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The Ethnography Atelier podcast discusses research methods with accomplished qualitative researchers. We talk to guests about their experiences of conducting research in and around organizations, the challenges they faced and the understandings they gained. If you have comments about the podcast or you'd like to get involved, please contact us.

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Episode 13 - Christine Beckman and Melissa Mazmanian: Research in Intimate Spaces

Pedro Monteiro and Samantha Ortiz Casillas •  June 2022

Christine Beckman and Melissa Mazmanian - Research in Intimate Spaces
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In this episode with Prof. Christine Beckman and Prof. Melissa Mazmanian, we talk about the promises and challenges involved in conducting research in intimate spaces, such as in people’s homes, instead of the workplace, where most organization and management research usually takes place. Christine and Melissa reflect on the research for their recent book “Dreams of the Overworked” where they explored nine families in California and what it means to live, work, and parent in a world of growing expectations about one’s productivity amplified by smart devices. Christine and Melissa share tips on the relational work in fieldwork, the value of working in teams to gain reflexive distance, and how observing work and organization topics from intimate spaces can bring new insights.

Christine Beckman is the Price Family Chair in Social Innovation and Professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy. She is the current Editor at Administrative Science Quarterly and Past Division Chair of the Organization and Management Theory division of the Academy of Management. Her work has focused on a range of topics including social innovation and inequality, organizational learning, entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship; technology and work, and organizational control.

Melissa Mazmanian is a Chancellors Fellow, Professor and Chair of the Department of Informatics in the School of Information and Computer Sciences, and Professor of Organization and Management in the Paul Merage School of Management (joint) at University of California, Irvine. Her work revolves around the experience of communication technologies as used in-practice within organizational and personal contexts, specifically in relation to identity projection and the nature of time in the digital age.


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