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Researching mundane workplace activities: micro-analysis, ethnography and everyday work on the occasional working paper series at the University of lincoln

By Pete Dyer

Abstract

This dissertation will use Burrell and Morgan’s Sociological\ud Paradigms and Organisational Analysis (1979) to make clear the centrality of theory-method in research practice. The researcher will locate his position within the ‘Radical Humanist’ paradigm. The research method will deploy an ethnographic approach to the field. The field of study is the University of Lincoln’s Occasional Working Paper Series, (OWPS) a student-led, peer reviewed online journal.\ud OWPS is part of a wider initiative that seeks to encourage\ud undergraduate publishing as well as student-lecturer collaborations.\ud \ud The informing theory is Social Construction of Technology (SCOT). Specifically, one of the main tenets of SCOT is ‘co-construction’ and this will be discussed. The study will assess whether ‘coconstruction’is taking place between ‘relevant user groups’, for instance, authors and reviewers. The aim of co-construction is to achieve stability of the technological artefact, in this example; it is the Online Journal System (OJS). There will also be a discussion about the appropriateness of ethnography in studying SCOT. \ud \ud Also, the researcher has some concerns about doing research. In particular, does theory-method remain consistent during immersion in field practice? Indeed, the researchers concerns are realised whilst producing field vignettes reveal contractions in his assumptions and ethnographic writing. This is also discussed. The study will focus on the mundanity of everyday work and the\ud influence of technology within OWPS. Also, the study will question whether the issue of involvement is tangible or mere rhetoric. \ud \ud There are of course some suggestions for how this dissertation might be extended for future research

Topics: L391 Sociology of Science and Technology, L370 Social Theory, N215 Organisational Development, N200 Management studies
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:1869

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