PARC Forum: Stephen R. Barley, Center for Work, Technology and Organization, Stanford School of Engineering at http://www.parc.com/event/1162/ethnography.html
View minutes 4:00-16:00 of this talk (end on the “ignorance of expertise”)
Summary of presentation by Stephen Barley, a Stanford professor who teaches courses on technology and work, the management of R&D, social network analysis, and ethnographic field methods and researches organizational culture in engineering.
In defining ethnography, both what it is and what it is not are needed to differentiate from other forms of qualitative research methods.
||Ethnography is NOT
|A type of research that is qualitative, but does not preclude quantification or statistical analysis
||A synonym for qualitative research
|Intensely and acutely empirical
|Counting of incidents of indicators observed that are relevant to the setting and topic of study
|Observing behaviors, speech acts, interactions between people filling roles, information from docs produced by informants for their own purposes
|Using surveys with questions developed from understanding the setting
||Using surveys based on others’ research
|Utilizes quantitative data to substantiate claims about differences and distributions of behaviors or beliefs in the setting where ethnographer is studying.
||Based on general theory
|Testing hypotheses about phenomena emerge in the field work
||Test testing hypotheses associated with an abstract theory