices involved in creating “small” data that goes on to populate “big data” sets on quality and performance of healthcare organizations. In healthcare, as in other domains such as education and social services, data-driven performance measurement is increasingly used to manage organizational processes and tie performance to institutional systems of reward and sanction. I examine the tensions and challenges of adapting and developing new organizational structures and processes, including new relationships and tacit and explicit expertise in qualculation, data management, and interpreting the results of complex performance measurements.
Second, I describe my own experiences of doing corporate ethnography. Corporate ethnography is rooted in anthropological traditions, yet has developed into a sub-field in its own right centered on conferences such as Ethnographic Praxis in Industry (EPIC). Corporate ethnographers face unique opportunities in that they work in proximity to product and strategy groups, yet they also face challenges often not experienced by their academic peers. I will describe my own experiences in conducting interpretive ethnographic research in a corporate environment, translating insights to an engineering and business audience, and learning to work in the unique interdisciplinary environment at Intel Labs.
Organized by Pernille Bjørn, Head of Technologies in Practice