Conference Essay: The Broad and the Narrow in Ethnography on Organisations


  • Manfred Max Bergman University of Basel



ethnography, organisations, systems, qualitative methods


The aims of this essay are twofold: to review a recent conference on ethnographic organisational studies in St. Gall and, based on this, to examine some shortcomings of ethnographic approaches to organisational studies. Such shortcomings include the non-specificity of the conceptualisation of organisations and, to a lesser extent, the relative lack of reflection on epistemological and procedural issues of the empirical method. Nevertheless, the conference was a success in that it highlighted the variety, flexibility, and scientific value of ethnography for the social and political sciences. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0301233


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Author Biography

Manfred Max Bergman, University of Basel

Manfred Max BERGMAN is Head of Research Projects and Methodology at SIDOS (Schweizerischer Informations- und Datenarchivdienst für die Sozialwissenschaften) and Affiliated Lecturer at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Cambridge. He is interested in the reciprocities between identity and inter-group relations, as well as in inequality and stratification. He lectures on identity and culture, as well as advanced qualitative and quantitative methods at the University of Cambridge. He is currently collaborating with researchers from the Universities of Cambridge, Cardiff, Essex, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, Paris, and Zürich on several projects.




How to Cite

Bergman, M. M. (2003). Conference Essay: The Broad and the Narrow in Ethnography on Organisations. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 4(1).