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Paweł Krzyworzeka and Hugo Gaggiotti

The use of ethnography in management and organisation studies has grown over the last two decades, some even call this trend an “ethnographic turn”. There is a deficit, however, of reflection on theoretical aspects of organisational ethnography. In this article we argue that the ethnographic turn in organisation studies was possible because of the emergence of new ways of considering the nature of organising. We aim at making a contribution to this discussion. First, by a particular way of describing the historical case of Lloyd Warner, which shows the interdependence of research practice, underlying theory and power relations in early organisational ethnography. Second, by briefly describing some developments in organisational theory that created a more suitable theoretical climate for ethnography.

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Hugo Gaggiotti, Monika Kostera and Paweł Krzyworzeka

Hugo Gaggiotti, Monika Kostera and Pawe_ Krzyworzeka revisit the role of anthropology in the genesis and development of academic organization studies. Rather than approaching anthropology as a methodological tool for the qualitative study of organizing and culture, they advocate a considerably broader theoretical relevance for anthropological and ethnographic inquiry in the midst of the ongoing discussions about the status and future of organizational analysis. As the authors contend, the full potential of anthropology as a comprehensive paradigm of understanding organizing has not been embraced in the ensuing development of organization studies. Echoing the call of C. Wright Mills to practise sociological imagination in enlightened inquiry, Gaggiotti et al. provide a vision for future scholarship which fully embraces interpretative ethnographic enquiry in the spirit of Warner and Whyte.