Title: Aesthetics and emotion in an organisational ethnography

Authors: Kate Kenny

Addresses: Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, Trumpington Street, Cambridge, CB2 1AG, UK

Abstract: In this paper, I argue that an aesthetic approach can help us to better understand workplace ethnography. Ethnography is sensory by nature; it can incorporate a feeling of rightness and beauty in the experience of |being-with| the organisation being studied. The process is inherently aesthetic. I explore this argument with an in-depth account of a researcher|s experiences at a non-profit organisation. I identify the aesthetic of belonging that developed over time. This study shows how an aesthetic perspective helps us to understand the day to day experience of ethnography, and how the it can be emotionally ambivalent and somewhat dark.

Keywords: aesthetics; organisation; emotion; feeling; organisational ethnography; participant observation; qualitative methods; workplace ethnography; feminism; gender; non-profit organisations; aesthetic labour.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2008.022115

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2008 Vol.2 No.4, pp.374 - 388

Published online: 18 Dec 2008 *

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