Contributions of ethnography to the study of public services management

John Harries, Guro Huby, Suzanne Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Ethnography in the study of public service organizations is gaining acceptance, but the practice of ethnography is changing in line with epistemological concerns and new organizational realities. We outline a move away from ethnography as participant observation of micro process in spatially bounded settings. Work in contemporary organizations is embedded in relationships that cross boundaries, and relationships are not just between people, but also between people and human artefacts such as IT systems. 'Multi-sited' ethnography is an approach to understand and manage 'the organization' as connections, disruptions and fluid boundaries. Implications for ethnography's contributions to multi-disciplinary organizational research are suggested.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-225
Number of pages17
JournalPublic Management Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Anthropology
  • Ethnography
  • Networks
  • Public Services


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