The Practice of Organizational Fieldwork
- Matthew Jones - University of Cambridge, UK
Although there are plenty of books that discuss the principles, the philosophy and the techniques of research in organisations, it is much harder to find information on what doing research in organisations actually involves in practice. Yet this is often one of the most challenging, but also most interesting, aspects of a study. Drawing on examples and debates from a broad range of disciplines (such as criminology, education and social anthropology as well management) Researching Organisations explores the issues that researchers may encounter when carrying out fieldwork in organisations. From getting in to an organisation at the start of the research to getting out and maybe back again at the end, the book offers systematic guidance to help researchers navigate the messy reality of fieldwork.
Researching Organisations is designed for graduate level researchers who may be undertaking fieldwork for the first time, but also for those who wish to gain an understanding of research practice.
Matthew Jones makes a great contribution to the study of organizations with his new book. Researching Organizations wrestles with very important yet all too often neglected issues in the practice of fieldwork methodology. The book is based on meticulous scholarship yet entertaining to read; I wish I’d had this book when I started my PhD studies!
It is worth noting the interdisciplinary nature of the book, which is reflected through the various examples and theories that Jones draws upon throughout the text, encompassing fields such as criminology and social anthropology...In sum, the text is well written, informative and accessible. It will likely be of use to researchers, both new to and with experience of this field, looking to develop a practice-based approach to organisational research.
The book contains a wealth of information which is targeted at graduate level researchers, and others who may wish to obtain a greater understanding of organizational research in practice...The practical nature of the book’s layout makes it a useful vade mecum for any researcher in the organisational field and the interdisciplinary nature of the text, drawing on, for example, such fields as criminology and social anthropology, provides a rich source of ideas. In short I can thoroughly recommend Jones’s ‘Researching Organizations’ to anyone contemplating or already engaged upon organizational research.
This book does indeed shine a light and provides a compass for those ‘wandering in the dark’ of the practice of organizational fieldwork. As a practitioner, I found it a useful blend of underpinning theories, with a good array of practical tips and thought-provokers. It’s systematic, thorough and whilst primarily targeted at graduate-level researchers, it offers a lot to busy experienced practitioners in other disciplines for whom research is not their day job. It will make a relevant contribution to the action learning community as a compendium of practical tools and resources, with lots of useful ideas to stimulate thinking before wading into the practice of organizational fieldwork!
Great for those students who are undertaking primary research in organisational contexts, recommended to them and to library
This book is primarily aimed at students who are external to the organisation being studied and so deals at length with issues like entry and exit. By contrast, the majority of my students are researching organisations in which they themselves work. The sections on the design and conduct of research are still of interest and I would recommend the whole book to the few students who are not able to (or choose not to) research their own organisation.
I feel my students will love the way this book looks at research.
My course concerns organizational communication, so this book offers important background information but falls somewhat outside the scope of my teaching.
Alternative approach to researching organizations.
Shows the challenge and complexity of researching organisations and gives guidance on how to respond. A very useful resource to any researcher.
Sample Materials & Chapters
Chapter Two: Research and Organisations