Policy Press

Observing Organizations

Series editors: Mike Rowe, University of Liverpool and Matthew Brannan, University of Newcastle

Organizational ethnography is concerned with contemporary organizations, with the way things are done and how people interact with each other, with social structures and with technologies. It is both methodology, often associated with a pragmatist or critical realist concern to reveal and describe complexities rather than simple causal relationships, and method, classically concerned with close observation (whether participant, non-participant or covert) over time. Yet it is also a creative endeavour, which lends itself to experimentation and playfulness, a written work that emerges from and through research.

This series will publish interdisciplinary books that employ observation to explore organizations. This is a deliberately broad scope because the series is open to the widest understandings of both what constitutes ethnography (though note the emphasis on close observation over time) and what forms organizing takes. We will consider autoethnographies, visual and sensory ethnographies, netnographies and all manner of other innovations in ethnographic work.

We particularly welcome manuscripts that seek to play with the style of presentation and with the conventions of publishing in order to convey something of the world they describe.

Topics might include:

  • Changing forms of organization and working practices
  • Alternative organizations and communities
  • Contemporary work and employment
  • Culture in contemporary organizations
  • Gender, ethnicity, disability and sexuality in organizational life
  • Organizations in a changing environment and climate
  • Power, resistance and obedience in the workplace
  • Emotional labour
  • AI and other technologies in the contemporary workplace
  • Public organizations
  • Private organizations
  • Third sector organizations
  • Visual and sensory ethnographies
  • Autoethnographies
  • Netnographies
  • Ethics in organizational ethnography


This will be a multi-disciplinary series. Manuscripts will be sought from scholars in a range of academic fields in addition to management and business studies including, for example, anthropology, politics, sociology, social policy, philosophy, development and community studies and cultural, communication and media studies.

Books in the series will typically be between 60,000 – 90,000 words in length. Research monographs will be the preferred format. Edited volumes will be considered where there is a clear rationale for the proposal and evidence of the quality of the individual contributions. Our commitment to playing with the form means that we will be keen to discuss ideas that will stretch the normal academic conventions.

International Editorial Board

Rafael Alcadipani, FGV-EAESP, Brazil
Bagga Bjerge, Aarhus University, Denmark
Jana Costas, European University Viadrina, Germany
Ken Ehrensal, Kutztown University, US
Juan Felipe Espinosa-Cristia, Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile
Melissa Fisher, New York University, US
Christina Garsten, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Uppsala, Sweden
Mitiku Gebrehiwot Tesfaye, Mekelle University, Ethiopia
Tess Lea, University of Sydney, Australia
Bethan Loftus, Bangor University, UK
Mark Maguire, Maynooth University, Ireland
Darren McCabe, Lancaster University, UK
Adrienne Sörbom, Stockholm University, Sweden