Ethnographic contributions to organizational sociology

Calvin Morrill, Gary Alan Fine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The authors examine the contributions of ethnography to organizational sociology in five substantive areas: (1) the elaboration of informal relations, (2) organizations as systems of meaning, (3) organizations and their environments, (4) organizational change, and (5) ethics and normative behavior. They then discuss three claims that ethnographers typically make: that ethnography provides for depth, multiple perspectives, and process. These claims permit its unique contributions but also create trade-offs in terms of control, bias, and generalizability. The authors conclude by considering the implications that the resurgent interest in organizational ethnography holds for its systematic practice and the development of standards to evaluate its cross-disciplinary usage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-451
Number of pages28
JournalSociological Methods and Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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